Expiration of sales license to blame
[Update: As it turns out, the delisting for Alpha Protocol wasn’t because of Sega losing publishing rights, but due to a music license. As is the case with most digital removals, Sega did not renew its contract for the song “Turn Up The Radio” by Autograph (which features in the game). Due to this, Sega does still hold the publishing rights for Alpha Protocol, so the future of the game rests in its hands.]
Alpha Protocol is one of the unsung RPG cult classics of the last generation. Received incredibly poorly on release, fans have flocked to it in the years since for various different reasons. Many claim to love the story, others are fascinated at the mish-mash of different genres, and some people just want to prove Destructoid alumni Jim Sterling wrong. Whatever your reason for enjoying it, it seems time has been favorable to this misunderstood RPG.
Sadly, it also looks like time is up for Obsidian Entertainment’s quirky sci-fi title. From absolutely nowhere, Alpha Protocol has been delisted for sale from Steam. A notice on the game’s Steam store page reads, “At the request of the publisher, Alpha Protocol is no longer available for sale on Steam.” For those unaware, Sega had published the game in 2010 and chose not to renew publishing rights.
In a statement given to Eurogamer, a Sega spokesperson said, “Following the expiry of Sega’s publishing rights for Alpha Protocol, the title has been removed from Steam and is no longer on sale.” As with other delisted titles, anyone that owns the game will still be able to download and play it. This will only affect potential new customers since they’ll now need to seek out a physical copy to play it on PC.
The silver lining here is that publishing rights should revert back to Obsidian. With the company now being owned by Microsoft, there is a very good chance that we could end up seeing a re-release on Game Pass or even potentially a sequel in the future. I’m not sure how likely either scenario is, but I wouldn’t count Alpha Protocol out just yet.