Alpha Protocol is a spy RPG created by Fallout New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity developer Obsidian and published by Sega, and was released on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 in 2010. Despite being rather janky and feeling a bit unfinished, among other problems, it’s become something of a cult favorite due to how unique it is. Unfortunately new players looking to give it a try may be out of luck, as the game’s just been removed from Steam. So why was Alpha Protocol delisted?
If you head to the Alpha Protocol Steam page, which is still up, you’ll see that the option to purchase the game is missing. In its place, Steam has put the notice, “at the request of the publisher, Alpha Protocol is no longer available for sale on Steam.”
The publisher, in this case, is Sega. There has been speculation online as to the reasons for the game’s delisting from PC, including the possibility of a proper re-release or remaster, but the truth is unfortunately far harsher: the publisher no longer owns the rights to the game.
GameWatcher reached out to Sega, who responded and confirmed that the reason that Alpha Protocol has been delisted from Steam is that, “following the expiry of Sega’s publishing rights for Alpha Protocol, the title has been removed from Steam and is no longer on sale.” This suggests that the publishing rights for Alpha Protocol are back in the hands of Obsidian, who of course is now owned by Microsoft. It’s entirely possible then that we may see a sequel in the future, as Obsidian has previously wanted to do one and Sega wasn’t willing.
In some ways Alpha Protocol has a similar situation to Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, in that they’re both RPGs that were unfinished on release, but gained a fan following due to being unique and well-written games. While Bloodlines 2 is on its way from Paradox, will we get an Alpha Protocol 2 from Microsoft and Obsidian? Or at the very least, will the game return to Steam?