No, you aren’t seeing things – episodes of Telltale’s Minecraft adaptation, Minecraft: Story Mode, are suddenly $100 (£65) each for Xbox 360. If you want to buy the whole season, you need to fork out $700. That’s… what the hell?
Have the episodes suddenly become so rare – in light of Telltale closing and the episodes being removed from sale – their price has skyrocketed? No. Is it a mistake? No. So what’s going on?
Removing the episodes from sale on Xbox 360 had the unintended consequence of blocking them from being downloaded, so legit owners couldn’t download the episodes they needed. And as Xbox 360 is a bit – shh don’t tell it I said this – old, there were no workable solutions other than to re-list the episodes for sale. An unforeseen peril of a digital age, it seems.
“Please do not buy the content.”
Of course, the episodes aren’t supposed to be on sale, so in order to make sure no one buys them, prices were set ridiculously high. “Please do not buy the content,” the Minecraft Story Mode Facebook page warned. “If you do, you will be charged the amount shown. This is simply the only mechanism available to facilitate players being able to download their remaining episodes prior to servers shutting down.”
So Xbox 360 owners, you have until 25th June to download the episodes if you haven’t already. After that point they will be delisted from sale and you will be blocked again.
The closure of Telltale Games last autumn was brutal. Suddenly, without warning, roughly 274 people found themselves without jobs. The company collapsed. Fortunately, many of the talented Telltale developers managed to find employment elsewhere, as the games industry rallied around them, but not without considerable upheaval I’m sure. Connor Makar wrote a wonderful epilogue for the staff of Telltale, for Eurogamer, earlier this year.