What you need to know
- Xbox recently posted a bulletin on its Xbox Live status page stating that some Xbox 360 games will be removed from digital storefronts on February 7, 2023.
- Although some of these games are backwards compatible, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S do not have corresponding store listings.
- This should not affect users who already have these titles.
- It remains to be seen how this update will affect store listings on modern Xbox consoles with backwards compatibility, and we’ve reached out to Microsoft for clarification.
Update, January 31, 2023 at 4:00 PM CT: in his statement to GematsuMicrosoft has confirmed that “starting February 7, 2023, limited game bundles, add-ons, and in-game content will no longer be available for purchase in select markets through the Xbox 360 Store. These titles will no longer be available for purchase only through the Xbox 360 Store and Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S Titles available for purchase in their store. You’ll still be able to play discs or preloaded games on your Xbox 360 and modern consoles. These are backward compatible titles.”
This confirms user speculation that Microsoft’s recent removal of certain Xbox 360 games from the legacy Xbox 360 platform will not affect the availability of those games on modern Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles. However, this still stops backwards compatible games from being available on their original platform, while even games that are backwards compatible on modern Xboxes may no longer be available due to games not being listed in the current Xbox Store, e.g. Like DOOM 3 and Jet Set Radio.
If you’d like to digitally own any of the games listed below and those titles aren’t currently available directly through the Xbox Store on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, visit the Xbox 360 Store and purchase them within the next day. week before the titles are permanently removed from the platform. Note that some of these games are not backward compatible and cannot be played on modern Xbox consoles, and many backward compatible games are currently available for purchase in the Xbox Store.
Our original article continues below…
The DRM debate continues, with Microsoft set to pull a number of classic games from sale as early as next week.
Wario64 and other users on reddit and Twitter noted the service update on Xbox Live, explaining that on February 7th, Microsoft will remove dozens of games from various markets. It certainly revolves around things like expiring licenses, but what’s not clear is how that might affect Xbox 360 backwards compatibility on modern Xbox consoles.
Indeed, some of these games do not have modern store listings on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles. So it’s unclear if some games will be completely removed from sale when this update goes ahead.
The list of games to be removed is as follows in the US. For other regions, go to this transition (opens in new tab).
- Aegis Wing
- Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
- Assassin’s Creed® III
- Assassin’s Creed® IV
- Assassin’s Creed® Liberation HD
- Werewolf blood
- Blue Dragon
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Castle Accidents
- Cloning Clyde
- Counter-Strike: GO
- Dark Souls™
- Darksiders II
- DAYTONA USA
- Defense net
- Eats: Chowdown
- Far Cry® 2
- Final Battle: DblImpact
- Iron Brigade
- Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad
- Jet Set Radio
- 4 were left dead
- 4 survived, 2 changed their lives
- The Lost Odyssey
- Mass Effect 2
- MONOPOLY AGREEMENT
- Attack of the Mutant Blobs
- Outpost Kaloki X
- Peggle ® 2
- Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds
- Prince of Persia
- Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co.
- Skate 2
- South Park™: The Stick of Truth™
- Splinter Cell conviction
- Star Wars Battlefront
- Star Wars KOTOR 2
- Orange box
- The Raven 1 series
- Witcher 2
We’ve reached out to Microsoft to clarify how and when each game will be removed, and whether this will affect the size at large. List of available Xbox backwards compatible titles currently offered. We suspect that the vast majority of these games will still be available directly on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, but it’s unclear if titles that haven’t been properly updated will be available for the new system. Some games are only available as a “Package”. Orange box (opens in new tab) for example, and these packs do not currently have compatible store listings on modern consoles. Other games such as DOOM 3 and Jet Set Radio are not listed on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, although they are backwards compatible due to licensing issues.
Windows Central’s Take
I’m often a big fan of digital purchases, but cases like this remind me why physical discs are still important to offer consumers as an option. Licensing issues, closed services, and closed companies can lead to games being removed from sale, which hampers efforts to preserve games as a whole.
Microsoft is one of the few game companies willing to invest so heavily in protecting legitimate video games, either by emulating them with an Xbox 360 backwards compatibility emulator on modern Xbox consoles, or through full native ports. Microsoft recently worked with Nintendo to bring Rare Golden Eye for example, to modern consoles. Licensees can often be greedy or approachable. It’s common for digital games to disappear from Apple and Google’s mobile platforms, and I suspect we may see similar things on major consoles in the future, if users at least don’t hesitate to offer physical discs as an option moving forward.
I’ll be sure to update this article with clarification from Microsoft.