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There's been a dirge bellowed out from the deepest corners of the internet gaming communities, as two more games bite the dust from the digital distribution storefront. The Sega-published Aliens Vs Predator from 2010 and Aliens: Colonial Marines from Gearbox Software are no longer available on Steam.
Blues News spotted various Steam forums and Reddit threads where the community questions what happened to Aliens: Colonial Marines and Rebellion's Aliens Vs Predator title that came out in 2010. Both first-person shooters are no longer available on the Steam marketplace. If you already purchased both games you'll notice that when you click on the “Store Page” link from the library hub that it takes you nowhere but to the main Steam page.
If you're wondering if all Aliens titles have been removed from Steam or digital distributors, well that's not the case. Sega's most recently published title from Creative Assembly, Alien: Isolation, is still up and available on Steam right now.
The common speculation is that Sega's publishing rights for AvP 2010 and Aliens: Colonial Marines has expired. This does and does not seem likely, given that Aliens: Colonial Marines was released as recently as early 2013. However, there could have been various sales stipulations attached in order for Sega to continue to publish the game through various distribution outlets; let's not forget that Colonial Marines caused a heck of a lot of disruption when it first released, and managed to stay in the spotlight for some time thereafter. Just about all the coverage of the game post-release was negative, especially regarding the lawsuit that Sega and Gearbox got embroiled with.
Of course, Sega is mum about the business of Aliens Vs Predator and Aliens: Colonial Marines being removed from Steam. So we have no real way of knowing exactly what's up and why they're no longer there.
This wasn't the first time that something like this happened with a digital release. Activision's 007 games were swiftly removed from Steam and every other digital distributor when their license to publish James Bond titles had expired. The same thing also happened to various Marvel titles when they transitioned under Disney – many of the games were removed from Steam and other outlets once Disney stepped into the picture. One game that became a classic case of disappearing with no return in sight is the Deadpool game.
We also saw a similar thing happen when Disney acquired LucasArts and all their games went kaput from digital distributors for a while, too. On the upside, some of the LucasArts games did make a return, so it wasn't all frowning faces and upside down smiles.
As far as Aliens and Sega go... there's no telling exactly what's to come out of it or whether or not this will be the last we've seen of Aliens: Colonial Marines in the digital space. The game did undergo a major overhaul with some hefty patches to fix gameplay and graphics fetaures... on PC. Some gamers have noted that the title is still available on Amazon and that the Steam keys can still be activated, so you might want to purchase the digital download while you can before the Steam keys expire like they did with the 007 games like Blood Stone.