Square Enix recently announced the temporary removal of its Trials of Mana demo from Steam due to “unforeseen circumstances.” The company provided no further details, but this news comes hot on the heels of players finding a way to access the full game through the demo without having to pay for it. Hmm.
Square Enix did not immediately return Kotaku’s request for comment.
Trials of Mana, like most role-playing games of its era, is massive. There’s a lot to see outside of the limited preview version Square Enix provided last month. Just a few days ago, players discovered they could bypass the demo’s limitations by copying and pasting illicitly obtained data files extracted from the full version of Trials of Mana into the demo version’s folders. While some players reported that the game crashed at its ending cutscene, workarounds soon emerged for that, too.
When Square Enix announced the demo’s removal earlier this week, the comments immediately filled with folks chattering about the exploit. Several commenters also complained about Trials of Mana using Denuvo, a controversial anti-cheat program, and the full game’s $49.99 price tag.
Whether or not the Trials of Mana demo will return to the Steam storefront remains to be seen.
[Correction—10:00 p.m. ET]: An earlier version of this story failed to note that the demo bypass exploit required files from a presumably pirated version of the game. Kotaku regrets the error.