Some classic PC games, including the fantastic and historically important Ultima Underworld series, are being removed from GOG on June 28. The games are on sale for next to nothing ahead of their removal.
Yesterday, a member of the GOG team posted a notice that on Monday, June 28 at 1 p.m. UTC Ultima Underworld 1+2, Syndicate Plus, and Syndicate Wars would be delisted. For folks who already own the games, they will still appear in your digital library. However, after that date, it will no longer be possible to purchase the titles on GOG.
Once Monday arrives it will only be legally possible to buy these games on EA’s own Origin store. However, Syndicate Wars in particular doesn’t currently seem to be available on Origin or any other digital storefront, so soon it will become near impossible to obtain and play through official channels.
There is still a chance EA will re-release these titles elsewhere, perhaps Steam or the Microsoft Store. Heck, maybe EA gets real wacky and puts them out on Ubisoft’s Uplay storefront. But the lack of word from EA about why these games were taken down or when or if they’ll return to other stores leaves the future of these classics, especially Syndicate Wars, up in the air.
Kotaku has reached out to EA for comment.
GOG is generally a great way to obtain classic PC games, and having them all in one place is nice. But all it takes is a regime change at a publisher or a switch in business strategy and suddenly these classic games can be ripped out of stores. When a game ends up delisted from every storefront, as seems to be the case with Syndicate Wars now, then you have a problem.
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Hopefully, the impressive Ultima Underworld games and classic Syndicate duology will return to more digital storefronts sooner than later. It seems very odd for EA to make these old games exclusive in 2021. If you’re not keen on Origin, you have until June 28 to pick them up for a song on GOG.