skeleton soccer players couresy of Slice of Shanghai
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Another Xbox game for Windows Phone bites the dust: PES 2012

It’s no fun kicking a downed horse, but we have another bit of bad news about an Xbox game for Windows Phone. Not only did the number of games in the Xbox WP lineup fail to increase this week, it actually fell by one! That’s because Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (PES 2012) was delisted, seemingly permanently.

Deja vu

PES 2012 WP delisted store page

Now, anyone who has followed the Xbox WP lineup for long enough shouldn’t be too surprised at PES 2012’s delisting. The first Pro Evolution Soccer title for Windows Phone (PES 2011) got delisted on January 23, 2012 – 10 months after its debut. This seemingly happened because of PES 2012’s impending release, but that game didn’t appear until March 20, 2012, leaving Windows Phone without a PES title for two months that year.

Now PES 2012 is also gone – 20 days sooner than its delisted forbear. Anyone who purchased PES 2012 or 2011 cannot redownload those games. Tough luck if you need to switch to a new handset and still want to play your soccer game (not that you’d retain your save data anyway). Sometimes users manage to secure refunds for delisted games by chatting with Microsoft’s customer support in India; I succeeded once myself. But we don’t have a dedicated web link for this type of refund request, and individual results may vary.

Call for improvement

PES 2012 WP screenshots

This latest delisting highlights several larger problems affecting both the Windows Phone ecosystem and specifically Xbox Windows Phone games. The general issue: Windows Phone users have no way to back up their purchased games and apps, unlike iOS and Android users who can simply save them to a computer.

Microsoft could at least allow users to redownload any Windows Phone app they’ve purchased regardless of whether it’s still being sold, but they don’t. This despite the fact that Xbox 360 digital purchases can usually be redownloaded after such a removal. Once a game gets removed from the Windows Phone Store, people who paid for it can never get it again.

I hinted at the other issue earlier: save files. Even if PES 2012 hadn’t been delisted, someone who started playing the game on one phone and then switched to a new phone couldn’t resume their existing save data. Both PES 2011 and PES 2012 require the player to complete hundreds of games in order to unlock all of their Achievements. Why should anyone commit to that endeavor when their save data could be lost from any number of circumstances, and the game will simply become unavailable to download one day anyway.

More PES on the way?

The future of the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise on Windows Phone remains uncertain. Konami might just have a PES 2013 game in store for us, but they’ve made no announcement to that effect. If PES 2012 wasn’t pulled to make room for a sequel, it could have been pulled due to the WP8 crashing issues that several recent reviews mention on its Store page. That would be unusual though, as every other WP8-incompatible game we know of can still be downloaded from WP7 devices.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft and Konami about PES 2012’s delisting and will update if they issue a response.

Photo: Slice of Shanghai

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Reader comments

Another Xbox game for Windows Phone bites the dust: PES 2012

38 Comments

I agree with contacting developers to let them know there's community interest.
For the Mint app, I'm done with those people at Intuit. They said they'd look into making one for WP7, then WP7.5, then they had a page up saying a WP8 app was on the way but took that down. I've moved to Pageonce and won't install Mint if they ever do release one.

yeah figure when they charge what $7 per game they could support a little more.  wish it had achievements also
 

Do you guys even research your stories before writing and publishing. The same happened last year because EA will release the 2013 version. Simples.

i don't understand the need to delist an older version of a game... i mean it's not like it costs them anything to keep it up in the marketplace...?

they don't need to pay that to keep it in the store, the Store account could be expired and their apps still listed, they just wouldn't be able to publish any updates until they renewed it

I say we make a list of all of the apps that left or leave WP so that when WP becomes dominant we can shun them when they decide to come crawling back.

I love being the only person with a WP wherever I go - it's a talking point as most people I meet don't have a clue that there is a choice besides iphone or android. I'm a developer but a lot of people assume that means I can fix their phones and tablets... but I just shrug my shoulders and say that I have a Windows Phone & don't know anything about iPhones or Android (which is true).

I couldn't care less about this particular game, but it's still disheartening to see this happen yet again.  It sometimes feels like the customers are the only ones who care about Windows Phone.

Three soccer games gone and not one football game yet??? Come on EA release a Madden for Windows phones.

I will never buy a PES game because the company does not respect my money. If you cant support your customers when they need to redownload your product, then get the hell out of here!

if anyone wasn't expecting this I am sorry it wasn't just the wp store it was removed from it was all marketplaces (they do the same to ios and android) its they don't want people buying a pes title thats not the newest be surprised how many random people would just see pes and download it and then see it running on a friends phone and be like its not the same game arrggh and demand a refund.

Paul, didn't the marketplace website add a download option? I.e. To install apps via microSD? Obviously this doesn't help with delisted apps but it should be a way to backup what's currently available.

The store needs a proper refund policy for delisted apps before it loses consumer confidence. It will make me think twice before anymore purchases.