Electronic Arts has offered an explanation as to why four of its classic titles were delisted, then relisted on popular PC games marketplace GOG in the past few months.
GOG served a notice towards the end of June revealing it would soon remove Ultima Underworld and its sequel, Syndicate Plus and Syndicate Wars from its marketplace. The site said at the time this was "on publisher's request."
The decision was met by confusion and frustration from consumers, and earlier this month GOG and EA announced the titles would not only be returned to the marketplace but also available for free until September 3.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, EA's executive vice president for marketing, commercial and positive play Chris Bruzzo said the delisting came from a breakdown in the publisher's process for managing the digital titles it has on sale, and has since changed this procedure to avoid similar situations in future.
"When making decisions that affect players we take the time to review exactly what the potential impacts are and whether they serve the players best interests," he explained. "When we delisted Syndicate and Ultima Underworld we missed that step and so didn't fully consider the players perspective.
"From the level of interest players showed in delisting these games, it was clear that people still wanted them to be available, so we did two things.
"The first was to ensure that going forward we have a process in place that considers the player perspective in listing decisions. The second was to relist the titles and make them available to as many people as possible with a month-long promotion."
He added: "We saw so much love for these titles, more than twenty years after they originally launched we realised that we had to make them available again."
We recently took a deeper dive into the development and impact of Ultima Underworld in our podcast interview with Warren Spector.