61 video games have been ‘delisted’ from Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade service to date. Some, such as the recreations of pithy 80s arcade games like Defender, Robotron 2084, Double Dragon and Gauntlet are readily available to play in compendiums elsewhere or, if you’ve the budget, on their original cabinets. But others, such as Microsoft’s experimental virtual game show 100 vs 1 or Sumo Digital’s elegant tribute to arcade racing games OutRun Online Arcade or Double Fine Happy Action Theater (a game designed by Tim Schafer as a way for his two-year old daughter to interact with a TV screen) are no longer available to buy anywhere. These video games may be lost forever in the ebb of digital distribution’s uncaring tide.
Microsoft is evasive on the reasons behind the disappearances. Pressed on the issue a spokesperson provided the following tepid statement: “We work closely with our development partners to ensure that gamers have access to great titles through Xbox Live, which sometimes includes the removal of content due to expired rights and licensing or other circumstances specific to developer/publisher terms.”
Steam has made their marketplace a bit more user-friendly by streamlining the process of pre-order refunds. Customers will no longer need to contact Valve directly or wait for an email response in order to get their money back on an unreleased title. Because let’s face it, we’ve all suffered buyer’s remorse on a PC game that’s coming out six months from now.
ValveTime has noticed the change, finding a “Refund an item” button available for any pre-order title.
A source familiar with the late-night talk show’s practices said that about a quarter of the games featured on Conan’s Clueless Gamer segment were paid endorsement deals.
Speaking with Re/code, a spokeswoman for Red Barrels, the studio behind the horror game Outlast, said that the developer paid $35,000 to be featured on the show.
Conan O’Brien spoke favorably about Outlast, but less so of two other horror games that were featured in the same episode: Parsec Production’s Slender: The Eight Pages and Frictional Games’ Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Both Parsec and Frictional said that they did not pay to appear on the show.