[UPDATE 03/27/21] I gave Square’s titles a good look back when Kane & Lynch was pulled but I missed Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver in the mix. It was also delisted “temporarily” on Steam on February 25th for some “important updates”. Hopefully all three titles return with better performance soon.
[UPDATE 03/19/21] A reader pointed out that Square Enix also delisted Battlestations: Pacific on February 25th, leaving behind the same notice as Kane & Lynch. Discussion on the game’s Steam Community forums also suggests that Games for Windows Live is being patched out. Its predecessor, Battlestations: Midway remains on sale, notably released just before the launch of the GFWL tools. I did a quick check and found no other Square Enix titles that are delisted for the same reason.
Our original post from March 16th continues below:
I’ve never seen more specific wording in one of Steam’s copper-toned notifications than the one that currently accompanies Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. “Square Enix has temporarily removed this title from sale to work on some important updates. Please check back soon,” reads the tag at the top of the game’s Steam store page. Unfortunately the publisher hasn’t provided any more explanation since the game was removed from sale on February 25th, but the general consensus is that it’s due to the Games For Windows Live backend.
Like Rockstar, 2K, and other publishers have done in the past, this process would remove the hooks into Microsoft’s retired backend platform that, among other things, handles the redemption of product keys when someone buys the game. As games age and technology changes around them, the GFWL tools can also introduce new bugs or cause titles to outright crash. This is likely the situation that Kane & Lynch finds itself in nowadays and the game will hopefully return in short order. Meanwhile, the digital versions of the game are still available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 but kinda hard to search for thanks to varying use of “and” and “&” in the title. Thanks to @AlexKVideos1 for the tip.