Activision Pulls Transformers Games From Steam And PlayStation Store

Activision Pulls Transformers Games From Steam And PlayStation Store

If you were planning on purchasing any Transformers video games on Steam or the PlayStation Network over the holidays, it’s too late. Activision’s pulled them all, along with 2014’s The Legend of Korra.

The disappearance of War for Cybertron, Fall of Cybertron, Rise of the Dark Spark and 2015’s excellent Transformers: Devastation was first noted on Twitter by @Lashman (via Resetera), an excellent fellow to follow if you like to keep track of the comings and goings on Steam.

Activision Pulls Transformers Games From Steam And PlayStation Store

A quick search of the PlayStation Store showed that the same games were no longer available via Sony’s storefront either, just a couple of listings for disc-only Transformers titles. All of the games are still available on the Xbox Marketplace (and very cheap), but it’s likely just a matter of time before those disappear as well.

Activision has not responded to our request for comment on the games being pulled. It’s highly likely their removal was related to licensing, as was the case with the great year-end Marvel game culling of 2014.

There’s always a chance the games will come back one day in some form. Maybe a crappy remaster, like Marvel Ultimate Alliance. And if they don’t, at least no one will ever have to feel bad about purchasing Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark ever again.


  • I enjoyed the Cybertron games, they were a much needed refresher after those god awful Bay movies.

  • Man, Fall of Cybertron was such an amazing game. Multiplayer was sick. A shame they tried to tie the 3rd one into the bloody Bay movies

    • The problem was wfc and fall of cyber troncs was done by high moon, once they proved themselves Activision decided to ‘reward’ they by making them help out with cod something they never wanted to do

      If they did a ps4 wfc I would buy it day one it was fun

  • I really don’t understand why video game licencing works this way. Surely if you have the rights to make a game then you have the rights? I understand that once your deal expires that you can’t release any new ones, but it makes no sense that the old ones should be purged from stores. These are pretty old games anyway, it’s not like they’d be competing for sales with any new Transformers game that might be coming out in the future.

    • It’s the difference between physical and digital. When selling a physical game, you make copies when you print the discs. When selling a digital game, the copy is made at the time of sale (or more accurately, a license to make copies is issued to the customer).

      These sort of licenses for third party intellectual property have almost always been time limited. It’s just the move to digital that has made it more apparent since you won’t have extra stock in the distribution pipeline or a second hand market to fall back on when the license expires.

      It would be nicer if the developers acquired perpetual licenses to sell their games, but it isn’t clear they’d get much return on investment. How much extra revenue would Activision receive if it could continue to sell these old Transformers games? Is it more or less than Hasbro would demand for a perpetual license?

      • Still doesn’t make much sense, though. I can watch a movie from 30 years ago which has licenced music on the soundtrack and that music is still there, they don’t make them remove the music from the movie (or remove the movie altogether) when it comes to digital distribution. Unless maybe they’re paying a fee to renew the licence for the music, I don’t know.

        • It’s complicated…

          For example, there’s an episode of Profiler (S01E04) that was not on the DVD releases because of a rights issue over Every Breath You Take which was used in the episode…

          IANAL though, so someone else more familiar would need to explain the nuts and bolts of music licencing for TV and movies… 🙂

        • As far as the law is concerned, you can only make copies of copyrighted works with permission of the copyright holder or under an exception like fair use/fair dealing. The form that permission takes is up to the copyright holder.

          I suspect one of the differences between the game and film cases is the balance of power. The big film studios are probably in a better negotiating position than the artists, so probably have an easier time negotiating a perpetual license.

          In contrast, for games it is the game developer that is usually the weaker party (even when the developer is being represented by a publisher like Activision). They’re going to try to acquire the rights they need to sell the game during its most profitable sales window, and anything else is a bonus if they can get it.

        • Happens in movies and tv as well. When daria was released in box set the majority of background music was removed or changed due to license issues.

    • They can’t remove access to the Steam/Playstation ones you’ve paid for either. This is just them removing them from the stores so new customers can’t buy them.

  • Thx for the tip Kotaku. I grabbed these on Xbox because I’m a sucker for making sure I have these as part of my collection before they go for good.

    There was some ‘dungeon’ game on Steam which was about to disappear forever as well. I’ll probably never play it either, but I bought it so that it can occupy a spot on my digital library nonetheless.

  • Here we go. You have an article about why people pirate like 2 articles away from this one. Heres a good reason, if some pirate hadn’t cracked these games no one new would be able to get them now.

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