Space Rangers HD: a War Apart was released on Steam last week. It retails for $24.99 but is currently on sale for $19.99 until Oct. 24th. This is in itself cause to rejoice. Space Rangers is a unique series that features a dynamic galaxy that operates independent of the player. Space Rangers 2 coupled the dynamic world with ground based RTS combat, turn-based space combat, logic puzzles, trading, and text adventures. A truly interesting and time consuming experience, an update is certainly welcome.
The problem is that last year it seems that the publisher 1C Company decided to pull down access to Space Rangers 1 and 2. What was once sold on Steam and GOG is now only available to people who previously purchased it (I downloaded my copy to make sure). So while it is awesome that Space Rangers HD exists, it is a tragedy that historic records are wiped clean. This affair does raise questions as to what games will be allowed to exist in the future. The digital download space has only really surfaced in this generation and with the coming of the next, we will probably see more games disappear entirely in a way that old physical copies never will. A week ago I was excited for the prospect of old games seeing new life (Silent Storm and Startopia being released on Steam) but today I am a little more worried. I guess other means of distribution (i.e. piracy) will help save the public record, but it seems like a hollow victory.