It is less than a week before the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which may be Konami’s last release as a major player in AAA gaming. Higher-ups at the company have been quoted as saying that mobile will be their future, although there has been more movement on the gambling side of the company than phone games since then. In any case, Konami releasing mobile games isn’t a new phenomenon, but today’s news out of Japan is that many of those games released from 2008 to 2011 are being delisted from various app stores. For a company to be putting a focus on mobile, that might raise some eyebrows.
The games that are being removed were designed for older versions of iOS, and would need work done in order to keep them functioning in the fast paced cell phone ecosystem. NeoGAF has a translated list of titles, which includes three Bomberman games, Metal Gear Solid Touch, two DDR titles, SILENT SCOPE, Silent Hill The Escape, and Frogger. At the present moment, these removals have only been announced for Japan, but it would be highly unlikely for Konami to put in the effort to update an aging title just for their North American audience.
I have written before on game preservation, and events like this continue the trend of publishers erasing the recent past in the name of our all digital future. For those that are unfamiliar, games that are delisted on mobile are not only erased from storefronts, they’re taken down from servers in some cases and made inoperable in most cases. Mobile games are seen as disposable in this way, and it’s a shame that not even pirates will be able to save some of the more server intensive titles on this list.
What is your experience with disappearing phone games? Have you ever put money into something that has later vanished? Remember Dungeon Keeper on phones? Answer these questions in the comments below!