After requesting a subpoena from a federal judge to reveal the identities of 100 Steam users who maligned their products, Valve has chosen to remove all of Digital Homicide Studios’ titles from the Steam platform. Digital Homicide alleges that the users in question caused “personal injury” to him, the studio and its products through negative reviews and threats and is seeking $18 million through a lawsuit.
In an email response to Vice’s Motherboard site, Valve’s VP of marketing, Doug Lombardi, stated “Valve has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers”. You can read more on this developing story from Digital Homicide themselves, Motherboard, and TechRaptor who were among the first to break the story. The titles confirmed to be delisted include:
- Forsaken Uprising
- The Slaughtering Grounds
- Deadly Profits
- Temper Tantrum
- Medieval Mercs
- Devils Share
- Dungeons Of Kragmor
- Krog Wars
- Starship: Nova Strike
- Mini Attack Submarine
- Wyatt Derp 2: Peacekeeper
- Winged Knights: Penetration
- Withering Kingdom: Arcane War
- Wyatt Derp
- Gnarltoof’s Revenge
- The Decimation of Olarath
- Paranormal Psychosis
- Operation: Global Shield
- Attrition: Nuclear Domination
- Galactic Hitman
Many of these games and more from Digital Homicide are currently still available as PC downloads in an ongoing itch.io bundle.
At one time Interplay was a leading developer and publisher of PC and console video games on par with Electronic Arts and Activision. But after nearly going bankrupt, being acquired by Titus Software, settling a handful of lawsuits and launching a troubled Kickstarter the controlling parties have decided to sell off Interplay’s assets and IPs. The statement made by current President, Eric Caen, rings both hopeful and resigned.
” As game creators, we are proud of the entertainment these properties have provided over the years. With the proliferation of mobile, augmented reality, virtual reality and other new forms of consumption, we believe that consumers are ready to experience and interact with Interplay’s characters, stories and game play in ways never possible before. We look forward to seeing how this unique portfolio of interactive entertainment icons will evolve for the worldwide audience,” states Eric Caen, President of Interplay.
Wedbush Securities is handling the sale of intellectual properties which includes “70 titles and dozens of characters”. While the sale will hopefully result in exciting new titles it also means the end of licensing and publishing deals for Interplay’s current games. Based on their site and their catalog on Steam, Desura and GOG I’ve compiled this list of titles to keep an eye on. With IPs being sold off and Interplay presumably shutting down in 2017 the chances seem high that these titles will be delisted at some point:
Renegade Kid, one of the oldest indie studios I can personally think of, have announced that they’re shutting down the business after nearly ten years in the industry. Fortunately, this wasn’t due to any irreconcilable differences and co-founders Jools Watsham and Gregg Hargrove’s friendship and respect are still intact. So why the split? In an interview with Nintendo Life, the pair confirm that market conditions for a studio of their size was growing overwhelming.
“It has been a great financial challenge and an extreme workload for the entire team to maintain a balance between cash flow, staying competitive with our games, and spending quality time with our families and friends. Couple these realities with the desire to achieve personal goals, Gregg and I came to the difficult decision to each pursue solo ventures and close Renegade Kid.”
Now for the Delisted angle. In a move that could cause licensing problems down the line, ownership of Renegade Kid’s library has been split between two new studios, Watsham’s Atooi and Hargrove’s Infitizmo. Atooi will take on all of the existing 2D titles including Mutant Mudds and Treasurenauts while Infitizmo handles the 3D games like Moon and Dementium.
No delistings look to have occurred just yet but I’ve reached out to both studios for comment. For the time being I’ve marked this post for the Watch List.
Game Informer has received confirmation from Sega that Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse — the 2013 HD update of the Sega Genesis original — will be delisted “at the end of this week”. No exact date has been given so if you have any interest in the game, grab it as soon as you can.
It’s not hard to guess why the game is going away. It received mediocre reviews across most of the platforms it was released on and most obviously, it’s a Disney license. The cost for Sega to renew most likely outweighs any potential profit from keeping it around. While it’s sad to see it go we should be grateful for the advanced warning.
Here are links to the US versions of the game but check your local online shops if you’re outside of the States, the game was released in most major territories.
Over the past week Ubisoft has announced that it will be closing the books on four of its free-to-play titles and retiring online services for eight others. Shutting down on October 25th are The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, Tom Clancy’s EndWar Online and Might & Magic: Duel of Champions (already gone on consoles and iOS) with December 1st being the end for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantoms. Effective immediately all purchases of in-game currency have been stopped but players may continue to shop and spend their current balances. A blanket explanation for all four titles, written in somewhat broken English explains the decision succinctly:
“[Name of Game] was not as successful as we had hoped for, so we had to make the decision to close the game. This decision wasn’t easy for us and we tried to find other ways. But in the end we decided to close the game and focus on other projects.”
While the four titles above are being completely shut down eight others are losing online multiplayer, Uplay functionality and/or online connectivity like news feeds and stat tracking as of September 24th, 2016. These titles include:
- Call of Juarez 2: Bound in Blood
- Call of Juarez 3: The Cartel
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Raven Shield
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advance Warfighter 2
- Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2
Ubisoft’s cost cutting measures border on revisionist history as the websites, forums and even social media channels for these titles are also being removed by the end of the year. If you have any memorable conversations with players on the official forums you may want to take a few screenshots for posterity.
I’ll get the Watch List calendar updated and add individual pages for the four soon-to-be-delisted titles as soon as I can.
Sources: TrueAchievements, Polygon
For reasons as yet unknown Midway’s Xbox Live Arcade classic, Joust, has returned! Available for $4.99, Joust is even backward compatible on Xbox One so go grab it before it disappears again. The renewed license looks to span the globe as the game has also returned to Europe, Australia and Japan.
Doing a quick search of Xbox.com doesn’t turn up any other delisted Midway titles but if Joust can return so too could the other titles delisted alongside it back in 2010.
Sources: TrueAchievements, Major Nelson
It may be years away from a delisting but the newest Ghostbusters game from Activision for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam just made The Watch List. The developer, FireForge Games, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy amid a spiraling legal scandal that’s totally unrelated to Ghostbusters. Kotaku and GamesIndustry.biz can fill you in on the details, I’m just here to point out that a licensed game with no active developer is a prime mark for a delisting.
The game did make it to disc for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One so it won’t go extinct on consoles but the Steam version could eventually disappear completely. For anyone with a morbid interest in the negatively received game I think it’s safe to wait for a hefty markdown before buying. As a licensed game that isn’t directly tied to the new movie Activision could lash it to sequels and spin-offs of the legendary franchise for years.
After a brief advanced notice on July 27th from publisher KISS ltd both Guilty Gear X2 #Reload and Guilty Gear Isuka have been removed from Steam as of August 1st. Both titles had only been available since 2014 but according to KISS’s James Deputy they’ve been removed “due to the distribution rights reverting to the developer.” He adds that the delisting is “hopefully temporary” but doesn’t give any indication if KISS is seeking to renew the license with Arc System Works.
For the time being only Guilty Gear X2 #Reload remains available as a download exclusively for Xbox 360. Before you ask, no, it isn’t playable on Xbox One so you’ll have to dig out your 360 hardware or dig up a physical copy of the game on Xbox or PlayStation 2. Likewise, Guilty Gear Isuka was released on disc for Xbox and PlayStation 2.
After shutting down the development of Disney Infinity in May — along with the game’s developer Avalanche Software — the company announced their roadmap for the title’s availability and online services on Friday, July 29th. The timeline that Disney released is self-explanatory but the big news two-fold. Firstly, the PC, iOS, Android, Amazon, Apple TV, and Windows 8 & 10 versions of the game will all be unplayable by March 2017 or sooner. Secondly, the game’s community features and online play, arguably the most interesting aspects of Disney Infinity, will be removed from all versions of the game by September 30th, 2016.
I did a little digging through the Infinity FAQ and was able to detail some of the more vague points from their press release. The console and handheld versions of Disney Infinity (those for Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox platforms) will remain playable and available for download after March 3rd, 2017. Furthermore, game updates for those versions will also remain available so when you find a sealed copy at a yard sale in 2020 you can expect to download plenty of patches when you finally crack it open. Included in the “online services” that will be terminated by March 3rd are the stats, activities and player details for all versions of the game currently available on the Disney Infinity website.
Below is the full timeline released by Disney:
As of July 29, 2016
- No in-game purchases can be made within the PC, Steam version of Disney Infinity 2.0, iOS, Google Android, Amazon Android and Apple TV versions of the game as this feature has now been removed
- You can continue to make in-game purchases within the Steam version of Disney Infinity 3.0.
As of September 30, 2016
- You will no longer be able to log in to play the PC, iOS, Apple TV, Google Android and Amazon Android versions of Disney Infinity, these will no longer be available on the respective app stores
- The Steam versions of Disney Infinity 2.0 & 3.0 will remain operational with the exception of all online services and community features as these will be discontinued.
- The Disney Infinity Community team will no longer be reviewing or approving any new Toy Boxes that are submitted to Disney for all console, mobile and PC versions of the game. However if you are playing on any console, Apple TV or Windows 8/10 versions of the game, you can continue to download your favorite Toy Boxes from the Community Content section until March 3, 2017
As of January 3, 2017
- No in-game purchases can be made within the Windows 8/10 versions of the game as this feature will be removed
As of March 3, 2017
- Apple TV and Windows 8/10 versions will no longer be available, supported or playable
- All Disney Infinity online services and community features for all versions will be discontinued
I’ll add all these dates to the Watch List calendar and post again as each milestone gets closer.
Over on the delisted subreddit (unaffiliated, but still an awesome /r), user Goldentatertots confirmed on July 16th that Best Buy’s download codes for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game were still valid for the PlayStation 3 title. Just a few days later, however, another user replied that they were unable to purchase the code and Best Buy’s support claimed it was no longer available.
As of this writing the listing remains on Best Buy’s North American site for $14.99 with the ‘Online Multiplayer + Wallace’ DLC in tow for $4.99. GameStop.com was also selling download codes for the PlayStation 3 version of the game as recently as April but the page has since been removed.
If you’ve ever been interested in the game, now may be your last chance to grab it… if it isn’t already too late.
Ubisoft secured the Hasbro license way back in 2014 and have released a few games since but it looks like a big push is coming in August with three new titles. RISK: Urban Assault and Battleship are joined by a new version of delisted fan favorite, UNO. Complete with the terrifying capability to live video chat with random players, UNO offers classic play, new customizable “house rules” and naturally, Ubisoft branded themes and cards.
All three games are coming in the first two weeks of August to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with UNO also available on PC. Of course, I can’t help but wonder already who will pick up the Hasbro license next and how long these games will be available.
With the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon in November Nintendo is restructuring the existing Pokémon Global Link system that has been in operation since 2013. Support for Pokémon Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, Pokémon X and Y will be terminated in late October but some features will remain. The official site has all the details but Polygon summed it up succinctly in their post so I’m going to lean on them for a second.
“Services to be discontinued come October include Game Sync. This feature allows players to share medals and photos online, as well as collect items purchased with Poké Miles, an in-game currency. Players will also be unable to update their activity logs or engage in random matchup rating battles.
Popular features like the Global Trade System and Wonder Trade will remain available, however, and players will still be able to battle each other online and receive Mystery Gifts. These will stay open even after Sun and Moon launch this November.”
As a show of appreciation all Pokémileage Club items and Attractions will be 50% off from July 26th until the service shuts down in October. If you’ve got ‘em you might as well burn through those Poké Miles because they can’t be transferred to Sun and Moon once the Global Link returns in November.
You may not have noticed a lot of changes this week on the site aside from a few updated pages. That’s because I’ve been polishing up Delisted Games’ very own YouTube channel! It’s filling up slowly (our upload speed is pretty bad here) but it’s fleshed out and prettied up to the point I can start linking to it. Check it out.
I’ll eventually move all the delisted videos from my personal channel over to this one and add new recordings to it exclusively. For the games I can’t record myself I’ll upload a launch trailer, commercial or other marketing footage that I get a quality download for. I’m sure I’ll eventually think of some other style of video to record as well. Check out the channel, Like and Subscribe and all that jazz. It’s another way to help support the site so spread the word, I appreciate it.
When Microsoft announced the termination of Xbox Fitness for Xbox One at the end of June they were met with legitimate outcry by its users. According to the announcement even previously purchased workouts would be inaccessible when the service is shut down on July 1st, 2017. Commentors were directed to contact Xbox Support to inquire about a refund but Microsoft has since decided to automate the process.
The blog post was updated on July 5th with the following hastily written details:
- Every user that purchased Xbox Fitness content will be eligible to receive a credit in his or her Microsoft account for the value of the content purchased. Credits can be used to make purchases in the Xbox and Windows Stores.
- Credits will be deposited automatically into the accounts of Xbox Fitness users. An Xbox System Message will be sent at the time of deposit, viewable on Xbox One, Xbox.com or the Xbox on Windows application.
- Xbox Fitness users will receive their credit within 90 days and the credit will be available for use for one year from the day of deposit.
- The majority of Xbox Fitness users will receive the account credit directly in their Microsoft account. A small number of users, who including those who are not able to receive a deposit, will receive an Xbox system message with a code or some other form of equivalent value.
- As announced, beginning June 27, 2016 users will no longer be able to purchase programs and/or workouts. Xbox Fitness users who purchased workouts in the past will be able to play them until June 10, 2017
That last bullet point mentions June 10th as the cutoff but this is likely a typo and the original date of June 30th still stands. Microsoft seems very adamant about terminating Xbox Fitness but they’re finally doing right by its users who invested their money in paid workouts.
UPDATE July 6th, 2016:
Sega of America and Atlus USA announced today a new partnership with Deep Silver who will publish “the wide array of future titles for both physical and digital” in European and PAL territories. The wording is very future-forward however and PR copy goes out of its way to say “the past is the past”. The fate of Dragon’s Crown and other NISA releases in Europe remains uncertain but details of this alliance are still being divulged. The original post follows.
NIS America’s European releases have been on the chopping block since this past April and it looks like the axe has fallen first on Dragon’s Crown. The game was recently included in Sony Europe’s “Big in Japan” sale but reddit users soon discovered that the link to buy the game turned up an error. Word from NIS America’s European Twitter account initially stated that “our license expired for Dragon’s Crown and we were forced to remove it from the PSN store” but the tweet has since been removed and replaced.
“We sincerely apologize for the previous misinformation about Dragon’s Crown on EU PSN. We have more information forthcoming,” reads NIS America’s current statement. Direct replies to frustrated gamers urge them to contact Atlus. Some hours later, an Atlus rep told Eurogamer that they were looking at ways to get Dragon’s Crown reinstated but have no timetable to announce.
While NISA has long been the distributor of Atlus’s titles in Europe, the company was cut out of the loop when Sega acquired Atlus this Spring. Sega has since taken over distribution of Atlus titles in North America but neither company has announced any kind of support for other Western territories.
Dragon’s Crown may return to the PlayStation Store soon but now may be an opportune time to snap up some of NISA’s other European titles just in case they’re next to get the axe. Fortunately there’s a sale on and it includes practically all of NISA’s titles like Akiba’s Trip, Arcana Heart 3, Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters and Hyperdimension Neptunia.
I’m definitely keeping an eye on these releases once the “Big in Japan” sale is over on July 13th. A lot of games have disappeared shortly after being put on sale and Dragon’s Crown may have been an early tip-off that more delistings are coming.
Monday morning, June 27th, Trek Industries was made aware that their sci-fi action shooter ORION had been removed from Steam. According to a statement from David Prassel posted to the Steam Community page for ORION: Prelude — a precursor to ORION proper — the game was removed after Activision filed a DMCA takedown request.
As Prassel relays it in a Community post, “on behalf of Activision, who alleges that the game Orion uses weapon art content from Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The weapon art in question includes the M8A7 rifle, the Haymaker rifle, and the Bal-27 rifle.”
Prassel has made several additional posts in the 24 hours since the delisting. This has culminated in the announcement of an Indiegogo campaign to recoup the expected lost profits while the game is absent from the Steam Summer Sale. Meanwhile, interested parties on reddit have started a thread investigating Prassel’s actions and comments over the preceding days and weeks.
As the story around ORION’s delisting is very much still in flux I’m going to hold off on making a game page for now. It’s possible that it may reappear on Steam if the assets in question are removed and the game continues to be updated for those who still have access to it. Some of that info that reddit dug up could make this one of the site’s juiciest tales though.
Microsoft Studios announced on Monday, June 27th in a blog post that the Xbox Fitness app on Xbox One would be shutting down in just over a year on July 1st, 2017. Effective immediately, the sale of in-game content has been stopped but previously purchased workouts will remain available through the end of the service.
On December 15th, 2016 the “Free with Gold” offer expires which took some digging to unravel. What that means is that the free workouts and streaming of previously purchased workouts come to an end. If you want to keep up with your workouts for as long as possible you’ll need to dig into the app and choose to download them before December 15th.
Finally, on July 1st, 2017 the app and all associated content will no longer be available to anyone. Similar to other online-only releases like Karaoke, the Xbox Fitness app may still launch but even if you have downloaded workouts on your console you’ll be unable to access them.
Although you’ll always be able to play your disc-based copy of Tomonobu Itagaki’s Devil’s Third, Nintendo will be sucking out the most interesting part of the game by year’s end. Nintendo support has announced in all three major territories (Europe, Japan, North America) that they will be shutting down the online multiplayer service for the Wii U game between December 28th and 29th, 2016.
More immediately, the price of the digital eShop version of the title has been reduced from $59.99 to $29.99 and purchases of in-game “Golden Eggs” will no longer be offered as of June 27th. Nintendo gives only a passing thanks in place of an explanation but it’s not hard to tell why the decision was made. The game received favorable scores in Japan but in Western markets it was largely derided, ultimately hitting a Metacritic score of just 43/100. It was also released in limited quantities worldwide making the pool of online players even smaller.
“We are deeply thankful for all the players who have enjoyed Devil’s Third online multiplayer service, and thank you for your understanding regarding this decision,” reads the Nintendo of America support page that details the shutdown.
Amid complaints and frustrations with the campaign mode numerous reviews pointed out that the online multiplayer was fun, demanding and bizarre. It’s sad that this intriguing component of the console game is being stripped out but there’s still hope. Devil’s Third Online offers the same multiplayer mode on PC with expanded content and launched out of beta on June 8th in Japan. Published by Nexon, the launch announcement states that Itagaki and the team at Valhalla Game Studios are still working to bring Devil’s Third Online to global territories soon.
One of the most frequently lamented delistings is the Marvel vs. Capcom series. The games are readily available on disc and still being played in tournaments but the expired deal has left Capcom with no means to update the most frequently played title, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. There’s no news of a revival or a sequel but Polygon did confirm last week during E3 that Marvel Games is well aware of fan outcry.
“Let’s just say that we hear that [demand for a new MvC title] a lot,” said Marvel Games vice president Jay Ong, “We love our fans and we certainly want to please them. Beyond that we can’t say anything at this time. But who knows what the future holds?”
That’s not terribly promising, especially after Ong’s previous statement to Polygon that he has a “mandate to usher in a new era for Marvel Games” and “create truly epic games”. Revisiting a crossover fighting game series with an increasingly disregarded game company probably isn’t his idea of “epic” … but who knows what the future holds, right?
On Friday June 17th, just after the close of this year’s E3 show, Daybreak Game Company announced two upcoming server shutdowns and subsequent delistings. The first is the original PlanetSide which will be shutting down on Friday, July 1st at 4:00 PM PST.
Daybreak has continued to support the original game for fans who couldn’t or didn’t want to make the switch to PlanetSide 2 while continuing to update and expand the sequel. However, Daybreak looks to once again be tightening its belt and explained the decision in a post on the PlanetSide 2 site.
“PlanetSide 1 has a very important history with Daybreak Games and a special place in the hearts of those who work on its successor. While we have run the game for free since 2014, due to evolving business needs and technical requirements it has become necessary to conclude this service.”
Daybreak also announced on June 17th that Legends of Norrath, the collectible card game counterpart to the EverQuest universe will be shutting down on Wednesday, August 17th at 12:00 PM PST. The decision seems to be in line with the PlanetSide 1 shutdown which Daybreak explained in a post on the game’s official site.
“Legends of Norrath has not had an active development team for quite some time and in the best interest of our company and players, we have made the difficult decision to close the servers.”
The game is playable through a standalone client or from within EverQuest and EverQuest II. Loot rewards from Norrath are transferable to EverQuest characters and Daybreak is giving fans until Monday, July 18th to buy booster packs and monthly All Access Memberships to stock up before the shutdown. More details on how Daybreak is handling loot from Norrath are available on the game’s site.
Now for some speculation. Are these shutdowns just standard housekeeping or is this a more desperate grasp for Daybreak to stay profitable? Daybreak Game Company was founded just over a year ago when Sony sold their Sony Online Entertainment studio to investment firm Columbus Nova. Just two weeks ago the company appointed Jack Emmert as the new CEO of the Austin-based studio and three months before that they cancelled development of EverQuest Next which had been in the works since 2009.
The companion to EverQuest Next, the MMO sandbox title Landmark remains in active development alongside DC Universe Online, H1Z1 and PlanetSide 2. Daybreak also operates around thirty additional servers to support EverQuest and EverQuest II. Will the reclaimed resources from PlanetSide 1 and Norrath help buy Daybreak some time to build a new EverQuest from scratch? With the split from Sony the studio has already seen twenty delistings of console titles and retired numerous other MMOs before that. If things turn worse for Daybreak there are several dozen other titles that would be delisted in the wake of a closure.
I’ve added dates for PlanetSide 1 and Legends of Norrath to the Watch List calendar and you can find more delisted games from Daybreak/Sony Online Entertainment here.