In a brief blog post by Capcom, an announcement has been made that DuckTales: Remastered will be leaving all digital storefronts and no longer purchasable from August 8 onwards. Those who have already purchased the game need not worry, since it can still be accessed as normal, and can still be purchased until that date.
Until that time, the game is listed at 75% off its standard price. No reason has been given for the removal of the game, but as it is occurring on all platforms at roughly the same time, we can assume this is simply a matter of licensing, where Capcom no longer has the authority to sell passed a certain date.
The game will still be available on the following platforms for purchase until the following dates.
- Wii U – August 9, 4:59 PM PDT
- PlayStation 3 – August 9, 8AM PDT
- Xbox 360, Xbox One (via Backwards Compatibility) – August 8, 5 PM PDT
- Steam (PC) – 4:59 PM PDT
However, these times are approximate, so waiting until the last moment to make a purchase may result in the item being unavailable sooner than expected.
The news comes as a surprise, but at the same time, it's a situation we seem to be seeing more and more often in the digital world. At least in this particular case, the game is still available for download, and also received a physical release.
Sadly, we have recently seen cases where this has not always been true. Marvel Heroes, also known as Marvel Heroes Omega, was a free-to-play MMOARPG by Gazillion Entertainment that was enjoyed by many players who spent considerable amounts of money on in-game items. In 2017, the game was announced to be shutting down later that year, and then, closed up early, cutting players off sooner than expected. That's not even getting into games like Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault or, most infamously, Kojima's misbegotten PT.
What happens to online games when they are shut down? It's an interesting point to consider with regards to in-game purchases. One assumes a game will be around for a while, especially something like a Marvel title, which is one of the most recognizable brands currently in the world. Still, if we as consumers prioritize digital games and items over hard copies, it seems to be an inherent risk.
For now, DuckTales: Remastered is still accessible, but ten years down the road, or twenty, should consumers still have the ability to download their purchases? From a consumer point of view, the answer should be a resounding "yes." But if the servers are not maintained to access such content, there is little one can do, and likely no one to enforce such behavior.