When video games began making the swap from bodily to digital, everybody knew there have been trade-offs. Digital downloads had been faster and extra handy, but additionally meant you didn’t fully personal the sport you obtain. You had been simply licensing it, making you topic to the whims and future solvency of the corporate behind it. These issues used to appear like faraway edge circumstances. Now we’re watching them play out in actual time, and Ubisoft is on the heart of the mess.
Final week, the French writer introduced it was axing over a dozen sports’ on-line DLC and multiplayer servers later this yr. That was on prime of the almost 100 Ubisoft video games which have already misplaced on-line content material of 1 sort or one other. Now the Far Cry maker has revealed that this mass “decommissioning” of content material reaches even additional, together with Steam customers shedding entry to a complete single-player Murderer’s Creed sport they already personal.
As noticed by Twitter user Nors3, a brand new discover on the Steam web page for Murderer’s Creed: Liberation reads: “On the request of the writer, Murderer’s Creed® Liberation HD is not accessible on the market on Steam. Please word this title is not going to be accessible following September 1st, 2022.” In line with SteamDB, the sport was being bought at a 75% low cost only a couple weeks in the past as a part of the most recent Steam Summer time sale, and a few gamers have taken to review-bombing the itemizing to vent their frustration.
Comparable notices have cropped up for a number of different Ubisoft video games, together with Silent Hunter 5: Battle and House Junkies. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and Splinter Cell: Blacklist have warnings that solely apply to their deluxe editions and DLC, although in Forgotten Sands’ case that features a digital copy of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.
Valve and Ubisoft didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark about whether or not this was an error or an oversight, although the latter tried to hyperlink it to its broader on-line server decommissioning initiative. “We don’t take the choice to retire companies for older Ubisoft video games calmly, and our groups are at present assessing all accessible choices for gamers who might be impacted when these video games’ on-line companies are decommissioned on September 1st, 2022,” Ubisoft informed Eurogamer in a press release.
In Murderer’s Creed: Liberation’s case, nevertheless, gamers are shedding entry to the single-player marketing campaign as nicely. The 2012 Murderer’s Creed III spin-off places gamers within the footwear of Aveline de Grandpré in New Orleans after the French and Indian Struggle. Initially a PS Vita unique, it featured the sequence’ first feminine protagonist. Two years later an HD model was ported to console and PC, the place it’s been accessible till now. Whereas it’s nonetheless accessible on the writer’s Ubisoft Join consumer, the one approach Steam customers will seemingly nonetheless be capable of entry it on Valve’s storefront is as a free add-on for 2019’s remaster of Assassins’ Creed III.
It’s turn out to be considerably commonplace for video games to be delisted from numerous storefronts. In some circumstances, like Bandai Namco’s crossover anime fighter Soar Pressure, it’s due to expired licensing agreements. In others, just like the current disappearance of previous Grand Theft Auto video games, it’s as a result of the writer needs to substitute them with remakes. In each circumstances it may be an enormous loss as gamers lose official entry to beloved and generally even historic video games.
What seems to be taking place with Murderer’s Creed: Liberation on Steam takes the preservationist nightmare even one step additional. Not solely is the sport gone from standalone buy, it is going to seemingly quickly be gone from individuals’s Steam libraries as nicely. Nothing lasts perpetually, and within the case of Murderer’s Creed: Liberation’s life on Steam, it didn’t even final a decade.