After 5 years dead due to bad licensing deals, Fallout: New Vegas dev's underrated spy RPG gets a second life on PC

Alpha Protocol
(Image credit: GOG/Sega/Obsidian)

14 years after launch and five years after expiring music licenses forced it off of digital stores, Obsidian's Alpha Protocol is back online with some modern upgrades to give the cult classic spy RPG a second life.

You can grab Alpha Protocol on CD Projekt's DRM-free PC storefront GOG right now with a 10% launch discount, bringing the price down to $17.99 USD. "With conjoined forces of GOG, Obsidian Entertainment, and Sega," a press release explains, "we've made sure to make it better than ever; compatible with modern PCs, with licensed soundtrack and performance improvements that are sure to make this timeless classic, yet again, your favorite spy story."

The fact that the licensed soundtrack is back is noteworthy because that's what forced Alpha Protocol offline in the first place. The game features a handful of licensed music tracks, including Autograph's 1984 rock hit Turn Up the Radio, and the expiration of those licenses led to the game being delisted from digital stores back in 2019. Here's hoping the new deal is a perpetual one.

Alpha Protocol got mixed reviews back at launch, owing to bugs, bad AI, and messy execution all around. Yet, with patches to smooth over some of those issues and years of reconsideration, the spy RPG eventually developed a cult following who loved its open-ended character-build system, which basically invited you to break the game.

In its early years, developer Obsidian was largely known for this kind of thing: rushed, buggy games that nonetheless featured either uniquely open-ended RPG systems or outstanding stories. While games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II and Fallout: New Vegas escaped their early issues to become beloved classics, you still can't really talk about Alpha Protocol without dropping in that 'cult' qualifier. Here's hoping a new generation of players can find something to love in it.

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Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.