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Alpha Protocol Removed From Steam Following Expiration Of Music Rights

UPDATE June 20, 2019: Sega has clarified that the original statement issued to Eurogramer regarding the expiration of their publishing rights was incorrect. Alpha Protocol was removed from Steam due to the expiration of music rights. Sega still owns the Alpha Protocol IP.

Original story:

Valve has pulled Alpha Protocol, Obsidian Entertainment's 2010 spy RPG, from Steam. The Steam listing for the title displays the following remark: "Notice: At the request of the publisher, Alpha Protocol™ is no longer available for sale on Steam."

According to Eurogamer, a Sega spokesperson has confirmed that the removal resulted from the recent expiration of Sega's publishing rights. "Following the expiry of Sega's publishing rights for Alpha Protocol, the title has been removed from Steam and is no longer on sale," said the publisher.

Anyone who purchased Alpha Protocol will still be able to play the game at anytime. This applies to players who have the game installed and who have downloaded and since deleted it. Those with Alpha Protocol on their wishlist are out of luck, at least for now.

It's not all bad news, however. Now that Sega's publishing rights have expired, the IP fully rests in Obsidian's hands. Back in 2017, Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart told VG247 that of all Obsidian's past titles, Alpha Protocol is the one he would most like to revisit. "I think it's Alpha Protocol," said Urquhart. "I would want to go back from everything that we learned and do that because I think there's a lot that can be done. We had some really cool ideas for Alpha Protocol 2."

Despite the dev's desires, Sega never green-lit an Alpha Protocol sequel because of the game's disappointing sales. "Let's speak very commercially; the game hasn't sold what we've expected, therefore we won't be doing a sequel," explained former Sega West president Mike Hayes. According to Hayes, Alpha Protocol did not score high enough with critics to merit the significant investment a second entry would require.

Microsoft now owns Obsidian Entertainment. Though the publisher has their hands full with Project Scarlett titles, the cult following Alpha Protocol has amassed since its release could persuade them to give Alpha Protocol 2 the go-ahead. At the very least, you'll likely see Alpha Protocol in the Microsoft Store. Hopefully, it will also return to Steam.