Good news for fans of cowboys and ill-fitting political masks! After the recent delisting of Call of Juarez Gunslinger and Call of Juarez The Cartel, many were afraid that licensing had relegated the games to the digital dustbin. However, it is instead the case that the original developers have reclaimed them from Ubisoft. Per the publisher’s statement given to TechRaptor:
Per the terms of agreement, Call of Juarez The Cartel and Call of Juarez Gunslinger licensing/publishing rights have reverted back to Techland, while others remain active with Ubisoft. This is why a few titles have recently been removed from STEAM but it is our understanding that Techland is working to bring those titles back, so please feel free to reach out to Techland re status.
As we noted in our original story’s update, Gunslinger has already returned to the Xbox marketplace. It seems that Techland will have final say as to if and when the game returns to Steam, PSN, UPlay, or other platforms. As for The Cartel, the game is still available via used physical copies, but one hopes that the digital copy returns sooner rather than later.
This is far from the first time that licensing issues have caused problems for games, even when they are not based on a licensed property. Beyond cases like music in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto IV, one notable case is in regards to the Gothic license, a series originally developed by Piranha Bytes (creators also of Risen and Elex) and published by JoWoods. After a fallout during Gothic 3‘s development, which led to that game being released in a very buggy state, JoWood contracted another developer to do an expansion called Gothic 3: Forsaken Lands (which has since been declared non-canon) and a sequel in ArcaniA: Gothic 4. Years later, the Gothic license would revert to Piranha Bytes, and ArcaniA: Gothic 4 would be forced to rebrand as just ArcaniA, as would ArcaniA‘s expansion.
TechRaptor has reached out to Techland to inquire about when and if both these games will return to digital marketplaces in the future.
So, a good end to a sour tale it seems. Techland runs its own publishing nowadays, so there’s no reason why these games can’t be reintroduced in a franchise compilation pack down the road. It is interesting to note that Ubisoft still retains publishing rights on the second game in the franchise, Bound in Blood. We’ll have to keep an eye out to see if that game will also eventually revert to the developer’s hands or if that deal is more ironclad. Either way, go play Gunslinger while you have the chance because that game is both rooting and tooting.