We’re seeing the consequences of the abandoning of physical media. Titles are being taken away, right from under our noses, and we’re left wondering why. There are no warnings or explanations, just confusion when we suddenly go to look for a game and find it isn’t there. And that, my friends, is just plain wrong.
The fact that it’s happened three times now in the span of a single week only goes to prove what a problem it is now, and what a disaster it could grow to be. Since 2017 began, six games have become casualties to the passage of time. Codemasters’ Dirt 3, F1 2013, and Grid and Activision’s The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan have all turned to dust in the wind that blows out of your console or computer’s fan. Each one has been removed from every possible digital distribution service. While it may be understandable, it isn’t right. Especially since these removals were handled so poorly.
Of course, some may see these recent disappearances as no big loss. Dirt 3, F1 2013, and Grid are old games, while The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan aren’t particularly good ones. But that isn’t what matters here. By letting incidents like this happen and pass without saying anything, we’re condoning them. We’re saying it’s okay for games to suddenly be delisted and disappear, denying future players access to digital copies. It’s happening with games we may not care about now, but it could happen to ones that do matter to us in the months and years to come.