This week Wednesday (March 24, 2021) the Playism web store will close. If you don’t know Playism, it’s a digital publisher / distributor / translation house for games, started in 2013, with a focus on acquiring indies, especially from outside America— Japan, but also Malaysia, Korea, Germany, and many others. Though they claim to be healthily continuing as a publisher on other platforms (Steam, console downloads) this will still be a loss for several reasons:
- A number of the smaller indies they backed have defunct web presence and will be lost, with no plans to resume distribution (and probably no hope to contact many of these devs),
- Games bought from their store can easily be downloaded in any / all available translations, some of which will be lost or become much more difficult to obtain,
- In general, they had a good commitment to DRM-free downloads: mixed feelings for the devs among our forum members I’m sure, but whatever else DRM-free is better for long-term preservation exactly because digital stores can close like this. As far as I can tell it is the only source for DRM-free versions of some of their offerings, including both some high-profile doujin games and obscure ones that will slip even through the safety net of piracy due to lack of interest.
What’s to be done? Nothing, really, just thought people might like a heads-up that this is a last chance to look through their offerings. And if you can spare, maybe consider preserving some of the more expensive or niche games. While I was going through to see what will disappear and I can afford to last-minute-buy myself, I was able to find a few dev blogs who had since made their games free— after the closures of Desura, or Indievania. Here goes another.