Lost Games... Or the the perils of licensing and copyright


Hey all. What are games you’ve loved and can no longer acquire due to lack of sale or issues with copyright or licensing?

For me it’s the Battle for Middle-Earth games. I lost my physical copies in a move years ago and due to WB now having the LOTR license, the BFME games and other EA LOTR games are no longer available for purchase.

You either have to torrent a janky cracked version, which I prefer not to do, or pay exorbitant prices for a physical copy online.

What games do you wish you still had, and have you been able to find a way to get them?


OutRun 2 Coast to Coast and OutRun 2 HD are not available on steam and PSN because the Ferrari license expired with Sega. This means you can’t buy it anywhere unless you find a retail copy. Such a shame considering it’s such a wonderful game.


Until very recently, SWAT 4 was an old favourite I often wanted to go back to but wasn’t available anywhere. The options were the same as you- pirate it, or try to find a dubious physical copy. Just a few months ago it finally hit GOG (but still nowhere else!). I don’t know what the story is, because every other Police Quest/SWAT game was up on sites like GOG for years, but 4 never was until now. Maybe some odd rights issues between Sierra and Irrational?

Also- because @Dreamboum mentioned Outrun- Outrun Live Arcade on the 360 is also gone because of that Ferrari license. You can’t even re-download it if you’ve purchased it. It’s still installed on my console and I will take it to the grave.


One I didn’t know about until recently was the orginal Doki Doki Panic, which Nintendo has never reissued in any form, presumably because Fuji Television owns the rights to the main characters. Popeye for NES probably hasn’t been reissued for a similar reason.

Also yeah @Dreamboum, this is why I’m clinging to my Xbox copy of Outrun 2006. Incredible game.


that castle of illusion remake that’s basically just gone now


I’d love to play Panzer Dragoon Saga, but not for $200+ for a used copy plus the cost of a Saturn and a controller. I’d heard GameTap of all places had a license to port the game to PC, but that was a loooooong time ago. Apparently the source code for the game has been lost as well.


I’ve got good news!!! SEGA quietly relisted it on Steam a few weeks ago!! I think it might be back up on XBLA/PSN as well but I haven’t checked.



I’m so mad I can’t find my discs for these games


Great news and great find. Thanks for sharing. Hopefully you just made mikelovesrabbit’s day.


Ugh, I’d die for a No One Lives Forever re-release. I never got to play the second one, either.

There was that whole story about how Night Dive tried to release it.


NOLF2 is an absolute classic


Diddy Kong Racing! One of Rare’s absolute finest N64 games, and sadly not available on Rare Replay (alongside GoldenEye, the other great N64 game not on RR).

DKR was a brilliant Mario Kart-like with all these fun adventure elements (shortcuts, hidden balloons, that goddamned coin mode, boss races, etc.) I miss it.


I’d love to get my hands on the first Diablo. Diablo II is great of course but it doesn’t feel as Rogue-like.


I never played it, but there was a DS port at least. Dunno if they changed anything else, but they did take out Banjo and Conker and replaced them with Dixie and Tiny Kong. I remember being kinda salty about that since I mainly used Banjo.

I’ve always enjoyed DKR over MK64, tbh.


I’m with you and @flacon on the DKR train over MK64. Had never even considered that it isn’t available anywhere.


As a huge fan of the Myst series, the fact that Myst III and IV are trapped in some sort of dystopian Ubisoft hellscape frustrates me to no end. I bought V as soon as Cyan re-released it on Steam a few years back, but without the story from III and IV (and, to an extent, Uru Online) I just really couldn’t get into it. But of course, the only legal way to get III and IV right now is by paying for overpriced disk copies, and I’d probably have to spend forever troubleshooting just to get them running properly on a modern OS.

And thus, I am denied the pleasure of high-res environment renders and wonderful FMV acting, all because Ubi doesn’t want to put two games from one of the most adored series of all time on GOG or Steam. :unamused:


Definitely very protective of my NOLF (1&2) discs.

I do wonder how stuff like this will be handled in the current era of digital releases, because you can get copies of those games used (sometimes not cheaply) but digital only releases are simply vanishing. Even stuff like the “classic” GTA games and a load more on Steam aren’t the games you first purchased because music licensing deals had some limited times on them so the soundtracks change.


It definitely sucks. One of the biggest issues with the industry I think. For me, it’ll always be the licensed retro games. I grew up with classic first party games and third party tie-ins in equal measure. Most of the latter never find their way into retro collections.

Top of the pile would be Jurassic Park and Alladin for Mega Drive. But there’s plenty more. At least inu case emulation is 100% viable, but it’s still not the same.