According to Destructoid, Konami has just made the "Silent Hills" playable teaser (also known as "PT") unplayable with the PlayStation 5. Previously, the demo was transferable to the PlayStation 5's SSD as with all other PlayStation 4 titles. However, a recent report from Polygon has revealed that the functionality for "PT" has been removed. Sony claims that this decision falls squarely on Konami's shoulders.

This lack of regard for gaming history by a big publisher isn't uncommon by any means, but it does illustrate a problem that this medium has and that the industry seems to have no interest in addressing.

Like films, books, television shows, and any other medium, Video Games are in danger of being lost to time forever.

The horror game lost to time

For the uninitiated, "PT" was the name of the playable teaser of the then-upcoming survival horror game, "Silent Hills." The title was to be a reboot/ reimagining of the "Silent Hill" franchise led by Hideo Kojima of "Metal Gear Solid" fame and acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. Norman Reedus, best known as Daryl from "The Walking Dead," was to portray the main character while Horror manga artist Junji Ito was enlisted to design creatures for the game.

"PT" was released for the PlayStation 4 free of charge in August 2014. The playable teaser was met with a rave reception from fans and critics who had long felt that the "Silent Hill" franchise had been in a steep decline over the past ten years.

Sadly, this excitement was undercut when Guillermo del Toro and Norman Reedus announced the game's cancellation in April 2015 via Twitter. Shortly after, Konami had "PT" removed from digital stores to the ire of consumers and the gaming press alike.

Other lost gaming classics

Because of evolving hardware, and rights issues, many classic titles have not been re-released in any way, shape, or form.

In 1995, Dreamworks Interactive released a stop-motion animated adventure game called "The Neverhood." While the game was met with rave reviews, the game sold horribly. Electronic Arts bought Dreamworks Interactive in 2000 and shuttered its doors in 2013. Since then, EA has not re-released "The Neverhood," forcing players to track down a copy and use emulation to make it playable on modern systems.

This fate might have befallen classic LucasArts titles such as "Grim Fandango" and "Sam & Max Hit the Road" had Disney and Double Fine Productions not made them available for purchase on digital stores such as Steam and GOG.

However, there is one LucasArts title that will forever be lost. in 2004, "Sam & Max Freelance Police" was announced in 2002 for PC. Both the lead designers and voice actors from "Hit the Road" would reprise their roles and bring the duo to 3D for the first time. Despite being near completion and highly anticipated by gaming journalists, LucasArts announced the title's cancellation in 2004.

LucasArts proceeded to lay off their adventure games staff, several of which would later form Telltale Games.

Telltale attempted to buy the rights of the game so they could finish it themselves, but LucasArts declined. Whether or not a playable beta of it exists is a mystery.

What can be done?

While piracy and emulation are frowned upon, they are both reliable means of preserving media. The silent German expressionist film "Nosferatu" is widely regarded as a masterpiece, but would have been lost to time if not for piracy. Florence Stoker successfully sued the studio that made the film for copyright infringement. The court then ordered that every copy of the film be destroyed. Luckily, one print managed to survive and be distributed all over the world.

Similarly, when publishers neglect to re-release classic games, gamers may take it upon themselves to make those games playable on modern machines through emulation.

The legality of this is questionable, but publishers often use these very same builds when they decide to release an official re-release via digital download. There may be no definitive solution to this problem, but in an age where big companies like Konami can effortlessly scrub specific titles from history, it's more important than ever to preserve classic games.

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