Why do games get removed from Steam? Here are 16 weird reasons

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Guy with gun outside night club


Did you buy Prey on Steam? Not the 2017 version from Arkane and Bethedsa: I’m talking about the 2006 version from Human Head Studios and 2K Games. If you didn’t and want to now, you can’t—the original Prey was quietly removed from Steam a few years ago. If you own it, you should still be able to play it, and if you can find a physical copy or a online key-seller you may even be able to register a CD code with Steam. But you can’t buy it on Steam anymore.

Prey isn’t alone: games vanish from Steam all the time. Sometimes they reappear later, but other times they’re just plain gone—and this can happen for all sorts of different reasons including expired music rights, trademark disputes, exclusivity deals, fake review scams, shady developer practices, and more. Here’s 16 weird reasons games disappear from Steam.

The developer didn’t trademark the name

(Image credit: FNTASTIC)

There was already something a bit weird about upcoming survival MMO The Day Before (opens in new tab), namely that it was a month from launch and had only shown off two trailers a few years ago. It only got weirder. Just before the devs promised to reveal new gameplay footage (opens in new tab), the game disappeared from Steam (and wishlists, where it was sitting in the number two slot) completely. 



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