The Disappointment of Digital Distribution

in gaming •  4 months ago

Well, hello there, dear steemians! I really want to talk about something I find really concerning about digital distribution. For this post I will focus on the PlayStation 3 Store.

So, as the peasant that I am, this year I tried buying some older games for my PlayStation 3, more exactly Killzone 2, Asura's Wrath, and Silent Hill: Downpour. Yes, I know, some are good, some are arguably bad, but that is not the point, at least not at this moment. Oh, the problem I want to discuss is kinda equivalent to erasing these games from history in the digital age. These four games are not available as digital purchases on the United Kingdom PlayStation Store.

Indeed, you can purchase the DLC for Killzone 2, which is multiplayer only, which is a really stupid thing you could do, because the multiplayer servers were taken down on 28th of March, 2018. You can literally burn a total of 25 GBP on content which will take space on your console and which you will never see, because nobody bothered to take it off the market.

There is a silver lining with the DLC still being available in the case of Asura's Wrath, because it consists of more singleplayer episodes. So, even if they did stop selling said games, and they did not bother to filter out bricked DLC, at least you can get the full story of singleplayer games (it would have been nicer if there was no singleplayer DLC at all, but I'll take this middle road).

Silent Hill: Downpour has got the roughest treatment, being completely delisted from the PS Store, as if the game has taken a one-way trip to the titular town and never returned.

Other games are also missing in action, like Heavenly Sword and Condemned 2: Bloodshot, which are utterly lost, at least for me, since I can not track down physical copies of those games. This is quite bloody infuriating, because I am certainly not the only one who is unable to play certain games which are exclusive to the bloody PS3, so, you would think Sony would take greater care of games which you can't really play anywhere else (except Condemned 2, which is also on Xbox 360).

My hypothesis is that some of these games were removed from sale to encourage people to get a PS Now subscription, as Heavenly Sword is available thorough that service, but Killzone 2 is not here either! Did they decide that game should retroactively not exist anymore? I do not know what this clusterfuck is, but it does not bode well for the future of digital distribution as a whole. Neither did the shutdown of the dreadful Games for Windows Live, taking with it entire games from PC players, and I am sure the Xbox division has some shady shit going on too. Also, I remember OnLive being very popular, popular enough that Assassin's Creed Brotherhood had Uplay support on OnLive, and now here we are, only dust remaining.

In the end, I should mention that I like the idea of digital distribution services, removing the need to search through retail stores for certain games, but, ironically, I was forced to do exactly that for a few titles mentioned above. Hurrah for progress!

This debacle has reminded me of Ross Scott's video about Darkspore. You will see what I'm talking about if you watch it.

Sources: cover, Killzone 2 screenshot taken by me, Asura's Wrath screenshot taken by me, 1, 2.

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Agreed, a matter of no small concern. I imagine it'll be tough for even dedicated archive projects to be able to keep some of this stuff


This has actually made me to think about archiving, to be completely honest. It really scares me that it is really that simple to kill a game. Also, let's not forget about the online only games, like MMOs, which when closed down, they are dead in the water.

I loved your post about the digital distribution, you're absolutely right about the frustration that gives the suspending of the physical sales, as an example, I have a Classic Xbox and all the games are discontinued for physical sailing so I only have the choice to download it and burn a DVD to play any game that I want.

You have my vote and support, keep doing a great work.