Twin Blades pulled from Windows Phone, Xbox 360, and iTunes Marketplaces

Press Start Studio’s Xbox Live hack-and-slash game Twin Blades has had a rough time of things. Last year it was pulled from the Marketplace over concerns about its violent content, only to return four months later with the zombie blood replaced by harmless green goo.  But even then, the game proved to be incompatible with the Windows Phone Mango update, which wasn’t rectified for another three months.

Fast-forward to March of this year, and Twin Blades is once again gone from the Marketplace. Not only that, but the Xbox 360 indie and iOS versions, as well as Press Start’s other Windows Phone title, Butterfly, are also gone. As usual, they all disappeared without warning.

We contacted Microsoft about the delistings and received this response:

“Due to unforeseen circumstances both Microsoft and the developer are unable to make these games available in the Mobile Marketplace going forward.  We have appreciated the opportunity to share these games with our customers.”

Basically, the titles have been permanently removed. They didn’t say why, but in situations like this that don’t involve licensed games, a mass delisting usually means that the developer has gone out of business. Press Start Studio, a small French developer, did not return requests for comment. Further signs that their doors may have closed: they haven’t updated their website since October, and they actually failed to respond to an interview that we had arranged a short while before that. Too bad, it would have been good!

It’s always sad to see the passing of a game from existence. Twin Blades had a vocal little fan base who loved its stylish art and action. In our review I lamented its extreme repetitiveness and poor level design though. As for Butterfly, another game I reviewed – well, that one was just terrible. You’re not missing much from its absence but some easy Achievements.

If we learn anything more about Press Start Studio’s fate, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Line 34: Change to "Too bad, it would have been good!"
  • Just noticed that, too.
  • That's why I hate digital games with no physical copy. From now on, everyone who bought the game can't uninstall it, or upgrade to a new phone, or else they won't be able to get their game, that they paid for, back! Luckily for me, I didn't buy the game. There should be a section in the marketplace for old games, where you could download games you bought in the past. It's ok to stop selling a game, but removing access to it for people who already paid for it is wrong.
  • Agreed. Another nice thing about physical copies is that you can sell them (unless they're protected by some bs DRM).
  • Spot on. I guess my copy will be gone when I upgrade my phone, but then again it won't be the first time this has happened.
  • There needs to be a class action lawsuit about this.  The solution is to allow users to backup their downloads to their own personal storage somehow or else have a guarenteed window of time during which redownloads will be possible: "We will provide you with the opportunity to redownload this game for a minimum of years from purchase date."
  • Agreed on the class action lawsuit it is complete bogus you can't redownload your games plus I am sick of digital copies of stuff I hate the fact they can just dissappear without you having any knowledge or input. If the next thing is all digital everything I think I am going to break out my old cartridge systems. I would not be as annoyed if they would just announce what games they are going to delist and give people a chance to buy them before they are removed but it would still be very nice to have a way to redownload them. I do not want to get a new phone because I will now lose Star Wars Cantina and Butterfly when I lose/break my phone.
  • Agree. I've always thought "owning" digital copies of games/movies/music was a bit naive. Physical copies are soooo much better. And on the music side, I don't have a limit to how many devices I can play my cd on. On top of that Zune deleted almost 200 songs from my laptop & phone! Gave me no reason, just while I was syncing my phone then poof, they were gone! As you can tell, I'm not a fan of digital copies, at all.
  • What the fuck?!? Why do I pay for these games?!?
    First I bought "Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst" and now "Twin Blades" ... Im really pissed off!
    So, I bought many apps and games in the past and some "no name" apps stopped working with the mango update like streamything. And I know this could happen with no name devs ... but now I have to be thankfully to be able play my paid xbox live games?!?
    sorry microsoft, but this is a big digrace!
  • Wow... like, 2 games you have noted that have been removed from the Windows Phone market place, when there are MANY MANY more that have been removed from iTunes and the Android market place...
    This is hardly a disgrace...
  • With the iPhone and Android you can back up your games. You have the option of reinstalling them. WP7 doesn't have this option. If you buy a game or app and change phones or reset your phone your screwed. This is a EPIC FAIL by MICROSOFT.
  • Oooo $3 boo hooo
  • Are you suggesting that people shouldn't be able to back up their games in case they get delisted?
  • This is no different than a retail developer going out of business. Those games stop being made when the developer is not around to cash a check. Only in the digital world there is no 'black market' for used copies.
    So yeah, it's sad, but Microsoft can't be bothered to host files that do not make them money and only suck resources away. They aren't doing anything wrong here.
    It would be wise to warn before a delist happens to get some last minute sales, I can't understand why they don't do that.
  • They should at least find a way to let people backup their games and apps locally. (and make those games only useable with the right xbox Live account of course) Right now it feels a little as if Nintendo went to your place and took your old NES back from you with all your games simply because they don't sell it in stores anymore. It's not because they stop selling it that people shouldn't be allowed to at least have a backup if their phone crashes. They still paid for the game.
  • I don't see that at all. I purchased both Butterfly and Twin Blades and I deleted them when I was done. I didn't have to delete them but I made a conscious choice knowing that I'd never play them again. It's really only an issue if you deleted your games. If you still have them you can play them forever. No one is taking your games away. If you deleted them, like me, Microsoft cannot be responsible to host the files indefinitely, forever, just so you can download them at your leisure for the rest of your life. That's not practical.
  • That's why people should be able to back them up. Also, people sometimes get new phones, lose their phones, etc. and wouldn't be able to play delisted games any more, even if they weren't done with them.
  • Aight who has the xap? :D
  • Buterfly was ok, the achievements were soooo easy.
    I've got a few delisted games now.
  • Still don't understand why they don't publicize that a game is going to get delisted a week or 2 in advance.  Would have probably bought Twin Blades.
  • Glad I can side load it...
  • Butterfly is not that bad Paul, seriously... It's kinda "feel good" game, bit of "Zen-ish"... with its nice art and laughable foes. There are much worse games...
  • Unavailable to make these games available in the marketplace? Well they were already there so why not let them be seems like moving them took more effort then what they actually do lol
  • My post will probably but it shouldn't be as noone is losing money from a game that is no longer available.
    There's the xap. You need a regular unlock to sideload it.
  • That was Twin blades 1.3 and this is Butterfly
  • It installs and start up great n all but when you select story mode it crashes to the collection menu
  • The Twin Blades 1.3 XAP file link does not work.  It keeps saying all the servers are full.
  • That's it Microsoft!!! Too many of my "paid for" games are being deleted. I thought I'd support the platform but after a few (pricey like FIFA) games have disappeared and I can't reinstall... I am no longer buying Xbox live games, only physical disks. End of the line. jejeje
  • hey guys i just changed from the radar to the 710 and when i went to download some of the games i had again it just told me you already paid for this app would you like to reinstall does this mean i dont have to pay for anything ive already paid for? thats pretty awesome i know its off topic but i never tried because i always assumed id have to repay. :-S