Gamers took notice early this morning after a NeoGAF user pointed out that the High Moon Studios’ adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Deadpool had conspicuously disappeared off every major digital gaming platform; Steam, Playstation Network, and Xbox Live are all missing the Merc with a Mouth’s latest video game outing, which received less than stellar reviews when it launched earlier this year. But that’s hardly a reason to drop a game from every digital network imaginable, so what happened?
Well, Game Informer did some follow-up with Activision, and while it doesn’t give an exact explanation, one can parse out between the lines what happened. Activision confirmed to Game Informer that Deadpool is gone for good, and along with Deadpool disappearing several other Marvel games have followed suit; Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Spider-Man: Edge of Time, X-Men: The Official Game, X-Men Destiny, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine have all disappeared off the same platforms, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3‘s standard and Ultimate releases have shuffled off Xbox Live and PSN. With such a mass exodus, the easiest explanation is that Activision’s licensing for Marvel games containing characters like the X-Men and Spider-Man and Deadpool, have expired, and those expirations have brought the games down.
All of the above titles are still available in physical form and on Amazon, where digital codes for Steam can still be purchased, but if you would be so inclined to purchase any of the games above, I would advise you to do it quickly. It is unlikely there will ever be more copies of these games released to retailers in the future.