LEGO Lord of the Rings and LEGO The Hobbit have been pulled from all digital stores, including X-Box, Playstation, and Steam, Warner Brothers confirmed on Saturday. Have no fear, though. Those who have previously purchased the games will still have access to them in their digital libraries.
De-listing is just a fact of life for digital gaming, and some say, a strong argument for the retention of physical media. Twitter users took to the web to express their dissatisfaction with the de-listing, some saying that Warner Brothers should have warned people in advance, while others pointed out that this is a prime example for physical game preservation.
LEGO Lord of the Rings and Lego The Hobbit join other popular games, such as P.T. on Playstation 4, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World on all platforms to have their digital presence removed. There is hope, however slim, that the games could make a comeback, a’la Deadpool, which was de-listed but then returned in a remastered version. Games sometimes get de-listed over soundtrack issues, like Alan Wake, or sometimes the licensing just runs out.
One side effect can be that the physical copies of these games could skyrocket in value, since that is the only way to get them anymore. Given that the digital versions are de-listed, the publisher will likely no longer make physical copies of the games, either. Which means that the only way to get them will be on the back market, once the supplies of the new copies run out.
Though the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim, given that these two LEGO games have hardly been the most popular or best selling of Warner Brothers’ block-building adaptations. They don’t even crack most top 10 LEGO games lists, which is largely populated by Marvel and Star Wars LEGO games, along with adaptations of The LEGO Movie and LEGO Ninjago: The Movie.
Speculation is that the licenses expired on LEGO Hobbit and LEGO Lord of the Rings.