The PlaySEGA website featured an extensive library of games playable on demand, consisting of exclusive Flash games and existing Sega Mega Drive games emulated through a Java emulator named . All users were able to browse the website and play games, but paying VIP members has access to the Mega Drive game library and level editors. Users who purchased a three-month membership or longer were mailed a free Sega Saturn-styled PlaySEGA USB joypad. The virtual website currency, PlaySEGA Rings, was earned by playing games or obtained via site microtransactions, and could have been used to purchase Avatar accessories, enter prize draws, and decorate the Escape area, which served as a personalized profile for users on the site.
Only a few years after its release, the PlaySEGA service quietly shut down in June 2011, displaying a maintenance screen until its complete closure in 2013.
Registered by Sega Europe on 14 November 2002 and launched in 2003, the PlaySega domain was initially purposed as a gateway page to the online hub for the Phantasy Star Online series. Several years later, development of a new browser game portal named PlaySEGA began, developed by the SEGA Network Group in cooperation with Mediatonic. The website was originally conceived as a portal for all of the promotional browser mini-games previously used on Sega's game websites, but the idea was dropped due to the games' lack of depth. Instead, emulated versions of existing Sega Mega Drive games and several new Flash games produced by Mediatonic were launched on the website, integrated into an API that calculated high scores, leaderboard ranks, achievements, and payouts of the site currency, PlaySEGA Rings. While most of the games were Sega/Mediatonic-developed, several games from external developers were licensed by Sega and distributed on the site.
Sega Mega Drive
- Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
- Knuckles in Sonic 2
- Sonic & Knuckles
- Sonic 1 & Knuckles (Blue Sphere)
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles
- Sonic 3D Blast
- Sonic Spinball
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Several virtual items based on the Sonic the Hedgehog series were available in the Shop, including a blue Avatar t-shirt with the outline of Sonic's face and a Sega logo picture frame with Sonic standing in front of it.
- A Green Hill Zone-themed Escape was also exclusively available to VIP members.
- The PlaySEGA Rings used as the site's currency are the same Rings from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
- PlaySEGA goes live!. Mediatonic (15 October 2008). Archived from the original on 19 October 2008.
- Clumsyorchid (14 October 2008). SEGA America Blog - PlaySEGA is Live - Read All About It!. Sega. Archived from the original on 18 October 2008. Retrieved on 8 December 2020.
- PLAYSEGA - Vanquish Corporation. Vanquish Corporation (16 August 2015). Retrieved on 9 December 2020.
- Interview with Nick Pili, PlaySEGA. Gamezebo (29 January 2009). Retrieved on 8 December 2020.
- Mediatonic - PlaySEGA. Mediatonic. Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved on 8 December 2020.