Red Candle Games titles added to Harvard-Yenching Library collection

Delisted nearly one year ago today, Devotion from Red Candle Games was taken offline after an incriminating poster was found in the title depicting China’s President Xi Jinping as “Winnie-the-Pooh moron”. While the game has yet to return to sale there will soon be at least one place where you can play it: at Harvard. The developer announced that both Devotion and Detention have been added to the Harvard-Yenching Library’s collection in a statement posted to Facebook on February 21st:

“This February, the Harvard-Yenching Library at Harvard University officially added both of our titles ‘返校 Detention’ and ‘還願 Devotion’ to its collection. It is an incredible honour which belongs to not only Red Candle but also our supporters/players worldwide. Special thank to the invitation from Harvard-Yenching Library and the assistance from James Cheng, Prof. David Der-wei Wang, Xiao-he Ma, and Yedong Chen for making it possible.

Harvard-Yenching Library, formally founded in 1928, is known as the largest Eastern Asian library maintained by any American university. As game designers, never have we thought that our works could one day be added to its prestige collection. While we truly appreciate the recognition, we had also taken this opportunity to rethink the possibilities that our games could achieve.

For the past one year, we are sorry for making our community worried. Although the current status might not be ideal, we are still here and that nothing has changed – we are and will always develop games with the same passion.

Last but not the least, we’d like to express our gratitude toward our partners, friends and families, especially a big thank you to all fans who still believe in Red Candle Games. It’s a tough year for many of us, but we will keep going, and hopefully in the future we could share more works with you all.”

Devotion has yet to be listed among the library’s vast offerings but Detention (which is still available to buy on Steam, Switch, PlayStation 4, and mobile) can be played from a single display in a single room on the library grounds. Hopefully Devotion will soon be at its side making for a unique delisted road trip opportunity.

Grand Theft Auto IV returns to Steam and PC in March

When Rockstar Games removed Grand Theft Auto IV from Steam in early January – due to the Games For Windows Live backend that was still powering its online functionality – the publisher promised that they were “looking at other options for distributing” the game on PC. As of last week it appears they found a solution in the form of Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition which will launch on Steam and the Rockstar Games Launcher on March 19th. 

“We are making a number of changes to make sure players who own Grand Theft Auto IV and GTA: Episodes from Liberty City can continue to enjoy these games,” begins Rockstar’s extensive explanation of what this new release means for the GTAIV experience on PC. The full announcement follows:

New Players
Starting 03/19/2020, Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition will replace both Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City wherever it is currently digitally available. Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition will as also be available via the Rockstar Games Launcher. Current game save files will be compatible with Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition.

As a result of this update the following services will no longer be available in Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition:

  • Games for Windows Live
  • Multiplayer mode
  • Leaderboards

The following Radio Stations will be temporarily unavailable in Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition

  • RamJam FM, Self-Actualization FM, and Vice City FM (previously available in Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City)

Note: Because Japanese is a supported language for Grand Theft Auto IV, but is not supported for Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, players will continue to be able to play Grand Theft Auto IV with Japanese sub-titles but will need to select another language in order to play Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City.

Current Players
Players who have previously installed and played Grand Theft Auto IV or Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City will be able to update their copy to Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition through the following means:

Steam Users
Depending on the game, players on Steam will need to install or update their current game:

  • Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City will be removed and replaced with GTAIV: Complete Edition in the launcher library. Update file size is expected to be approximately 22GB
  • Grand Theft Auto IV owners will download content from Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City and their game will update to GTAIV: Complete Edition. Update file size is expected to be approximately 6GB 

Physical Media

  • Games not previously activated using Games for Windows Live will be able to use the Key on the back of the game manual to activate and update to Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition

Games for Windows Live Digital Store Purchases

  • Games previously activated using Games for Windows Live will require players to create and/or link their Social Club accounts in replacement of Games for Windows Live to update to Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition

Note: New activations from players trying to install current copies of Grand Theft Auto IV may be disrupted until Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition is available. All users will need to be connected to the internet and authenticate their copy of the game.

It’s good to see the game coming back in a comprehensive package that’s directly under Rockstar’s control but the loss of multiplayer seems like a pretty major loss. This also means that the original Steam versions of GTAIV and Episodes from Liberty City are gone for good unless you purposefully keep the titles from taking the new updates.

Shutdowns vs. Delistings: A Feature still on the horizon

I’m still catching up on submissions from 2019 and got to one that also had a feature request for the site. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while: offering a separate category or page to view games that were shut down as opposed to being removed from sale. However, it’s still on the horizon as far as site updates go. 

To me, gone is gone and right now I’d still prefer focusing on adding games to the site over categorizing their tombstones. To that end, I still think and both have fantastic collections of dead games if anyone is looking to focus on that specific cause of death. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to offer categories for all varieties of delistings and shutdowns but it would take a lot of work to add new classifications to the game pages. GIven that my time with the site has been limited since last Fall and is questionable for the foreseeable future, I’m going to continue to focus on new game pages and news when I have the chance.

MLB The Show 16 loses online features July 28th

Joining its predecessors, MLB The Show 16 on PlayStation 3 and 4 will lose its multiplayer and online features as of July 28th. The brief notice has been added to the game’s page but has not appeared on Sony Europe’s decommissioned servers site.

*Multiplayer and all online features for this product will be decommissioned and will no longer be available on July 28, 2020.

The game remains available to purchase both digitally from the PlayStation Store and of course, on physical media. I’ve added the date to the Watch List calendar. Thanks to @MckissickAllen for pointing out this news.

Spelunker World on PlayStation 4 shutting down July 29

Tozai Games announced on January 29th that their free-to-play PlayStation 4 title Spelunker World will become unplayable at the end of July. Downloading the game and purchasing it’s in-game currency was disabled the same day, and although you can play the entire thing solo, once the servers are shut down the game will no longer be accessible to anyone.

First, we would like to thank all the spelunkers who have supported and enjoyed our SPELUNKER WORLD. It is with heavy hearts that we will be concluding the service for SPELUNKER WORLD as of July 29th 2020, 8:00 PM (PDT). Below is the planned schedule regarding the end of service:

January 29, 2020, 7:00 PM (PST): Notice about service conclusion. (This notice.) 

January 29, 2020, around 7:00 PM (PST): The Game and all Moon Gems will be removed from the PS Store, and in-app purchases will be disabled. * New Moon Gems will not be able to be purchased, but Moon Gems already purchased before the end of Moon Gem sales can be used until the end of the service.

July 29, 2020, 8:00 PM (PDT): Service end. 

Since the release of SPELUNKER WORLD in November 2015, we appreciate and thank all of the players who have supported our game, and hope everyone continues to enjoy spelunking during the remaining time of the service.

Tozai has re-enabled as many of the game’s timed events and unlockable gear as possible for players who already have the game installed. 

On a personal note, this one hits me especially hard as Spelunker World was one of the reasons I got a PlayStation 4 in the first place. I worked my way through the Japanese version and when it was released in English I did it all over again. I haven’t played since 2016 but I’m going to try to find the time to give it a fitting revisit before it’s gone.

For now I’ve added the date to the Watch List calendar and will get a page up on the site in due time. Thanks to @MckissickAllen for pointing out this news.