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News on upcoming delistings, server shutdowns, and studio closures. Anything that might signify an upcoming delisting will be posted here and may serve as a tentative page for a game until it is officially taken offline. This “platform” also covers any site news or happenings within the Delisted community.

Cliff Bleszinski announces Boss Key studio is no more; Lawbreakers & Radical Heights on the Watch List

Both of Boss Key Productions’ beleaguered titles have officially joined the Watch List today after founder Cliff Bleszinski, confirmed that the studio is “effectively no more” on Twitter. Lawbreakers was already on the block after the game failed to find an audience and elicited a harsh statement from publisher Nexon, but the studio’s battle royale-alike, Radical Heights, is seemingly just as bad off. Cliff’s full statement follows:

As of today, Boss Key Productions is effectively no more.

Four years ago I set out to make a world class video game studio and I hired some of the best talent in the videogame industry. They worked tirelessly to produce quality products and, while we had our ups and downs, I’d like to think we had fun doing it. LawBreakers was a great game that unfortunately failed to gain traction, and, in a last ditch attempt we scrambled to do our take on the huge battle royale genre with Radical Heights which was well received, however, it was too little too late.

As for myself, I’m going to take some time off and reflect. I need to focus on myself and family as well as my Aussie, Teddy, who is slowly fading from us. Videogames will forever be a part of who I am and I hope to make something new again someday, however, I need to withdraw and take this time.

To those of you who have supported myself and the studio these last for [sic] years, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart and everyone who came to work for me.

Please note that servers for Radical Heights will remain up for the near future.

Thanks again,

Cliff

There has been no more solid confirmation yet on what the “near future” means for either Lawbreakers or Radical Heights. The games’ social media accounts have yet to respond to the news but if you’ve ever had an interest, sooner rather than later would be a good time to check them out. Radical Heights is free-to-play on Steam and PC while Lawbreakers currently goes for $30 on both Steam and PlayStation 4.

Mafia debuted on GOG.com and returned to Steam in 2017

For such an often lamented delisting you’d think I would’ve caught word that Mafia returned to Steam (and finally debuted on GOG) late in 2017. Making its first appearance in the early 2000’s, it was a miracle that the game ever made it to Steam in the first place. Sadly, it was delisted just two years later due to its licensed 1920’s era soundtrack, and fans have been mourning the loss ever since.

Seriously, it’s right up there with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game for how often its removal is brought up. 2K Games finally put in the work to bring it back though, and while all of the licensed music has been excised from these 2017 releases, the experience is still intact. Psst! If you dig around the game’s forums you might find a guide on how to restore the music in the DRM-free GOG.com version, if you’re willing to put in the work.

I’ve updated its page on the site with more details but for the record, Mafia made its debut on GOG.com on October 20th, 2017 and returned to Steam on November 21st, 2017. If you’ve been mourning its loss you can even grab it for $7.49 on a GOG.com weekend sale that runs through 10pm UTC on Monday, May 14th. Sorry I didn’t get the news out there sooner!

Deformers removed from sale, online servers shutting down August 9th

Ready At Dawn, probably best known for the PlayStation 4 shooter The Order: 1886, have announced the end of sale and support for another of their original titles, Deformers. Despite being utterly adorable, the 2017 multiplayer arena brawler failed to take off with players on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. In a May 11th update to the game’s official site, the studio stated that Deformers was “no longer financially viable”, announced the end of sale on digital platforms, and confirmed that online multiplayer would end on August 9th, 2018. The full announcement follows:

After much deliberation, Ready At Dawn has made the difficult decision to shut down Deformers servers in its Western and European markets on August 9th, 2018. All development on the Western/European version of Deformers will cease effective immediately, and as part of this transition, all physical and digital purchases of Deformers and real-money Strand Pack purchasing will be disabled.

Beginning today, all Workshop items will be available for free so that everyone has the chance to unlock all Forms and Styles for continued use in offline play. We will also be automatically unlocking all Forms and Styles for all accounts prior to the server shutdown.

To our Deformers Community,
Thank you for supporting us in pursuing our passion project. It isn’t often that a team gets that opportunity, and in the process also has the fortune to meet such wonderful and passionate players to join us on our journey. You’ve shared in our challenges and encouraged us along the way with your inspiring messages, artwork,and wonderful videos. We couldn’t have come this far without you. As painful as it was, we had to make a very difficult, but necessary, decision when it became clear that Deformers was no longer financially viable in the West and in Europe. This decision will allow us to keep providing the best play experience as possible for our other games and also enable us to continue to bring you new and exciting games in the future.

We thank you again for your continued support, and we encourage everyone to play and have fun with the game in the time remaining.

Thank You,
The Deformers Team

The game and its contentious real-money “Strand Packs” have already been removed from sale on Xbox but as of May 13th they remain available to buy on Steam, and on PlayStation 4 in Europe and North America. The game is also available on physical media and as of this writing Amazon is still offering a download code for the Xbox One version.

Local, offline multiplayer will be all that remains in the game after August 9th, although reviews paint it as an extremely limited mode with non-existent A.I. bots. Deformers has been added to the Watch List calendar and I’ll have a page up on the site for it soon.

Thanks to  GamerFirebird90 for submitting this information to the site.

Loadout also shutting down May 24th in advance of GDPR

Loadout is the next older game from a small studio to fall victim to the encroaching GDPR. In a farewell post on the game’s Steam page, Edge of Reality CEO Rob Cohen announced that the game would be shut down on May 24th, the same day the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect. The full post follows with plenty of details:

I’m very sad to announce that Loadout’s end of service will be on 5/24/2018. Thanks to everyone who made Loadout possible!

The Loadout Community
I hear from fans who passionately love Loadout every day. It started when we began closed beta in back in 2012, and it never stopped. Over 9 million people have played Loadout since then! There was never any question that Loadout was special. I’m deeply grateful to all you players who contributed your time, energy, creativity, and feedback. You’re the main reason I wish Loadout could live on. Maybe someday Loadout will return, but for now, it will go offline on 5/24/2018.

The Loadout Team
An incredible amount of talent, passion, and hard work went into Loadout. I’m still awed by your work! This includes everyone at Edge of Reality. Practically everyone at EOR contributed to Loadout in one way or another, whether directly or indirectly, and everyone deserves to share in the credit for what we accomplished. I still cheer for your many continued successes in work and life after EOR.

Our Friends at Playfab, Steam, and PlayStation
Thanks for all your help!

Why now?
Loadout just received a few death blows. Any one of these could have been fatal, but with all of them hitting at once, it’s clear that we have no choice but to shut it down.

GDPR
The well-intended GDPR legislation creates major burdens for small companies to do business in the EU, starting on 5/25. We don’t have the resources to update Loadout to GDPR compliance, and a big portion of Loadout players come from the EU. Sadly, while big companies have the resources to comply with the GDPR, that’s not always the case for small businesses. We still protect your privacy, and we wouldn’t dream of doing otherwise. We just don’t have the resources to overhaul Loadout and implement new features to meet a large list of new requirements.

Cloud end of service
Loadout depends on an old product from our main cloud provider, and that product is also ending service. I can’t speak for them, but GDPR may also be a factor. Porting Loadout to use their new product is a major undertaking, and we don’t have the resources to do that.

Rising costs
Other cloud products recently getting discontinued are resulting in much higher server costs, while Loadout’s revenues stay flat. This just put Loadout deep into the red, losing an alarming amount of money per month.

So, enjoy your last moments of Loadout, and record them for posterity!

Until next time,

Rob

The free-to-play game has already been removed from both Steam and PlayStation 4 but those who had previously downloaded it can continue playing until the end. The date has been added to the increasingly crowded Watch List calendar and a page for the game will be up on the site soon.

The Pinball Arcade loses all Midway/Bally tables on June 30th

Thanks to an anonymous submission this morning, we have the sad news that FarSight Studios will be removing all Williams and Bally pinball tables from their digital pinball platform, The Pinball Arcade. The full announcement follows but basically: grab these tables before June 30th before they’re pulled out of every version of the game. 

Our longstanding licenses for the Williams and Bally pinball trademarks will finally come to an end on June 30th, 2018. Therefore, after this date tables from these manufacturers will no longer be offered for sale within the Pinball Arcade. However, customers who purchased any of these tables prior to the deadline will continue to own them and have access to them within the Pinball Arcade, and we will continue to support them as we do the other tables in our collection. This change will affect all of our devices and platforms.

So if you’ve ever been interested in owning these great tables, please purchase them now, before they disappear!

FarSight will continue to release new tables for the Pinball Arcade. We are excited to announce that Season 8 will launch later this summer and will feature all of the recent Stern tables in Stern Pinball Arcade along with several new tables.

We’d like to sincerely thank all of our customers and fans over the past decade. Your amazing support of our game has helped build the Pinball Arcade into the greatest pinball simulation of all time. Pinball forever!

FarSight has been surprisingly forthcoming in the replies to this post and on Twitter. In one response they explained that part of the licensing deal prohibits them from putting the tables on sale so there can be no last-minute discount this time around. FarSight also sought to renew the license but according to another comment “The company that controls the WMS IP chose not to renew our agreement”.

The most revealing comment explains that this upcoming license expiration was the reason that The Pinball Arcade was released and removed from the Nintendo Switch eShop within a few hours. FarSight later confirmed that the game will be back on the Switch soon but that the release will happen after the Williams/Bally tables have been removed. In a subsequent post on Facebook, FarSight listed all 61 of the tables that will be removed after June 30th and it’s a depressing doozy:

Attack from Mars
Banzai Run
Black Knight
Black Knight 2000
Black Rose
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Cactus Canyon
Centaur
Cirqus Voltaire
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Cyclone
Diner
Doctor Who
Dr. Dude & HIs Excellent Ray
Earthshaker
Eight Ball Deluxe
Elvira and the Party Monsters
F-14 Tomcat
Fathom
Fireball
Firepower
Firepower II
Fish Tales
FunHouse
Gorgar
High Speed
Hurricane
Indianapolis 500
Jack Bot
Judge Dredd
Junk Yard
Medieval Madness
Monster Bash
No Fear: Dangerous Sports
No Good Gofers
Paragon
PIN•BOT
Red and Ted’s Road Show
Safe Cracker
Scared Stiff
Sorcerer
Space Shuttle
Spanish Eyes
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Swords Of Fury
Tales of the Arabian Nights
Taxi
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The Addams Family
The Champion Pub
The Getaway: High Speed 2
The Machine: Bride of Pin•Bot
The Party Zone
Theatre of Magic
Twilight Zone
Whirlwind
White Water
WHO Dunnit
Wild Card
World Champion Soccer
Xenon

Wii U downloads of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze put on ice?

Leading up to the May 4th release of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the Switch, one redditor decided to revisit the original title on Wii U this week and found it was missing from the eShop. I did a quick check and, sure enough, the “Buy Digital” link has been removed… but only in North America. The game is still available to download from both Nintendo Europe and Japan.

While the thinking is that the game was delisted in a nefarious push to get consumers to buy the more expensive Switch port, Archive.org shows it may have been removed a while ago. The last capture from February 25th is missing any reference to the eShop version. The latest capture that shows the download was available is from all the way back in October of 2017.

There’s still a lot of unaccounted for space between all of these dates so I’m going to wait before adding the game to the site in case this was all a big mistake. Maybe it’ll pop back up, say, a week after the Switch port has been out? I’ll circle back then and update. For now, the Wii U version remains available on physical media at around $30 in North America.

Sources: USgamer, Reddit

Super Monday Night Combat shutting down in advance of GDPR

As if licensing deals, trademarks, and bankruptcies weren’t enough to threaten a game’s existence, we now have the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) that could impact any online-enabled game. The first casualty is Uber Entertainment’s Super Monday Night Combat which the studio had managed to keep running since 2012 despite having under 200 daily players for years.

The cost to update the game to comply with the GDPR is simply too much to justify that small of a playerbase. Uber Entertainment posted to the game’s Steam Community on April 26th to announce that the game would be removed from sale immediately and that the servers would be shut down on May 23rd, 2018, the day before the GDPR goes into effect. The full announcement follows:

We want to thank all of you for your support of Super Monday Night Combat. Your passion is what made this game a pleasure to work on.

However, due to the upcoming European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline which is May 24th, we are sad to announce that we will be shutting down SMNC on that day. The game will remain active through May 23rd, 2018. Once our servers have been taken down, you will no longer be able to play SMNC in any game mode, so please make sure to get those matches in while you can.

As a special thank you to everyone that is still playing, from now until May 22nd, 2018, we will be giving you a gift of $10,000 of in-game currency. In order to get this, please contact our support team by emailing support@uberent.com or opening a ticket at http://support.uberent.com/ and be sure to include your ubernet login name. The support team will respond to your request as soon as possible.

Once again, thank you for your continued support and passion and we look forward to seeing you all again in our other games.

Speaking to Polygon, Uber explained a bit more about the legacy netcode that Super Monday Night Combat is built on and the work it would take to update the game.

“Uber […] said Super Monday Night Combat uses an older version of its multiplayer back-end system (called UberNet) that is not GDPR compliant. Making it compliant would require either rewriting large parts of that system or porting Super Monday Night Combat to Microsoft’s PlayFab platform. In both cases, Uber said, the cost of doing so exceeds the budget allocated to the now six-year-old game.”

I’ll have a page for the game up soon and the May 23rd deadline added to the Watch List calendar.

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is back on sale on Xbox 360

Ubisoft doesn’t seem to be quite finished with Call of Juarez: Gunslinger just yet. After being delisted alongside Call of Juarez: The Cartel on March 30th, Gunslinger has returned to sale, at least on Xbox 360. The game returned no later than April 10th and has returned in all territories (AU, EU, JP, US).

The Steam version was last updated on April 4th, indicating it may return soon while the PlayStation 3 versions remain unavailable. Download codes for PlayStation 3 remain available through Amazon and the game can still be purchased in a bundle with Far Cry Blood Dragon on the European PlayStation Store.

My Ace Combat Infinity farewell playlist begins

You might’ve briefly seen this post a few weeks ago at the end of February when I still had access to my main YouTube channel. That’s where my delisted videos started but due to an unfortunate mishap (which YouTube has yet to respond to) all of that has gone away. I’m still hopeful it’ll be reinstated one day but for now my delisted videos live on their own channel. Ok, updated post commences:

Despite having now written about hundreds of delisted games, it’s still a rare occurrence for me to be actively playing one when the makers announce its end. The latest on that short list is Ace Combat Infinity, Namco’s free-to-play iteration of the arcade flight shooter that’s been up and running since 2014. With the Project Aces team now fully committed to the upcoming Ace Combat 7, the time has come to spin down Ace Combat Infinity. It’s a sad but understandable decision.

I’m no Ace myself (and still fly some low-to-mid tier aircraft) but that didn’t stop me from recording as much as I could before the end. It’s all rolling out over the next few weeks in a Delisted Special Series playlist that will be updated every day. First up is a little refresher for myself and an overview of the game for anyone new to the title. It’s a first-boot situation, seeing the shutdown announcement for the first time before navigating through the game’s gargantuan upgrade and unlock systems.

The next eight days will feature the game’s campaign missions where classic Ace Combat scenarios are retooled around a short new story. These are all commentary-free and I use the default aircraft for as pure an experience as possible. After that I’ll roll out several of the game’s Online Co-Op and Team Deathmatch missions which I recorded in an attempt to capture each of the unique missions, modes, and locations.

Finally, there’s one video from my last night with the game where I’m on the mic, airing all my parting thoughts while trying (and failing) to connect to a match. Absolutely last is a brief “what remains” clip of what happens when you boot the game up after it’s been shut down.

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger and The Cartel delisted

Thanks to Twitter follower ElvisWV for pointing out Wario64’s tweet that Call of Juarez: Gunslinger had been delisted on March 30th. In digging up the details I discovered that Gunslinger’s predecessor — the critically maligned, 2011 release Call of Juarez: The Cartel — had also been delisted on the same day.

Gunslinger, the better of the two titles, is currently only available from Ubisoft’s uPlay store where it and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood are on sale for 75% off. Amazon is still hanging onto some download codes for the PlayStation 3 version but those may dry up pretty quickly. Friend of the site, T87, also pointed out that Gunslinger is still available on PlayStation 3 in Australia and Europe in a bundle with Far Cry: Blood Dragon.

The Cartel will forever be available on physical media for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 although Ubisoft would apparently like to wipe it from history. I couldn’t find an official ubi.com URL for the game outside of a few pre-launch press releases. Even PlayStation.com is lacking a page for the game, physical or digital.

As for the reasoning, well, it’s a mystery. The game pages offer a few theories but I’m personally inclined to go with the notion that Ubisoft is trimming the fat, dropping whatever costs they incur from maintaining the games’ availability and support, leading up to the end of the fiscal 2017 year. Whatever the case, Gunslinger is the big loss here and if Ubisoft stops selling it once their sale ends it’ll be officially Extinct.

Grab it while you can, where you can!