Alpha Protocol has magically reappeared for sale thanks to GoG, Sega and Obsidian – WGB


In June of 2019, Alpha Protocol vanished from sale due to music licensing issues, rendering the 2010 action-espionage-RPG unplayable to anyone who didn’t already own it or wasn’t willing to sail the high seas of piracy to get it. But now, it’s back! And it even has some improvements!

Absolutely no mention of the games revival was made ahead of it simply reappearing on both Good Old Games (GoG) and Steam, complete with a 10% discount that will be available until July 11th. The revival is even crazier when you consider that Alpha Protocol isn’t a widely known game. It was a clunky game to play, but espionage RPG nonetheless became something of a cult classic due to its great roleplaying elements. Over the years, people’s opinions have gradually shifted on the game, such as Eurogamer’s Robert Cobbett who said in 2017 that it was the best spy game ever made.

There is one caveat to this new release: the GoG version contains full achievement support, as well as support for new controllers and modern operating systems. And, since it’s on GoG, the game is also DRM free. The Steam version however, appears to be original Alpha Protocol simply put back up for sale now that the music licensing has been sorted out.

So, why the hell has the game suddenly come back now, and who is responsible? Well, it turns out it has been a collaborative effort between Good Old Games, publisher Sega and original developer Obsidian Entertainment.

“When we started our journey 15 years ago, one of our most important goals was to do our best to preserve games and make them last forever,” says the team at GoG. “Allowing video games history, once-loved gems, to be lost in time, is something we cannot just stand and watch – we fight, for current and future generations to be able to enjoy games; all games, not just the newest, popular releases. Today, we stand proudly by our mission, and we’re extremely happy to announce the re-release of a cherished classic that, thanks to our efforts, has been successfully archived in the GOG catalog, to enjoy anew.”

“With conjoined forces of GOGObsidian Entertainment and SEGA, we’ve made sure to make it better than ever; compatible with modern PCs, with licensed soundtrack and performance improvements that are sure to make this timeless classic, yet again, your favorite spy story.”

To mark the re-release of Alpha Protocol, GoG has launched an 18-minute mini-documentary discussing the game, which you cans above. It’s a frankly fascinating watch, filled with sharp humour (including admitting that the game itself is messy and weird) and insights. It also touches the subject of why Alpha Protocol? The doc admits it isn’t a headline-grabbing game, and also says they didn’t do it because it was easy – in fact, the whole project took about a year and a half. In the end, there was a myriad of reasons to bring it back. Check out the documentary yourself to find out why.

Further on, the GoG team also addresses the issue of game preservation moving forward, stating that a “problem this big isn’t on the shoulders of a company, but on a system that is turning people against it.” It also gives a nod to the many people now fighting against games being delisted, such as the recent The Crew 2.

I played Alpha Protocol all those years ago and found it to have a rough charm. Playing it was often a headache because of the clunky combat and lousy AI, but the story and the myriad of choices and outcomes were fantastic, as as the incredible depth of some of its systems. It was a game that needed a sequel with a good budget so that the developer’s vision could be brought to life, but poor sales meant it never got that chance, and I honestly can’t blame people for avoiding it. But I think SEGA were blind for not seeing its potential.

As for GoG, projects like this give me hope that other titles could still come back. At the top of that list, in my opinion, is the amazing Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth games, although I doubt it would ever happen as it would require the collaboration of EA and Embracer, the company that currently owns the rights to Lord of the Rings games. One can hope though, right?

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