In an announcement on their website posted earlier today, GAMEPUMP founder Robert Bowling announced that the previously delayed subscription service was being canceled. Customers who preordered the service will be receiving a full refund for the amount paid as well as complimentary copies of the two games originally slated for January and February’s slots. As for the rest of the games, GAMEPUMP will be acting as a simple publisher and releasing them on GOG, Steam, and other PC marketplaces throughout this year, as they had planned to do previously in addition to the subscription service.
Bowling had this to say about the reasons for the service’s cancellation.
“We have been working on GamePump for nearly a year and during that time we have been negotiating with nearly every major publisher in the world on rereleasing their back catalogs which currently do not appear on modern OS or PC marketplaces.
Over the course of these negotiations, some big games fell out, and several catalogs our lawyers were working on getting out of the graveyard of bankruptcy did not work out in our legal favor (meaning we weren’t granted rights to commercially rerelease them).
By the end, we had a few great games we could republish to Steam, but when I evaluated the final slate of games that our subscribers would be getting, I felt we were not living up to the standard I had for the service.”
Wayforward’s LIT was confirmed earlier in the month to be January’s title (as a revamped PC version of the mobile version), although Bowling did mention that it would be hitting Steam in “a couple of weeks” alongside an unknown NES horror game. TechRaptor has reached out to GAMEPUMP and will update this story with any additional details should they be available.
I’m heartbroken that the full vision of GAMEPUMP has failed to come to fruition, but I’m happy that at least a few old games will still see the light of day through their publishing efforts. It’s also nice to see a service like this crash and burn while dealing relatively little damage, as all of GAMEPUMP’s customers will be receiving a full refund. The world of Indie Publishing is getting pretty crowded, but I have faith that there is still plenty of room in making sure retro games are preserved in the best light.