Viewing Company : Criterion Games

A Tale of Two Blacks

Black, Criterion Games’ 2006 “gun porn” extravaganza, was just recently submitted to the site by a reader. I started doing my usual research and found that, sure enough, the Xbox 360 version has been delisted. But wait, has it? Digging around other storefronts revealed that it was still available through EA Access, and then I found that it was still listed on Microsoft’s Xbox One backward compatibility list with a link to buy.

More confused than when I started, I headed back and found two separate pages for the game. The original Games on Demand release still has no Buy link while the other listing does, and it also sports a much more recent release date of June 11th, 2019. I even fired up an Xbox 360 to check from the console side and found it readily available to buy (although I didn’t go through with the purchase to confirm).

The submitter mentioned that the last time that they saw Black was available via the older link was March 7th and that it was gone by June 29th. So it looks like Microsoft or EA had some reason in mid-June 2019 to relist the game as a separate new release. The developer is still listed as Criterion Games and the studio is very much active so it wasn’t because of them. Did something change in the way Xbox Originals pages are built on the site and thusly how they’re purchased through an Xbox console? Checking scans of the manual and the game’s end credits doesn’t confirm if real world gun manufacturers were licensed for the in-game “frankenguns” either. 

Oh, the questions one has to ask when researching delisted games. Since I don’t need to add the game to the site now I thought I’d post my “research notes” partly in reply to the person who submitted it, and to show some of the things I check to dig up details. Anybody want to join me? It’s fascinating and frustrating all at the same time.

Original Burnout Paradise multiplayer ends on August 1st

Criterion Games took to Twitter on April 17th to announce that multiplayer servers for the original 2008 versions of Burnout Paradise would be shut down on August 1st, 2019. The tweet pretty much says it all:

Burnout Paradise fans, after over 11.5 years of service, the servers for the original 2008 game will be closing on August 1st 2019. That affects Xbox 360, PS3 and PC versions. Offline play will still be available of course, and Burnout Paradise Remastered servers are unaffected.

That’s one incredibly long run for multiplayer servers, especially considering that Burnout Paradise Remastered has been out for over a year at this point. Perhaps they saw that the most active fans had already switched over to the remastered version? Whatever the case, we can only hope that online play for Remastered holds out even half as long as the original.

I’ve added the date to the Watch List calendar for anyone still trying to polish off those multiplayer Achievements and Trophies from last gen.