LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digitally

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LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digitally

Postby Apaul27 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:46 pm

I got some bad news for LEGO fans, Lego Lord of the Rings, and LEGO The Hobbit are no longer available digitally, and they begin to disappearing from everywhere. I just got them both for free on Steam during Humble Bundle's holidays. I didn't know it until I saw that post on PC Gamer. I have the link below.

Link: https://www.pcgamer.com/lego-lord-of-the-rings-and-the-hobbit-are-no-longer-on-steam/

If you're a fan of Lego and/or Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, press "F" to respect. We'll missed those games.

This is so sad to see this happen, I just hope that the other Lego games are safe.
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby wildweasel » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:20 am

Well dammit, no wonder they were going fire-sale on those. Still, could be worse, physical copies still exist and existing copies still play. If it was a digital only game, ouch.
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby Rachael » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:02 am

If this is becoming a trend, my guess is to manipulate people into a "buy it now or you may never buy it" mindset. Which is just ... fucked up. (I hate being so cynical but the gaming industry has almost never done anything to earn my faith - it's like greed is the operative design plan, and every time I am cynical it seems I am right and ... nevermind, I could go on for hours about this... it just stinks and it's unnecessary, is what it comes down to)

Nevertheless both games were offered on the Humble Bundle store for free briefly. Keep a keen eye on the Free Game Deals thread we have here - hell, bookmark it. Subscribe it if you don't come to the forum often. Those of you who kept paying attention to it already have both games. It shouldn't be that way - but it is.
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby wildweasel » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:11 am

Rachael wrote:If this is becoming a trend, my guess is to manipulate people into a "buy it now or you may never buy it" mindset. Which is just ... fucked up. (I hate being so cynical but the gaming industry has almost never done anything to earn my faith - it's like greed is the operative design plan, and every time I am cynical it seems I am right and ... nevermind, I could go on for hours about this... it just stinks and it's unnecessary, is what it comes down to)

More likely, WB Games' license to LOTR games expired. Same with Activision's Deadpool game, ages ago, though they later got the license back to re-release it for the next-gen consoles (where it'll likely expire again, eventually).

I'd argue this is more a problem of the rights to everything cool are all in the hands of a handful of big corporations, so they're the ones controlling whether games like this are allowed to exist and be sold or bought. (Though, if I may go off-topic, it was Public Domain Day not long ago, and all works whose copyright year is 1923 or older are now in the public domain - some 50,000 properties, now effectively free for all to use however they see fit. I think this'd be a great basis for new things to be made, honestly, rather than necessarily being beholden to the will of an IP holder.)
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:21 am

Licensing IP is a tricky thing and it depends on the from the royalties have to be paid if it is worth continuing to support a title. If it is merely a percentage of the revenue things are far less likely to expire, but sometimes you have to pay a fixed sum for a given time span PLUS per-item royalties - and such schemes naturally become unsustainable once the title doesn't sell enough anymore.

No idea what happened here, though, but I agree with WW that this is far more likely a licensing issue than trying to make the game a rare item.

And let's not forget that even with physical titles, at some point the publishers stop reprinting so all that's left is the used market. But with physical items the already sold copies will remain available and here's the biggest issue I have with digital distribution, aside from the DRM crap. Once a title is withdrawn, it's gone.
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby Enjay » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:08 am

And with physical copies, there's always even the chance that someone somewhere might have a new copy sitting unsold somewhere. That's how I got my physical copy of Strife: a friend of mine living in the US, many years ofter Strife had disappeared off the shelves in any store near me (and long before digital copies were easily available), stumbled upon a dusty copy, still in its cellophane, at the back of a shelf somewhere in California. He bought it and shipped it to me. So I got a genuine CD, in-box goodies (map), a physical manual...
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby scalliano » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:14 pm

This is depressing.

Digital games were supposed to be a boon for preservation, instead the paperwork makes them even more volatile than physical games. I have Scott Polgrim and all of the DLC's on my PS3, and I will not be deleting it any time soon.

As an aside, if anyone can point me in the direction of a physical copy of Abyss of Pandemonium for Quake, gimme a shout :P
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby Undead » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:43 pm

scalliano wrote:Digital games were supposed to be a boon for preservation, instead the paperwork makes them even more volatile than physical games.

There are pros and cons to both mediums. One isn’t necessarily harder to preserve than the other. In the same way, one isn’t always harder to lose than the other.
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby Gez » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:50 am

Don't forget that modern "physical" games are just a DVD occupied solely by a 4 mb installer that'll download the Steam client and then download the game from Steam.
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby NantoCodd » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:52 am

I still got them, not yet installed, on my Steam library. Does I still able to download them in the (far) future, or am I screwed?
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby Rachael » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:04 am

Ideally you should be fine. I have yet to hear of any instances where Steam games get revoked due to no longer being available - but keep in mind, if someone had a bug crawl up their ass enough it could be done.
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Re: LEGO LOTR and The Hobbit are no longer available digital

Postby NeuralStunner » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:14 pm

Here's to hoping this is just a license hiccup and they'll be back. I wasn't able to get The Hobbit at the time due to GOG's infiniloading BS, and I hadn't thought about using the Galaxy client at the time.
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