As frustrating as it was to hunt for out-of-print games on eBay without spending a squillion quid, at least you could still get them. When digitally-distributed games are no longer sold, they're just gone as far as the well-mannered electronic entertainment enthusiast is concerned. After tomorrow, Sega's remake of '90s Mickey Mouse jumpyjumper Castle of Illusion will be pulled from sale on Steam for... possibly forever? Sega won't be allowed to sell it any more, because business. But folks who buy it before then will keep it, so Sega have helpfully put it on sale for £1.50.
"Due to an expiration of business terms, Sega will no longer be able to sell Castle of Illusion on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, or Steam, with the current publishing arrangement coming to an end on September 2," Sega told Polygon.
Sometimes licensed games like this return to sale. Sometimes they don't.
Who knows, maybe Castle of Illusion gift copies will become hugely valuable in the baffling Steam community economy. All the youths will start talking about 'a Mickey' as a unit of currency. Years from now, you'll tell the kiddywinkles "I remember when a Mickey bought you five movies, a new outfit for a wizard, and a box of imaginary Mars bars - and you'd still have change left for a virtual car" and they'll laugh at you.
They'll ask how many shillings were in a Mickey. They'll ask if that was "during the war".
"The war, huh?" you'll scoff. "Let me tell you about the war..."
Before you started unbuttoning your shirt, you expected the kids would be intimidated by the deep gouges left in your flesh where the medic scooped out handfuls of hissing grey goo from the nanobomb. Instead they laugh and call you a perv then leg it.
Castle of Illusion is £1.49/1,94€/$2.24 on Steam. If you buy it now, you'll get to keep, play, and redownload it as much as you please until your Steam account, Steam itself, or you yourself die - whichever comes first.
Reader dear, is this Castle of Illusion any good? Would you recommend it for one squid fishty?