Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver Removed From Steam, Modder Says License Issues To Blame
Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver was removed from Steam recently for unspecified "updates," but a notable fan developer has stated that the removal is due to licensing issues.
Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver was temporarily scrubbed from Steam a few days ago, raising eyebrows across the Web. Some hopeful fans speculated on social media that the cult classic was removed from the store as part of a lead-up to a remake or remaster announcement. However, several threads in the game's Steam forum by a notable fan developer suggest that Soul Reaver was removed from sale due to license issues with the legacy Bink video format, as well as other issues with running the game on modern operating systems.
As of this writing, the game's store page has a notice that reads: "Square Enix has temporarily removed this title from sale to work on some important updates. Please check back soon!" According to Legacy of Kain fan developer "wrace," the author of a popular fan-patch that fixes several critical issues with the Soul Reaver PC port, a team at online storefront GOG are currently working to release a version of the game that will include lower-quality versions of the game's cutscenes. This is apparently because the existing Steam version uses the proprietary Bink video format without a license. It will also supposedly include a wrapper to improve Windows 10 support.
For what it's worth, we don't have official word from Square Enix or GOG on any of this, so we should definitely take those claims with a grain of salt. However, wrace did provide a purported transcript of their communications with GOG, and they're generally respected in the Legacy of Kain fan community. GOG has previously included unofficial fan patches in their versions of games like Deus Ex and Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines before. What's more, the GOG version of Soul Reaver remains up for the moment, so if you absolutely have to play it on PC, that's your best option. Fans generally consider the Dreamcast version of the game to be the best way to play it.
Legacy Of Kain fans have hoped for a new entry in the series for almost two decades at this point. Recently, Square Enix announced that it's working on multiple remakes with Forever Entertainment, the developer behind the 2020 Panzer Dragoon. Fans hope one of those might be a Legacy Of Kain game, but we have to wait and see. In other LOK news, a beta version of Soul Reaver 2 was unearthed as part of a large trove of unfinished game builds called Project Deluge.