Unlicensed games

From Sonic Retro

Somari, an unlicensed port of Sonic the Hedgehog for the Nintendo Entertainment System featuring a Super Mario/Sonic hybrid, “Somari,” as the main character.

When a franchise becomes popular, it's common for unscrupulous companies to make money from its success. A lot of times this comes in the form of merchandise by the company who owns the license for the franchise and everything that encompasses it. However, some companies or people will use parts of a franchise regardless of legal permission to do so. In the case of video games, people will often make "fake" versions of what seem like official games called pirate games or unlicensed games. Pirate games tend to try and present themselves as official games in an existing part of the franchise while unlicensed games may use characters or elements from the franchise without directly trying to seem a part of it. Technically speaking, most fan games or fan hacks would fall under this category were they to be released for sale on media.

The majority of pirate video games are overpriced, extremely rare and filled with bugs and glitches, even rendering some games unplayable as a result. In some cases, however, pirate games have generated a lot of media interest due to their absurdity - placing licensed characters in bizarre locations or attempting to port a game to a completely different platform (such as Final Fantasy VII on the NES).

This category lists known unlicensed video games involving the Sonic the Hedgehog series, whether they attempt to present themselves as a Sonic game or prominently feature Sonic in some way.