OutRun Online Arcade has been taken down from the PlayStation Store because Sega's licensing deal with Ferrari has expired. Boo and, indeed, hiss. However, while Xbox 360 owners may laugh and jeer, they're still going to lose the chance to buy Sega's beautiful journey in December next year. No, we don't know why the two are different, either.
Sega has issued the following statement:
“Due to the expiry of the contract with Ferrari, Outrun Online Arcade will remain offline on PSN but will still be available on XBLA until Dec 2011.”
So there it is. A massive pity as the game is superb. But how did this happen? Aren't digital downloads supposed to live forever? The game turned one year old in April, which means the end of the contract would have been fast-approaching when the game was released.
Above: Would a Ferrari not smell as petrol-sweet by any other name?
You'd think online games are easy to keep on the store, but licenses expire all the time. I had my suspicions that OutRun was having difficulties when the excellent OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast also skipped the PSP download store, even though other Sega games were put up retroactively. Looks like everything's tied up in Ferrari-red tape.
Of course, there are a couple of solutions to the problem. Firstly, Sega could take Ferrari out of the game and have generic sporty racers in their place. It would still play the same. Secondly, we could all just play OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast on Xbox 1 and PS2, which doesn't look that much different. Finally, we could just remake the entire game in ModNation Racers.
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