Three weeks after closing the studio that produced it (which incidentally only finished an expensive rebrand), not only has Embracer decided to remove their games from the mobile app stores, it’s apparently taking the extra step of making them inaccessible even if you’ve already downloaded them – or in the case of Deus Exeven if you paid $5 or $6 for this.
“Current players will no longer be able to access the games after January 4,” reads part of a tweet from defunct Studio Onoma, which also sees three free-to-play games (Arena Battle champions, Hitman Sniper: The Shadows and Space Invaders: Hidden Heroes) shut down. “We encourage previous in-game purchases to be used before January 4, as they are non-refundable.”
When a downloadable game is removed from a digital marketplace, you can usually download a copy first – in many cases you can even redownload purchased games indefinitely. (I can still get my Steam copies of Mass effect 2 and Indigo prophecy even though they were pulled from the Steam store many years ago.)
But apparently that won’t be the case here. Like Kotakusays Luke Plunkett, it’s a game preservation tragedy. It’s also ready ammunition for critics of digital purchases and Embracer Group itself, which is already under scrutiny by gamers, both for buying up franchises and taking $1 billion from Saudi Arabia.
And it is not clear why this happens with Deus Ex mainly. There shouldn’t be a rights issue right? Embracer explicitly bought the rights Deus Ex alongside the mobile games studio that developed the title. All we know, through games journalist Jason Schreier, is that Embracer apparently decided it wasn’t interested in mobile games anymore.
The Embracer Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.