Walmart Sells Online Game That Doesn't Go Online

Jake saw the ill-fated online game APB — which publisher Electronic Arts shut down after just a few months — for sale at Walmart. It’s just waiting to spring its unplayable wonders upon some unsuspecting gamer.

While running my weekend errands at Walmart I came across this copy of APB in the clearance section of the PC game aisle. The game servers have been shut down since September 23rd, so there’s no way you could play the game if you bought it.

Maybe there is a big market for collectors of closed MMOs?

What’s frightening is that Amazon is also in on the action, charging $43 for new copies.

Previously: Players Who Downloaded Failed Game On Steam Get Free Replacement

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  1. Thaddeus says:

    No, no, no… you’ve got it all wrong… they are selling it as a collectors item. You get joy by owning something that could have brought you joy. It’s that or they filed to send out a alert to the company to have the game pulled. I doubt there is anyone higher up that pays attention to that sort of thing.

  2. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    If one day someone sets up an emulator, it might come in handy. I’m glad I hung on to my old Star Wars Galaxies CDs just for that reason.

    Of course, being that APB sucked so hard it lasted mere months, an emulator is probably not going to be created.

    • Shadowfax says:

      ?

      Star Wars Galaxies is still running.

      • Moweropolis says:

        I believe he means before it was ruined with the last expansion. People run pre-expansion servers.

        • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

          Yes, the Pre-CU emulators, to relive the good times before SOE ruined it.

          • Shadowfax says:

            Are they any good, though? My experience with volunteer-run online interactive endeavors is usually that things turn to crap as the leaders get busy with infighting and ruin the game as a result.

    • common_sense84 says:

      This makes no sense. If someone sets up an emulator, just download the game for free. Why would you care about having original disks if the game servers that require them don’t even exist?

  3. Span_Wolf says:

    From time to time I tell the manager at this store or that, that they have an unplayable game on the shelf when I see an old MMO box, or time cards.

    • Griking says:

      You really need to contact Walmart home office about things like these. Individual stores have little to no control over what products they carry.

  4. Robofish says:

    I thought someone was planning on picking up the game and reopening servers? Or maybe I’m wrong

    • Scurvythepirate says:

      Curse you!!! You beat me by 2 minutes. If I didn’t get distracted at work I would have had you.

      • Robofish says:

        So I’m not wrong lol. w00t

        • DigTheFunk says:

          It seems like it should be illegal for a company(especially one as continually uninterested in customer satisfaction as EA) to release a game that is literally unplayable within mere months. Aren’t there any consumer laws something such as this could fall under?

          • Twonkey says:

            I know it’s well after the fact, but to answer your question, no, there are no laws against that. The legelese in the back of the manual pretty much covers this possibility, and tells you that should it happen, you’re pretty much SOL.

            Anything that goes up against WoW pretty much needs to be free-to-play to even have a chance to survive anymore, so this sort of outcome is all but assured unless they embrace that structure straight out of the gate. Even then it’s no guarantee that the game will be successful over the long term, so it’s still a crap-shoot. That’s why I don’t bother with MMO games. At least if I buy a game that doesn’t rely overmuch on online modes, I can play it for as long as I want and get my money’s worth from it. For example, I’m still playing Darksiders a couple of years after it came out. :)

  5. Scurvythepirate says:

    I believe another company took on the task of actually redoing this game so it doesn’t suck and is planning on getting the servers running again. But I doubt that will happen.

  6. danmac says:

    They’re now marketing the game toward hipsters.

  7. GMFish says:

    Amazon is selling it for 20 bucks.

  8. Outrun1986 says:

    Seen it at Walmart many times in the toy department. There are quite a few electronic toys that connect online (and don’t do much unless they are connected online), the trouble is the toys they are selling are several years old which means the online service is long down for the toys still stuck on the shelves. The other thing is these toys were being sold for close to full price.

    Another thing is they still have toys that only work with Windows XP, some people still have XP, but a lot have Windows 7 now. I find the average life of a home PC to be around 5-6 years so XP is pretty much on its last legs. Although it is the reponsibility of the user to check into this before buying a toy it would be nice to know if the toys were incompatible with Windows 7 right in the store.

    • FrugalFreak says:

      You will get my clutches of XP when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. I resent new software on the basis that it needs new hardware to get full speed. No Thanks I won’t be following the Tech Manufacturers Suggested Revolving Door.

    • Destron says:

      You should check facts before making statements. XP Still holds over 50% of the market vs only 24% for Windows 7.

      http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp

      XP is far from it’s last leg. Many people are still buying new PC’s and wiping them to put XP on them, and there is a whole group of indie developers devoted to creating drivers for newer products for XP.

  9. elysse says:

    … and? I saw my local WM AND Meijer trying to sell Tabula Rasa 3 months after the service shut down. My Meijer is about as with it as Abe Simpson when it comes to games, though, so they get a pass.

    • MMD says:

      Really? They get a pass?
      Would they get a pass for selling expired food?
      If you sell it, you should be responsible for staying informed and pull products shouldn’t be sold.

  10. NoThankYou says:

    I saw the same thing at Target after Earth and Beyond went dark.

  11. Cicadymn says:

    “What’s frightening is that Amazon is also in on the action, charging $43 for new copies.”

    Whoa whoa whoa. It’s ok guys. They discounted it down to $20.

  12. DanRydell says:

    This article is embarrassingly inaccurate even for Phil. Amazon isn’t selling the game, third party sellers are selling it through Amazon.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Does the average person name the specific seller on Amazon, or do they simply say it’s being sold on Amazon.

      The answer may surprise you.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      You could go create your own blog – maybe something like iHateEveryone.com.

    • MMD says:

      And I suppose you think Amazon has no responsibility to police their third party sellers?

  13. gparlett says:

    Amazon is also selling APB for the Atari Lynx, but nobody seems worked up about that….

    http://www.amazon.com/P-B-APB-Game-Atari-Lynx/dp/B00147SQLI/ref=sr_1_5?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1287616181&sr=1-5

  14. dumpsterj says:

    hell ive seen a few walmarts selling the Tabula Rasa Limited Edition lol

  15. Piemonkey says:

    The one I work at is still selling it. Walmart doesn’t pay ANY attention to PC games. This really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    In case anyone’s wondering, the price is still $60.

  16. brianisthegreatest says:

    I wonder who’s job it is at Walmart to play the games they have on their shelves, to see if the servers are still up.

  17. rng72 says:

    Its stock they have to sell, what else are they going to do throw it out? I dont see an issue with this. Yes it would suck as a consumer to buy it and find out it doesnt work but there is nothing illegal on Walmarts part.

  18. teamplur says:

    I went into a game crazy that to be closing soon, they had a copy of Tabula Rasa on sale for like $5, long after the servers had been shut off.