According to a post from GOG, EA is having four classic games removed from the store next week that all helped inspire one of the greatest cyberpunk games Deus Ex – alongside many other games, such as Prey, System Shock, and Cyberpunk 2077.
In a post on GOG’s forum (via Kotaku), the digital storefront told users that, “on publisher’s request”, classic PC games Ultima Underworld 1 and 2, Syndicate Plus, and Syndicate Wars will be delisted from the GOG catalog next week – specifically, this coming Monday, June 28th, at 13:00 UTC / 06:00 ET / 09:00 PT. Anyone who owns these games will still be able to download and play them from their GOG library or GOG Galaxy, but it will no longer be possible for people to buy them.
The biggest question is why EA is deciding to do this now. The games arrived on GOG on wildly different dates, and their original release dates were years apart too. They were from different developers – Ultima Underworld was from Thief and System Shock creator Looking Glass, and Syndicate was from Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper creator Bullfrog. Even the IP isn’t a problem, since the other Ultima games remain on GOG – Ultima IV is free, in fact.
Nor is EA hoarding these games for its Origin platform. The Ultima Underworld games and Syndicate Plus are there, but Syndicate Wars isn’t – meaning that once it’s gone from GOG it disappears for legal purchase from all digital storefronts. It’s also optimistic to think that EA has new games planned for these franchises – EA’s own reboot of Syndicate nor the third Underworld game were not very fondly received.
For now, at least these games are available for 75% on GOG – Ultima Underworld 1 & 2, Syndicate Plus, and Syndicate Wars can be had for less than the price of a coffee shop sandwich, and they’re all a lot more filling. Pick them up while you can.
The importance of Ultima Underworld 1 + 2 and the Syndicate series to gaming cannot be understated, as they’re still some of the best older games around. Syndicate was one of the earliest and greatest cyberpunk games, and Ultima Underworld pioneered the whole idea of an immersive sim – all of which lead to System Shock, Elder Scrolls, Deus Ex, Dishonored, last year’s Cyberpunk 2077, and a whole lot more. Just make sure you grab them before Monday.