May 21, 2022

De-listed games and games as art

Spencer Hunt

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Video Games. Some call them mindless entertainment, others call them the spawn of Satan, and others still call them art. In the end, they’re made for the same reason as any other form of entertainment media, to make money. Which is a shame, considering the current state of video games. They’re a form of entertainment like any other, and they can have artistic qualities easily. Which is what makes it so disappointing when you can no longer access it. You’d think in this digital age, you’d be able to access any form of media, so long as it survived long enough to be converted into a digital form, right? Unfortunately, that’s not often the case in this time, and more often than not, it becomes borderline impossible to own a legal, digital copy of a game. This is due to a phenomena, known as De-listing.

What does it mean for a video game to be De-listed? It’s simple, really. It means that all methods possible to purchase a game digitally, are De-listed. Any store-front that game was sold on, such as Steam, the Play Station Store, Microsoft Store, Epic Games Store, etc., loses the ability to sell that game. The listing, or web page for the game to be purchased, can no longer be found. As a result, you can no longer buy the game. It’s a fate that, at this moment, a website simply named states has befallen 751 recently released video games. This isn’t a list of every game you can no longer buy after several years, no, they are all recent. This fact is highly unfortunate, as it simply comes down to them not caring enough to fight for the licenses used in these games to sell them again. It’s a sad state of affairs, and highlights a problem with the gaming industry. There will inevitably come a time where many games sold today will simply be rendered unreachable. Impossible to play ever again. Entire portions of a series, just simply impossible to obtain a legal copy of.

So what is a gamer to do? You could pirate these games sure, but those are illegal copies, and while those games are not being sold, you can still be prosecuted for having the data of those games to play illegally. If you happened to buy them when they were still available, congratulations, you can still download and play them! You’re also in the minority of players, and this will not change unless the games get re-listed. It’s a shame how games are just… left unplayable, and something needs to be done to fix it. The problem is… I myself have no idea what. The games industry is in a bad place, and has been for years, and I see the problem only getting worse before it gets better. 

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