Welcome to the digital future!
It may be an exaggeration and blowing one game’s situation out of proportion, to be honest. Nevertheless, what is happening with P.T. is truly something that can make one think about the hidden face of a digital-only future, even if it is possibly far-fetched.
For those out of the loop, P.T. is an interactive teaser released for Playstation 4 some time ago, for a game that wasn’t mentioned, done by the unknown 7780s studio. Here’s the reveal trailer:
The concept seemed interesting to gamers who flocked to download the demo. Quickly, two things started spreading like wildfire in the internet: P.T. was possibly the scariest game/demo/teaser ever released, and that it was actually a facade for a new Silent Hill game, this time directed by Hideo Kojima himself. Internet explodes, people stream the scares all over the place, conspiracy theory posts abound on how to unlock the teaser’s true ending (the trailer to Silent Hill itself).
Fast forward a few months later and the Konami/Kojima catastrophe is in full swing and Silent Hills has basically been cancelled. Konami says it’s gonna remove the listing for P.T. from the Playstation Store; people flock to “buy” (it was free) the demo so it stayed in their libraries, ready to be downloaded at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, the time came and Konami deleted the game from the servers as well, meaning that even if the game is in your library you cannot download it anymore.
Some people, sensing Konami was gonna take such action, downloaded P.T., just to have it in their systems. A reminder of what it was, what it could have been, and simply have a brilliant piece of software in their machines.
This morning there were Twitter reports that now P.T. has an “expiration date” set at the year’s end. However, this is apparently related to P.T. being linked to Germany’s Playstation Plus, so it stands to reason that this date is the Plus’ expiration date and not the demo. But one could wonder: could a dev really do this?
All these things, real or not, have provoked a very visible Konami hate wave in social networks, and also put the digital future in the spotlight, for all the wrong reasons.
A digital future has its advantages, one being the possibility of accessing your games/software at any time in your virtual library, and another being the theoretical fact that digital games could/should be cheaper (and in some cases, already is). But what happens when Skynet rebels and we lose access to our digital library? What if internet is down for whatever reason and we can’t “authenticate” our games? What is the publisher decides that due to some legal thing or purely out of douchebaggyness that a game you bought a while ago simply cannot be played anymore, blocking it? Konami and P.T. have brought this questions to the forefront, and I expect to see articles about this pop up this week.
It is funny, though: P.T. may be the scariest game ever not because of its gameplay, but because it shows the scary side of this digital future of ours.
No, the sky isn’t falling… but I could swear I saw a cloud lower a few inches.