As of last week, we knew that P.T. would be disappearing from the PlayStation Store. The announcement of that pending disappearance came around the same time as the announcement that Silent Hills, Konami's horror franchise reboot that P.T. was created to promote, was officially canceled. As depressing as all that was, at least P.T. would still exist in some capacity. Even if it wasn't listed on the store anymore, those who previously downloaded it would theoretically be able to re-download it at their leisure, should the need to do so arise.
Or, so we thought.
Last night, word broke that P.T. was, in fact, no longer available to be downloaded from the PlayStation Store at all. I caught wind of this via former Polygon editor Russ Frushtick, and since last night, both Polygon and Kotaku have attempted to re-download P.T. from the PlayStation Store and received an error for their troubles. I have been reluctant to try this myself, as I don't want P.T. to be gone from my PlayStation 4, but the reports appear widespread enough to confirm this is a consistent issue--though Polygon notes in their story that European players are reportedly still able to re-download P.T..
P.T. disappearing entirely is an extraordinary thing, not only because of how well liked P.T. was, but because this is not typically what happens when games are delisted from digital stores. Usually, if a game/add-on/demo is removed, the file itself remains on the store's servers, allowing purchasers to reclaim anything they might have had to delete in the past via their download history. P.T. was initially available to re-download following its delisting, but as of last night this is no longer the case. P.T. was a free demo, so no one is out money here, but given the amount of hand-wringing that's gone on since the industry began to shift toward digital marketplaces, it's not surprising that this complete scrubbing of P.T. has sparked strong reactions.
That said, it's worth noting that not all concerns currently floating around are legitimate. This morning, Minecraft composer Daniel Rosenfeld (otherwise known as c418) tweeted out a worrying looking screenshot of his P.T. copy's information screen, which showed an expiration date for the demo. This immediately sparked concern that Konami might be trying to actively kill the demo from people's PlayStations, but that wasn't the case. As it turned out, P.T. was only released in Germany (Rosenfeld's home country) as a PlayStation Plus item, and the expiration date attached to his copy lined up with the expiration date on his Plus account. Just to confirm it for myself, I took a screenshot of my own P.T. screen and came up with no expiration date.
So, at the very least, if you have P.T. on your PlayStation 4 at this moment, you will theoretically be able to keep playing it all you want. At least until Konami CEO Satoshi Sakamoto swoops into your living room in the dead of night and manually deletes it off your hard drive, leaving behind a giant Silent Hill-themed slot machine as the only evidence he was ever there. At the current rate this P.T./Kojima stuff is escalating, I figure we've got about a month until that actually starts happening.