5 Great Games We Can No Longer Play For Dumb Reasons
We're far enough into the age of gaming that we can look back and only reminisce about some games we loved to play back in the day because they're unfortunately no longer playable. We'd get why some titles would die along the way; porting requires time and money, and some games just aren't seen as something new players would care about. But even most games we can't find on newer systems will always remain available on their original systems, like the classic ET for the Atari landfill. That's sadly not true for all games, as evidenced by a slew of surprisingly recent games which have been rendered completely unplayable for a variety of dumb reasons.
P.T. (Silent Hills' playable teaser)
Back in 2014, the AAA horror landscape was at its most grim (and not in the way that we wanted it to be). The Silent Hill series had been dead for a while because of Konami's decision to outsource the development of the mainline games to companies that didn't understand the assignment, and the Resident Evil series was trying to follow suit with Resident Evil 6, a game so bad it kept the series dead for over 5 years. Then, out of nowhere, PS4 owners saw P.T. pop up on the PlayStation Store, a free game nobody knew anything about. After playing it for just a few seconds, P.T. went from a game they knew nothing about to the scariest game they still knew nothing about.
We can easily describe P.T. as a hallway loop that players repeat until they die from a heart attack, but it was much more than that. It was the teaser for the Hideo Kojima-led AAA next-gen horror experience that everyone wanted to play, and Konami unceremoniously took it away from us. Following up on some serious disagreements with Kojima that weren't even related to this game, the company decided to not only can P.T., but to make it completely unavailable to download in the PS store.
Yes, we're defending a video game about making movies even though we're adamantly against the concept of turning video games into movies. Please hear us out. Every now and then comes a game with a premise so unique and revolutionary that no one even bothers to copy it. The Movies was one of those games, an interactive experience that allowed players to act as business managers, as many other games do, but it also gave players the tools required to make their own in-engine films.
We could command the sims-like characters to make surprisingly complex cutscenes with them. What happened to this amazing concept? It went straight into the trash because the movie-making part of the game relied on the game's servers that promptly went offline when the game didn't prove successful enough. Anyone wondering what the hell we're nostalgizing about can awkwardly google “movies made in the movies” on youtube.
The Lord Of The Rings Battle For Middle Earth Games
Video game tie-ins/adaptations usually suck, but that's a curse that The Lord Of The Rings video games mostly managed to avoid. Even though the property has already shifted hands from EA to Warner Bros because of copyright dealings, these games have always enjoyed a surprisingly large and deserved fanbase ever since the release of the Two Towers game for the PS2 generation.
But even though the games remain good to this day, that doesn't mean that the changing of the guard hasn't put a serious dent in the series. How? Well, much like No One Lives Forever, another similarly cursed game, the old Lord Of The Rings classics, like the epic strategy titles Battle For Middle Earth, can no longer be bought anywhere because EA (a poor indie company) has lost its license to sell them.
Myst Online: Uru Live
The people behind the Myst series decided to go after that World Of Warcraft money by creating the first massively multiplayer game where players were meant to come together to solve puzzles. The idea rocked and the execution wasn't perfect, but the game seemed at least unique enough to stay afloat.
We totally get that banding with others to do stuff that didn't involve mass murder wasn't something players cared about back then (or even now), but it's sad considering what a neat and unique experience this was. The makers of the game were kind enough to make the game open-source after axing the official servers, meaning that we can now make our own servers and create our own content. That has potential, and there's fanmade content worth checking out, but for the most part we just get to experience all the beautifully alien locations on our own.
The Matrix Online
Ok, look, we know that The Matrix Online wasn't great on a technical level, but it's the first and perhaps only time in history when the makers of a film conceded a bunch of random devs the chance to further the canon in an official capacity, and the result was (hilariously) glorious.
Just how crazy was the Matrix Online? Well, imagine watching the season finale of The Mandalorian, for example, then logging on to a server of the tie-in video game and finding out that baby Yoda had been killed by a never before seen race from a never before heard creed, and that he'd never show up in the series again. That's exactly what they did to Morpheus, and no one dared to retcon it even for 2022's official movie sequel – that's how much of a landmark this game was.
Anyone not interested in The Matrix Online can instead think about City Of Heroes or Star Wars Galaxies instead, two MMOs once loved by many that similarly died out of nowhere, but no other MMO had an ending as bizarre as The Matrix Online.
Top Image: Cyan Worlds