[Edit: It seems that SEGA has updated and said that the reason Alpha Protocol was pulled from Steam was because in-game music license had expired.]
After a decade of SEGA doing nothing with the Alpha Protocol IP, it finally did something. They removed it from digital sales on Steam. Not the type of move I was hoping for and according to SEGA it was due to the ‘rights expiring’.
We don’t know much about what the IP rights for Alpha Protocol where, maybe SEGA had a contract that if they didn’t use the IP after a certain amount of years it reverts back to the developer? Did Microsoft (who now owns Obsidian Software) make a deal with SEGA for the IP? According to PC Gamer, they say that SEGA’s statement about the license expiring aren’t accurate and that SEGA still owns the IP. I thought the original Alpha Protocol was a buggy game, but it had potential to be a big franchise if they followed up the sequels with a more solid made product. Outside of rumors that Microsoft/Obsidian might have made a deal with SEGA for the IP rights, there is also a pattern that when ‘remakes’ of games come out, the publisher pulls the old version of the games from sale (Dark Souls Remake, Darksiders Warmastered).
I also don’t know how I feel about SEGA being so liberal with other publishers making games for their in-house IPs they own including Bayonetta 3, Streets of Rage 4, Panzer Dragoon remakes, Shenmue III, and so on. As much as I like seeing these franchises continue, its bittersweet that it isn’t under SEGA’s publishing arm/funding.