I don’t usually think highly of licensed video games. Hell, I hardly kept any in my gaming library over the years! Reason being? Well, for the longest time, licensed games—like rushed movie tie-ins and adaptations of popular non-gaming media—were never really released onto store shelves with quality control in mind. That makes the few that do stand out as decent to great games all the more valued and well reputable within the gaming community. Unfortunately, that also makes inevitably losing those few to expiring licenses all the more painful. Especially in this increasingly digitally-minded industry, delisted games without physical print media become impossible to find, piracy notwithstanding. While Capcom will delist DuckTales: Remastered from the Wii U eShop later this week, at least we have the luxury of physical copies for the game. Sadly, we cannot say the same for Ubisoft’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game.
When love comes with seven little problems
Released back in 2010 and developed by Ubisoft Montreal, Scott Pilgrim: The Game was a sidescrolling beat-em-up based on the graphic novel series of the same name by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The game launched digitally via Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network, just in time for the movie adaptation directed by Edgar Wright under Universal. While the game did not stand out too much for originality, it was a solid brawler inspired by games like River City Ransom, with amazing music by chiptune band Anamanaguchi. Incidentally, it was through this game I first became a fan of Anamanaguchi’s work, but I digress!
I had some fond memories of the game as it came out towards the end of my time in high school. I eagerly grinded through countless hours, throwing myself wholeheartedly into each separate campaign as Scott, Ramona Flowers, Kim Pine, Stephen Stills, Nega Scott, and later Knives Chau. Punching and kicking my way through the mysterious land of Toronto, Canada was a blast! And my goodness, again, I could not get enough of the fantastic music.
Alas, this game criminally got delisted from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3’s digital stores at the end of 2014. By the time I found out, I hadn’t even downloaded the Wallace Wells + Online Multiplayer DLC yet; now I’ll never get the chance to play as him or with friends online! I suppose we should have seen it coming what with that many hands in the pie, including Ubisoft, Universal, Anamanaguchi, and O’Malley himself.
Dangers of an all-digital future
That said, Scott Pilgrim’s situation doesn’t inspire much confidence from gamers towards the industry’s push for an all-digital future. With Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game having been a digital exclusive, there were no physical prints of it made. Ergo, there are no legally compliant ways to procure it anymore; if I somehow lose my download of the game on my Xbox 360, I won’t even be able to retrieve it on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
At least O’Malley once said he would like to see the game rereleased, but I’m not holding my breath. It sure would be nice to play this brawler on my Switch though!
While its delisting made it infamous, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is regrettably but one example of delisted games. Off the top of my head, I can think of Konami’s P.T. demo, Project X Zone, the entire Wii Shop Channel, and even the earlier Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games when SEGA lost the video game licensing rights for the Olympics. What were some of your favorite games growing up that since became delisted? Let us know in the comments below!
For some additional reading, I would also recommend checking out DelistedGames.com for an up-to-date catalogue of delisted titles.