When Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade, it did so without much support from top-tier third-party publishers. Beyond casual specialist PopCap Games, the most notable name on the Xbox Live Marketplace at launch was Midway, with the publisher selling arcade classics Gauntlet, Smash TV, and Joust from day one.
Now those games--as well as Cyberball 2072, Robotron: 2084, Defender, Paperboy, Rootbeer Tapper, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3--have been pulled from the Xbox Live Marketplace. A Microsoft representative said the group of games was removed from the service late last week "due to evolving rights and permissions."
Those problems don't seem to have affected the publisher's PlayStation Network titles, as games like Mortal Kombat II were still available on the PlayStation 3 downloadable storefront this morning. Inquiries to Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, which now controls Midway's library of intellectual properties, were not returned as of press time.
While that prevents gamers from adding those titles to their library for the first time, they aren't gone from the service entirely. As the Microsoft representative said, "Xbox Live members will always be able to play and re-download any titles they have already purchased."