All views and opinions in this article are by @DFizzlio2.
An all digital future is something that’s been speculated about and discussed for many years. Digital distribution has made things quite convenient for games over the years, and it’s only logical to assume that an all-digital future is imminent. However, that line of thinking holds many dangers, some hidden and others not so hidden and the game that point perfectly is none other than Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game released for Xbox 360 and PS3 in mid 2010. It was a 2.5D side scrolling beat-em-up with a great soundtrack, phenomenal art, and superb game play. It however, was only available through the Xbox Live Arcade, and Playstation Network and was delisted in December of 2014 without warning. Poof! Just like that, a game beloved by many, a game that dozens of people poured their blood sweat and tears into was gone overnight.
Similar situations have happened before, and even more have happened since (Silent Hills’ P.T. Demo comes to mind) but this was the time that hit me the hardest, and I feel that it was the most poorly handled.
In most cases, announcements like these involve the shut down of old servers of at least have some form of advanced notice to accompany it, but not here. The game was less than 5 years old, sold well, and had absolutely zero notification as to what was about to go down. Even the creator of the graphic novel was upset and has attempted to try to obtain the rights to re-release the game, but as of this writing, nothing has come out of those efforts.
Let’s not let the convenience of digital distribution distract us from the dangers it brings with it. It’s good to have as an option, but given the choice I’ll choose physical media any day of the week.
Of course, things don’t have to keep progressing this way. It’s absolutely possible that in a few years time, these issues will be a thing of the past. However, with the recent erasure of WiiWare games, and even Sony delisting DriveClub, I fear this is only going to get worse before it gets any better.