Yesterday afternoon, Rockstar’s games suddenly weren’t available to buy on Steam. Were Rockstar pulling out in a big store scloosie hullaballo? Had Ian Gun, the inventor of guns, finally sent in his lawyers to demand royalties? Naw, looks like it was one big daft mistake. It did have one bright side, though. When Grand Theft Auto and the rest returned, so did Midnight Club 2, the racing game they actually had intentionally pulled from sale in 2018, giving people a fleeting opportunity to buy it again.
As cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer noted, games started being pulled from sale at around 4pm on Monday, set to “Retired at publisher request”. If you already owned an affected game, you could still play it, but newcomers couldn’t buy them. Then someone must have noticed and felt a terrible sudden feeling of oh god oh god I’ve done it this is it I’m over oh god what have I done oh god oh god, because the games started coming back over the next 20 minutes.
But when the games accidentally removed returned, so did one intentionally taken off sale. Midnight Club 2, Rockstar San Diego’s 2003 racing game, had been delisted from the store (presumably due to music licensing or something, the usual reason) in 2018, and yesterday it returned. For an hour, SteamDB records show, people could buy it again. And apparently some did!
New reviews from Steam players popped up with messages like “Thanks for the mistake R
PCG say their sources at the companies tell told them it was all just an accident.