PlayStation pulls Stellar Blade demo off consoles after the RPG was accidentally made available, in a move it didn't even make for P.T.

Project Eve
(Image credit: Sony)

The Stellar Blade demo was quietly added and then swiftly deleted from the PS5 PlayStation Store earlier today, with Sony redacting access for users who downloaded it.

Stellar Blade is the action-roleplaying game featuring slick action and an already loveable protagonist, coming exclusively to PS5 on April 26. Neither Sony nor developer Shift Up had announced or advertised a demo before it went live earlier today, but less than an hour after the free trial's publication, it was quickly removed with no comment from either company. 

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Users who had already downloaded the demo also reported that their access had been completely revoked, meaning the Stellar Blade teaser was no longer available to play, even if it was installed onto the console. Social media users were quick to point out that Sony had never engaged in such a practice, even when the playable teaser for Hideo Kojima's canceled Silent Hills game (P.T.) was removed by its publisher. 

It's unclear if the demo went live earlier than planned or if it was removed because of an unexpected bug - but either way, it shows that game preservation can't truly be trusted in the hands of the big, big publishers who reserve the right to simply delete a digital copy from existence. 

Twitterer ScrewyClassic said: "I do think it’s unnerving that they've shown they can just rip the digital license for anything right out of your hands." Meanwhile, Digital Foundry's John Linneman said companies' ability to "disable any license at any time for any reason" is "highly concerning" because there's "not much you can do about it." Digital ownership doesn't really exist, I guess. 

Countless video games have been lost to time due to weird legal shenanigans and other nebulous reasons. Warner Brother Discovery recently extended its film policy (deleting completed projects for tax cuts) to its video game division, as it gears up to scrub dozens of indie games off of storefronts. Cult classic shooter Spec Ops: The Line was also made unavailable for purchase earlier this year due to the expiration of "partnership licenses" that won't be extended. But Stellar Blade is still on course for a full release next month.

Stellar Blade's director said it was a great honor for the game to draw the "Korean Nier" comparisons.

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.