Psychonauts Removed From Returned To Xbox Live By Microsoft in North America 28 Feb, 2012 / 8 comments

Double Fine's Psychonauts was one of the first games in Microsoft's short lived Xbox Originals line for the Xbox 360. But while the other games in the line are still available to purchase through the Xbox Live Marketplace, Psychonauts was removed last August without notice.

Tim Schafer explained that the reason it was removed was due to the rights to Psychonauts transferring from Majesco to Double Fine. Microsoft policy is that games without licensed publishers aren't allowed on the Xbox 360 (outside of the Indie Games), so it was removed.

Double Fine is working on getting the game back up, but as of this month they've still been having problems since Double Fine doesn't technically meet the requirements to be an Xbox 360 publisher (most notably due to a lack of disposable cash). So even though the game was one of Microsoft's flagship products in the Xbox Originals line, it's no longer available (and likely won't be available again any time soon) due to bureaucracy and red tape.

Update: Psychonauts is back on Xbox Live Marketplace, now published by Microsoft (bringing the game full circle). I also checked on my Xbox 360 to be double sure, and it is indeed back.

Update 2: It seems the game is only available on the Xbox Live Marketplace in North America (thanks Pedgey). Double Fine is aware of this and is working on getting Microsoft to re-add the game in other territories as well.


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    pfranzen on 24 Feb, 2012, 14:30…

    Now that it's back up I guess the point is moot, but my understanding is that there's a way to access all previous downloads, and get the game from there, rather than through the XBL marketplace.
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    Pedgey on 24 Feb, 2012, 14:30…
    Not available in UK
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    Jennifer on 24 Feb, 2012, 13:26…
    A later post stated "Microsoft is a very large organization, and I honestly have no idea what may or may not be stalling the process unfortunately."

    That's why I put both words in this news post. I don't think it's redundant in this case, because it's not just the excessive and rigid regulation of rules, but the organization itself that is holding things up.
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    valkian on 24 Feb, 2012, 00:41…


    Bureaucracy is an organization that makes rules. Red tape is the excessive and rigid regulation of those rules.

    I see, yet it isn't it redundant to include both? Since red tape is always referring to bureaucracy.
    Very important discussion this is.
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    Thrik on 23 Feb, 2012, 14:58…
    Highlights quite nicely the issue with digital distribution, AlfredJ. It's all well and good until some little publishing issue like this comes along and causes the game to be withdrawn.
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    AlfredJ on 23 Feb, 2012, 13:52…
    A friend of mine bought this game on Xbox live but can't download it again. I guess he lost his money.
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    Jennifer on 23 Feb, 2012, 07:10…
    Bureaucracy is an organization that makes rules. Red tape is the excessive and rigid regulation of those rules.
  • Avatar
    valkian on 23 Feb, 2012, 04:24…
    Isn't red tape a synonym for bureaucracy? That's all I have to add.

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