"Alpha Protocol" is no longer available for sale on Valve's digital distribution service, Steam. The game was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Sega. Sega has a history of de-listing titles with underwhelming success from digital stores such as "Sonic the Hedgehog" for the Xbox 360. On the surface, this seems to be a similar case, but Sega claims that the decision stems from the expiration of music licensing.

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Obsidian

Obsidian Entertainment is a development studio made up of former key members of Black Isle Studios. Black Isle developed the first two "Fallout" installments and were in the process of developing a third entry before the publisher, Interplay Entertainment, cancelled the title to shift their focus on console gaming. When members such as Feargus Urqhart and Chris Avellone founded Obsidian in 2003, they proceeded to develop more character based role playing games such as the sequels to "Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic" and "Neverwinter Knights." They were even able to incorporate ideas from their cancelled version of "Fallout 3" in the 2010 title "Fallout New Vegas."

In recent years, Obsidian released the well-received "South Park: The Stick of Truth" and are developing a new franchise called "The Outer Worlds."

Alpha Protocol

Shortly after finishing "Neverwinter Knights 2," Obsidian received a request from Sega to develop a new franchise for them.

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Sega was very interested in Obsidian's idea for a Spy themed role playing game and signed on as the publisher for "Alpha Protocol." However, problems arose during development due to a the lack of clear direction with the gameplay and intended target audience. After two years of slow progress, the game was in danger of being cancelled. This prompted co-founder Chris Parker and creative director Chris Avellone to step in and save the project.

The game took thematic inspiration from television shows such as "24" and "Burn Notice" as well as the "Bourne" film series.

The game centers around a secret Black Ops agency unknown to even the highest American agencies. Players take control of a new recruit named Michael Thorton who uncovers an international conspiracy that could prompt a war.

Release

Critics had polarizing views on the game upon release.

While the story and morally ambiguous choices were generally praised, the visuals and gameplay mechanics were largely seen as dated and unpolished. Scores ranged wildly from a 2/10 from Destructoid and a 81/100 from the UK division of PC Gamer. The game managed to sell only 700,000 copies in US and European territories.

Sega was not satisfied with the financial performance of "Alpha Protocol," and as such, has not pursued another entry despite Obsidian's desires to develop a sequel.

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