Sayonara, Umihara Kawase, indeed. Had I heeded the warning signs of publisher Agatsuma Entertainment going under, I would have picked up the Umihara Kawase games on Steam right away. However, I did not, and the lingering questions about the permanence of digital games has once again been pushed into the spotlight.
All three entries in the series have been de-listed from Steam mere weeks after being made available with no warning, and there is no telling if they will be coming back. In fact, fans are reporting that they can’t even re-download them if they didn’t have them on their computer. It’s like P.T. all over again, except we have nobody to blame or point the finger at.
Of the three, the second game in the series, a port of the PlayStation game Umihara Kawase Shun, is the biggest victim of this fiasco since it has no other legitimate outlets where it can be purchased. The original Umihara Kawase and latest game Sayonara Umihara Kawase can still be picked up at the PlayStation Store, so I suggest you do so if you have any interest in this series.
Sayonara Umihara Kawase can also be purchased as Yumi’s Odd Odyssey through the Nintendo 3DS eShop, but it does not include the original game.
Such a shame. Digital distribution has made leaps and bounds over the years and has slowly won me over, but it’s the little things like this which force me to question the longevity of it all, mostly because it’s the little games I like to return to the most.