The Digital-Only Future? It Blows, Folks

So, color me somewhat annoyed. Yeah, yeah, I knew when one buys a digital product, be it a song, game, book or other file type, there’s the chance (well, actuality) that that data will expire and yes, *never* be available ever again unless there’s some sort of preservation being taken care of in the form of say, a physical backup or other legally obtainable copy. Anyway, yes, I still own a PS3 and use it on occasion – here’s what happened today when I went to dink around a bit with a game that’s not all that old:

Yep, that’s right. A game I’d downloaded had been “disappeared” from my PS3’s HDD with nothing left but that nice-looking startup screen. *Poof!*

As I was picking up my jaw from off the floor, my brain cycled in one of my favorite bits of dialog from a favorite film (that’s thankfully, still available on a dang disc):

Garry: The generator’s gone.

MacReady: Any way we can we fix it?

Garry: It’s “GONE”, MacReady.

Sure, I read the fine print on that license agreement, but to have a game in one’s library just VANISH is… kind of shocking and stupid at the end of the day. Was Master Reboot a GOOD game? I kind of have no idea other than the about 25 minutes I played sometime last year when it popped up as a free game on PSN and, not having tried it it, I downloaded it so (get this) I could play it any time I wanted to and find out. Yeah, that was a mistake on my part, I guess. My game historian/preservation side is appalled by this, but it isn’t a new thing. Ask anyone who played the superbly scary P.T. or the stupidly fun Scott Pilgrim vs. The World or any of the many other games that have disappeared from digital stores online.

(Thanks, Wales Interactive!)

Well, at least the PC version is still available (but digitally, grrrrrr!), although I prefer playing on my console(s) of choice.

Yes, I completely grasp that licenses expire after a period of time and all that rot, but a game, song, piece of art or other data important to some people shouldn’t at ALL go dinosaur extinct and become a mere memory after such a brief period. Feh. I’d close this with an “oh well” or something similarly aloof, but I think I’m going to hit myself in the head with a rubber hammer and take a nap until the next disappointing episode of Game of Thrones comes on later this evening. Oh, that show has been and will also be on many discs going into the future, you can bet on that… for now.



2 thoughts on “The Digital-Only Future? It Blows, Folks

  1. It’s not a digital future HERE, let me tell you! I still play BOARD games, for chrissake, and trust me, they have no expiration date! And of course, the Monolith is stocked with DVDs and Blu-rays, and my new turntable sits proudly in my living room, where my 200+ LPs can be enjoyed whenever the music mood strikes! And my books? Yes, they’re of the paper-paged variety.

    I do “own” digital movies and sporting events, but those I’ve plucked off YouTube, and have stashed on an external drive, so I’m HOPING they won’t be plagued by some sort of self-destruct capabilities!

    And yes, that bit of dialogue is courtesy of one of my favorite horror/sci-fi movies, The Thing! “Chariots of the Gods, man!”


    • Oh, this story gets better, but in a kooky way. You’ll see.

      But, yeah, I have a load of games and films here as well, but also a ton of digital content because it’s cheaper for PR firms to shoot out digital codes to us dull-ass non-streamers who aren’t YooToob and Twitch “celebrities” who now get all the kick-ass stuff we lower end of the totem pole guys used to get, lol. Ah well. I miss those days, but once in a while I’ll get a standard edition retail game and that’s the coolest thing to add to the library because it’s simple preservation at the end of the day I’m interested in.


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