Metal Max, the long running RPG series with entries dating back to 1991 has passed through the hands of numerous developers and publishers over the decades. Most of the series remained exclusive to Japan until 2018’s Metal Max Xeno which was published on PlayStation 4 and Vita across the Western world by NIS America.
The series’ ownership and licensing has been a slippery issue for decades and it seems that things are changing again. The original Metal Max for the Famicom, available digitally on the 3DS Virtual Console in Japan, will be delisted alongside 2013’s Metal Max 4 on the eShop on June 29th. The news comes from @StarlacUK who pointed out a recent Japanese eShop notification revealing the date. Meanwhile, @PlaneteVITA tweeted that the PlayStation Vita release of Metal Max Xeno will be delisted from the PlayStation Store in Japan on June 30th.
Although Kadokawa Games remains credited on all digital versions of the games it seems that something has changed regarding their licensing of these older titles. While Metal Max Xeno Reborn was just released on June 10th for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Steam across Western territories, that entry has been out in Japan and Asian regions since 2020 where it was also handled by Kadokawa.
With new releases just now hitting the West it’s odd to see these older delistings when so many original parties are still involved. Perhaps the issue falls on Crea-Tech, series creator Hiroshi Miyaoka’s original development team, but it’s hard to tell for sure right now.
Although there’s been no confirmation so far it seems likely that NIS America’s Western release of Metal Max Xeno will also be delisted with Metal Max Xeno Reborn out now from PQube. It’s pretty rare for two versions of basically the same game to remain on sale from two different publishers for long. So with all this in mind, here’s the rundown on what and where to find Metal Max currently:
To be Delisted June 29/30
- Metal Max – Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console (JP)
- Metal Max 4 – Nintendo 3DS eShop (JP)
- Metal Max Xeno – PlayStation Vita (JP) [Retail (JP)]
Potential Upcoming Delisting
Latest Released Version
- Metal Max Xeno Reborn – Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
I’ve added the date for the 3DS and Vita delistings to the Watch List calendar and will have pages up on the site later.