Update: Earlier this week, dozens of Steam Workshop mods vanished from the Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics Hub without explanation. Sega has now responded, suggesting neither it nor Valve have removed mods that do not fall foul of Steam's terms of service.
According to Sega, this process has occurred automatically and both it and Steam are actively working to resolve those affected. The statement in full reads as follows:
"SEGA would like to reiterate how delighted it is with how the Mega Drive/Genesis Collection community has self-moderated content on Steam Workshop. We've seen some fantastic mods created and released on the platform and want to encourage the community's continued creativity by helping to curate a library of outstanding mods.
"However, due to some erratic user behaviour over the last few days, many mods which didn't breach Steam's terms of service were automatically removed from Steam Workshop. SEGA and Valve are working together with the affected modders to reinstate their work as soon as possible and have already reversed a number of removals.
"SEGA and Valve are not actively removing mods that do not violate the terms of service, only those that do. We appreciate the help of the community's self-moderation in removing illegal or offensive content to maintain the high standard of legal mods on the platform. If you feel your mod does not breach the Steam terms of service but was removed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and SEGA will investigate."
Modders asking why their creations were taken down have received a stock reply from Steam Support: “Due to reporting of content that violates the Steam Terms of Service, the content in question has been removed from the Steam Community.”
Among the mods removed are some that violate copyright by uploading entire games including NBA Jam and Mutant League Football, but also many that are entirely within the Terms of Service. These include 'Sonic 1 Megamix' and 'Knuckles in Sonic 1' by modder Stealth, who was hired by Sega to create on the strength of ROM hacks like these, as well as over 20 'Chill Edition' mods created by xONLYUSEmeFEET to make games more accessible for players with disabilities.
@HCStealth Support won't help. Here's what I was sent when I asked about my mods being banned. Others got the same canned reply. pic.twitter.com/goAL7TGlNGOctober 25, 2016
After lodging a support ticket, modder Tiddles managed to get reinstated, a collection of tweaks that include bugfixes and the option to hear the original PC version's music. Other modders are still waiting and have received nothing beyond Valve's standard response: “It is our policy not to provide specific feedback on removed content.”
As of press time, some of the mods have been restored, but not all.
Sega has not replied to a request for comment.