Electronic Arts has provided an explanation for why it delisted four of its classic games from GOG and then later relisted the games for free. As reported by GamesIndustry.Biz, Ultima Underworld 1+2, Syndicate Plus, and Syndicate Wars were removed from the GOG storefront at the end of June per the “publisher’s request.”
Earlier this month, all four games returned to GOG and are available for free until September 3. In a statement, EA said, “Syndicate and Ultima Underworld are back! It seems that twenty years on there’s still plenty of love for these titles so we’re pleased to confirm that effective immediately they’ll be available again on GOG, and we’ll be keeping them in the store for the foreseeable future. To celebrate this we’re offering these games as a free download for four weeks.”
Now, EA vice president of marketing, commercial, and positive play, Chris Bruzzo told GamesIndustry.biz why exactly the delisting and subsequent reversal happened.
“When making decisions that affect players we take the time to review exactly what the potential impacts are and whether they serve the players’ best interests,” Bruzzo said. “When we delisted Syndicate and Ultima Underworld we missed that step and so didn’t fully consider the players’ perspective.”
Bruzzo said that EA is going to add additional steps to its processes to make sure something similar doesn’t happen when making future business decisions. The main step is to consider the “player perspective” on delisting moving forward. For now, EA hopes that offering the titles up to as many players as possible with the free promotion helps alleviate frustration.