Lego Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit can no longer be bought digitally

I wouldn’t normally report on something like this, but I find this to be a particularly strange situation given the stature of these games.
No, its not like “The last of us” is no longer available to buy or anything, but these were competent games. Aimed primarily at a younger audience, sure, but they’re well made, and kids go mad for them.

So why take them down? Well, what happened exactly? Its pretty simple. Warner Bros had these titles available as a digital download on every major platform available to them at the time of release. Now, as of the new year, they are… No longer available, whatsoever.
You can still walk into a store and buy the physical copy, and if you had previously bought either of these digitally, you still own it. It’s still there. You can delete and re-download it and all that jazz, you’re fine.
The only thing you cannot do is buy them from online stores.

Why is this a big deal at all, you might ask? It’s not really, not today. The worries it brings up though, are fairly real.
With the games industry leaning further and further into digital sales, digital marketplaces, digital everything, you begin to wonder… Well, what if we were living in that time, and companies suddenly decided to remove their products from stores? With nothing but a snap of a finger, there is all of a sudden zero way of obtaining this title that, perhaps you had been saving up for, and would finally have the money for by tomorrow.
It’s not a great prospect.

To be clear, this isn’t too big a deal today. Their licensing rights expired and the games were removed, but.. I would assume that the Lego games sell better physically anyway, and its not like they’re going to recall every copy still in stores, so all is good.

The issues here are concern for the future, and a lack of decency on TT Games/Warner Bros. side for not alerting anyone to the removal beforehand.
A quick tweet to say “Hey we know it sucks but next week we’ll be removing these from digital stores” is all it’d take. People would grumble and groan but anyone who desperately wanted it digitally would go and get it, you know.

Granted, the games were given out for free via Humble Bundle last month, but that news never reached me, whereas an official announcement of their removal probably would have. I assume this to be the case for many people.

You might call me silly for keeping up this conversation, but I think its an important one to have, as the preservation of video-games is something I am rather passionate about, and something that is becoming increasingly more difficult to do.

What’s your opinion on this one though? Not really bothered, a little bummed? Let me know!

Precursorgames Discord server: https://discord.gg/nDUGUfm

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Ryan McCarthy

I write about games a lot.

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