One of the less immediately obvious effects of the shift into digital distribution as one of the primary ways people get their video games is that it suddenly gets a lot easier to “lose” a game, in the curatorial sense. In earlier generations, a cartridge or disc for a particular little-known title might be rare, but it still existed in the physical world, ready for some lucky bargain hunter to stumble over it. But if a game was only ever available through download—and then the option to download said game is taken away—then its existence is exactly as fragile as however many console harddrives it still persists on at any given moment.
The most famous instance of this sort of digitally induced scarcity is, of course, Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hill teaser P.T., which now exists only on an increasingly dwindling number of PlayStation 4s (and in the minds of everyone who played it, where its legend of horror brilliance only grows). But there’s a smaller, but still vocal, contingent who’ve been asking a similar question for the last 6 years: Where the hell’s the Scott Pilgrim game?
Designed to tie in with Edgar Wright’s movie adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s beloved graphic novels, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game translated the metaphorical video game conceits of O’Malley’s books directly into a River City Ransom-riffing beat-em-up, sending Scott and Ramona brawling all over the mean streets of Toronto. Well-regarded at the time, the game was especially heralded for its aesthetic touches, with art by pixel art genius Paul Robertson, and a soundtrack from chiptune favorites Anamanaguchi. And, like P.T., it’s gained a certain legendary status due to scarcity in the intervening years, ever since it was pulled from PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 digital storefronts in late 2014. It became frustrating enough that both O’Malley and Wright have recently begged publisher Ubisoft on Twitter to bring the game back in honor of its (and the movie’s) 10th anniversary.
And lo and behold: The Scott Pilgrim game is finally back. Possibly hoping to distract attention from some of the other stuff it’s been getting yelled at for recently—including widespread allegations of ignored abuse in the company’s ranks—Ubisoft revealed today that it’ll be rolling out Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game—Complete Edition later this year, bringing the cult classic out of the shadows and onto PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. Will the game be able to hold up under all the expectations that have been laid on it during its years of unavailability? Who can say.
That soundtrack still kicks ass, though.