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Alien Abduction, a new 2600 game from John Van Ryzin - (in VCS Store)


davpa

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12 hours ago, Atari_JaguarVCS said:

i payed for Alien Abduction so ill be getting the ROM of my VCS this weekend and playing around with it, i might even try and get it working on the Gamestation Pro and the 2600 flashcart. I think the guy who made that video was trying to do us a favour. 

I can confirm the game plays great on a Harmony cart and works good on Gamestation Pro also. The VCS is a great platform for 2600/7800 rom sales and I think if more people knew about the flexibility of the roms from the VCS store, more people would buy an Atari VCS. 

 

You are indeed 100% correct that the guy who made the video was trying to help people protect the games they spent good money on for long term personal use game preservation.  Nothing at all wrong with backing up the VCS games that we purchased for personal use and long term digital game storage.

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7 minutes ago, E. King said:

I can confirm the game plays great on a Harmony cart and works good on Gamestation Pro also. The VCS is a great platform for 2600/7800 rom sales and I think if more people knew about the flexibility of the roms from the VCS store, more people would buy an Atari VCS. 

 

You are indeed 100% correct that the guy who made the video was trying to help people protect the games they spent good money on for long term personal use game preservation.  Nothing at all wrong with backing up the VCS games that we purchased for personal use and long term digital game storage.

That's great to know that the game plays good on the flash cart and of course the Gamestation Pro! I'll definetaly be putting my purchased rom on those devices and everything else in my collection It'll work on for sure. I agree about the VCS being a great platform for the 2600 and 7800 roms its where i would prefer to play them. I do genuinely believe now that Frank or whatever his name was seen this coming down the line, now its actually happened again with Alien Abduction and looking back he shouldn't have been subject to a witch hunt months ago, i guess he was only trying to show us how to preserve our purchase nothing more. I really wish i didn't hate on the guy back then but you live and learn. From now on i will be backing all my Atari VCS 800 games up, unless the new update blocks that side of things of course. I'll always buy every game for the VCS and fully support it to the max, i love the device but i wont fully trust it again until it recognises that when you purchase a game its actually yours and ready to be downloaded again at any time even if the dev wants it to be removed. I'll be honest, I'm not looking forward to trying to get Tail Gunner pushed to my other two Atari VCS consoles i hope its not going to be a nightmare. 

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17 hours ago, davpa said:

I'm defensive because you have twisted what is happening.  You say, more importantly, implied, that the game is being taken away from people who purchase the game.  100% false.

 

Show me where Atari told anybody that the game was going to become unavailable for download whenever exclusivity ends, and from there on out we have to go get special permission from the teacher to retrieve what we bought.

 

Let's not forget about the time we couldn't play the game we purchased because you guys installed some busted DRM or something and you, Dave, refused to roll the version back even though you knew it was affecting all paying customers of the game.

 

You want to talk about "clunky ass" solutions, Dave?  Why do I have to delete half of my games every time a large game gets an update?  Skinny & Franko is ~2.5 gigs on the HDD, yet the thing refuses to download unless there's more than 4 GBs free on the internal drive.  Can't wait for that Neosprint update again, so I can go through this whole bullshit again where I may, or may not, be able to redownload the games I was forced to delete, because you can't play a game with an update available without redownloading the whole thing.

 

100% false my ass.  We gave you money; you owe us what we paid you for, and not to jerk us around with some "clunky ass" runaround.  Sick of hearing about future updates, Dave.  You guys have been talking about future updates forever.  Store doesn't work, mouse doesn't work, can't boot a new system, this, that, and the third.

 

Shit stirrer?  What he said was close enough for jazz.  You people took our money and have not not provided a reliable way to get what we paid for, and did not provide any notice.  I didn't need him to get me irritated with you.  That started when you did take the game away last year and then refusing to fix it for some indeterminate period of time.  You being petulant and arguing with him is unprofessional and ridiculous.  How about you people actually go fix something that's busted with this thing for once rather than put up this ridiculous defenses for something that is pretty inexcusable for people to have to put up with on a product like this?

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5 hours ago, MrTrust said:

 

Show me where Atari told anybody that the game was going to become unavailable for download whenever exclusivity ends, and from there on out we have to go get special permission from the teacher to retrieve what we bought.

 

Let's not forget about the time we couldn't play the game we purchased because you guys installed some busted DRM or something and you, Dave, refused to roll the version back even though you knew it was affecting all paying customers of the game.

 

You want to talk about "clunky ass" solutions, Dave?  Why do I have to delete half of my games every time a large game gets an update?  Skinny & Franko is ~2.5 gigs on the HDD, yet the thing refuses to download unless there's more than 4 GBs free on the internal drive.  Can't wait for that Neosprint update again, so I can go through this whole bullshit again where I may, or may not, be able to redownload the games I was forced to delete, because you can't play a game with an update available without redownloading the whole thing.

 

100% false my ass.  We gave you money; you owe us what we paid you for, and not to jerk us around with some "clunky ass" runaround.  Sick of hearing about future updates, Dave.  You guys have been talking about future updates forever.  Store doesn't work, mouse doesn't work, can't boot a new system, this, that, and the third.

 

Shit stirrer?  What he said was close enough for jazz.  You people took our money and have not not provided a reliable way to get what we paid for, and did not provide any notice.  I didn't need him to get me irritated with you.  That started when you did take the game away last year and then refusing to fix it for some indeterminate period of time.  You being petulant and arguing with him is unprofessional and ridiculous.  How about you people actually go fix something that's busted with this thing for once rather than put up this ridiculous defenses for something that is pretty inexcusable for people to have to put up with on a product like this?

Thank you for speaking up about some of the serious VCS technical issues because I think it is important to do so.  When I say "Atari took the game away" I meant the access to the download which in my opinion should never be taken away from people who bought the game for the life of the platform.  It is not a very customer friendly thing to expect customers to have to submit a support ticket and enter into a back and forth situation with tech support in order to gain access to a digital game they paid for and having to deal with frequent tech support is a big reason why many VCS customers have stopped buying games.

 

I agree with you completely that Atari should have notified VCS owners in advance before delisting the game.  Also, maybe there should be some disclaimer on the VCS store before purchasing games that at some point games can get delisted and we can lose the ease of access to the download.  

 

I don't blame Dave since he is not responsible for how the Atari VCS was designed with so many flaws and if it was up to him he would want everything running smoothly.  I also do not blame the developer for removing his game, though I think he is doing the wrong thing, he has every right to halt sales of the rom on the VCS store.  Maybe he thinks more people will buy a physical cartridge if the rom is no longer available for purchase or maybe he has other plans on making the rom available for purchase elsewhere for those that did not have the chance to buy it on the VCS.  Maybe he can also sell a USB stick with the Rom and some cover artwork with a manual, that would be cool.  

 

Thanks to Dave and the developer for bringing this cool game rom to the VCS even if it was a timed offering and I hope the game becomes available to more people soon as a physical cartridge and an easily obtainable rom purchase for the old school 2600 console players who want to use it on a Harmony cart or in emulation. 

 

The main issue here is that the VCS does not allow for people to have easy access to their purchased game downloads after a game gets delisted.  People who buy games that eventually become delisted should still see them in their VCS storefront as "OWNED" or there should be some Game Library feature added for users to still be able to download games that are no longer for sale.  Maybe we will see something like that in an OS update at some point but Atari sure does seem to take a very long time to make these kinds of changes on the VCS. 

 

I do think it is unfortunate that this game has been subject to this controversy when some of this is VCS related stuff, not really about this specific game which I greatly enjoy playing and very happy that I purchased the rom on the VCS. 

 

I have the original H.E.R.O cartridge for 2600, 5200, Colecovision and even the H.E.R.O My Card for SG-1000 so I would for sure be interested in a physical Alien Abduction even though I already bought the rom.

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1 hour ago, E. King said:

I don't blame Dave since he is not responsible for how the Atari VCS was designed with so many flaws

 

It's not his fault, and he seems like a good guy, and we should all be glad he's there.  He's also the guy who set himself up as the guy "to blame and yell at" at Atari.  Those are literally his words.  If there was ever a time to take one on the chin, this was it, and instead he bowed up.

 

This was an event known about by Atari months and months ago.  Why is it I somehow hear about it when a Steam game that I've never heard of gets delisted because it ends up in my Google feed, yet I'm signed up to Atari's own forum and Discord, and get three e-mails from them a day trying to sell me some stupid T-shirt, and there's not one whisper about this happening?  He's acting like this came out of a clear blue sky.  It didn't.

 

And they had more reason to get ahead of this thing given they've already had this happen with another game and they know they do not have a good solution for it.  There's somebody out there who's had to delete his End's Reach, not to make room for new games - if he can even get the store to work - but just to play games he already bought and downloaded.  We're just supposed to be indifferent about the fact that we then have to go get a special permission slip to play our own stuff if the dev decides to get a bee in his bonnet and send Dave an e-mail out of the blue?

 

If it were the first time this issue had come up, it would be one thing.  If it were the first time there was an oopsie-guess-you-can't-play-the-game-you-bought situation with this specific title that would be one thing.  If this wasn't, frankly, the least of the issues going on with the system and it's infrastructure which we're endlessly hearing they "want" to fix, one thing.  If Dave has said "Hey, there is a way for people who need to redownload the game to get it, and while I understand the frustration, your video is going to give people a wrong impression and you should either revise it or take it down because it's not totally accurate," that would have been understandable.

 

None of that is what took place.  So yeah, Dave's doing a good job and all, but I don't back down one bit from letting him have it in this case.  He should never have made that comment.  The solution to bad customer service is not to then insult the customer for calling out the bad service.

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What i would like to know all things aside. Why does this game being a 6 months exclusive to the Atari VCS 800 mean that when the 6 months is up the game needs to be removed from the store?. BPM Boy, Ends Reach to name a few are timed exclusives but you wont see those developers take there game down from the Atari VCS store when its going to another platform, why is Alien Abduction different? I genuinely would love to know as someone who bought Alien Abduction the same day it hit the store.

 

This whole thing makes me feel its all about getting that big money, get that big money from the cartridge release of Alien Abduction, sell more 2600+ consoles to folk who don't have original hardware to play Alien Abduction, sell the USB add-on cartridge reader that's coming out for the Atari VCS 800 to play Alien Abduction that way. Its all about locking people out who might not want the 2600+ or own original hardware and force them to buy the new hardware and of course the cart, having Alien Abduction on the Atari VCS as a digital download is to easy. Not everyone has lots of cash to just grab it all. I'm honestly thinking about canceling my 2600+ PRE order from Amazon and calling it a day, i already have all the original hardware and multiple CRT TV's, why support this stuff when new VCS owners are getting treated like crap when it comes to Alien Abduction and locked out to a cartridge only release. 

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36 minutes ago, davpa said:

 

 

My intention was never to imply the game was being removed from peoples VCS hard drives by Atari.

 

The entire point of the video was that the game was taken away from the customer as far as being taken away from the customer's store "owned" library losing access to the download, not that it was being removed from their VCS.

 

I went back and listened to the video and I do see how my poor, unclear word phrasing could be taken the way you took it but that was not the intention.

 

The video is now private so I may need to edit for clarification and reupload or make a new one to clarify the message.

 

When it comes to digital games that ease of access is important to a lot of people so hopefully next year there can be an update to prevent this sort of thing from being an issue in the future.

 

Thanks for the video response.

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48 minutes ago, davpa said:

 

 I feel a bit more reassured about my Atari VCS 800 digital games now after this video response so apologies to the dev and Atari if i came across nasty, i guess it was just a shock to the system to see Alien Abduction gone from the Atari VCS store and it just raised a lot of red flags for me but definetaly hoping its all been a mistake and we can have Alien Abduction back in the store for potential new VCS owners in the future, if not good luck with the cart i guess. 

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To me the bad guy here is the developer, and no one else. Creators (not only in video games) should understand that as soon as your work is shared with an audience, it doesn't completely belong to you anymore. You can't completely prevent people from using it or sharing it with others. It's like a child; as soon as they're born, it's not up to you anymore to decide if they live or die. Control freaks like Kubrick tried to destroy every copy of a movie he wasn't satisfied with. Fortunately for everyone, he failed.

 

Also I find ironic that people who dump on modern gaming now complain the VCS doesn't offer the same experience as the other consoles. You've made your bed, now lie in it.

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8 hours ago, davpa said:

 

Good reply. 👍 

 

I only wonder how you handle time limited agreements in the future. IMO, learning from this event, you should contact the developers before the agreement expires and get aware of the future plans. Then you can inform your customers before a game gets removed from the store. And provide info, why this happened. Even if the result is the same and the game is still removed, this will make you look much better.

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1 hour ago, roots.genoa said:

To me the bad guy here is the developer, and no one else.

Why would you blame him for removing his game from the store? There is no obligation after the contract time is over. Yes, if would have been nice to get in touch with Atari before (or vice versa), but we do not know exactly why this did not happen. 

1 hour ago, roots.genoa said:

Creators (not only in video games) should understand that as soon as your work is shared with an audience, it doesn't completely belong to you anymore.

Wrong. It still belongs 100% to the developer. He may not have full control over it anymore, but all the rights remain his.

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1 hour ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Why would you blame him for removing his game from the store? There is no obligation after the contract time is over. Yes, if would have been nice to get in touch with Atari before (or vice versa), but we do not know exactly why this did not happen. 

Wrong. It still belongs 100% to the developer. He may not have full control over it anymore, but all the rights remain his.

I wasn't talking at a legal level, but at an ethical one. I know developers can do whatever they want, and I also think publishers should comply with it. I just think developers are wrong to be that protective with their creations. It's a heated debate in France right now because several cartoonists don't want their characters to be drawn by other artists after they're dead. And even though I think publishers should comply with their wish, I still think they're wrong; these characters are part of the popular culture now, so they should belong to everyone (not legally speaking of course).

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26 minutes ago, roots.genoa said:

I wasn't talking at a legal level, but at an ethical one. I know developers can do whatever they want, and I also think publishers should comply with it. I just think developers are wrong to be that protective with their creations. It's a heated debate in France right now because several cartoonists don't want their characters to be drawn by other artists after they're dead. And even though I think publishers should comply with their wish, I still think they're wrong; these characters are part of the popular culture now, so they should belong to everyone (not legally speaking of course).

I understand your argumentation. And at first glance it seems valid. But we should also aware of the implications. E.g. where do we draw the line? And how will that influence the people who create? I am much afraid that this would eventually fire back.

 

And for the current case: AFAIK John is only changing the way his game gets distributed. He is probably switching to a cart release next. I cannot see how that would be an ethical problem at all.

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11 hours ago, davpa said:

 

 

1.  Nobody is saying you're removing the game from anybody's hard drive.

 

2.  You are providing a service.  That means you have an agreement with the dev.  That means that you can stipulate, as part of that agreement, that they have to provide notice before yanking their stuff from the store to ensure your customers are able to exercise their right to retrieve what they paid.  Should have happened with every game after the Tailgunner incident, and apparently it hasn't happened with any.  You're sitting here acting like this is a situation that was completely unpreventable when it is not so.

 

3.  Re: hard drive.  Again arguing beside the point.  Atari sells and provides service for the stock machine.  There are plenty of reasons why someone with a stock machine might need to redownload their games even if they don't really want to.  What you are now telling us, and reiterating over and over again, is that whole that happens, any dev at any time can just come and send you an email and that game is now locked up in the teacher's desk and we have to go ask for a special permission slip to get it back, a process you yourself characterize as "clunky ass" at best.

 

That's where I tuned out.  This is amateur hour stuff, and while it isn't the end of the world, this is a bunch of BS excuses.  You guys dropped yet another ball.  Stop pretending it's just up to fate and that people who aren't happy about it are just being unreasonable.

 

5 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

Also I find ironic that people who dump on modern gaming now complain the VCS doesn't offer the same experience as the other consoles. You've made your bed, now lie in it.

 

This IS the modern gaming experience, which is precisely why it's so irritating.

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21 minutes ago, MrTrust said:

2.  You are providing a service.  That means you have an agreement with the dev.  That means that you can stipulate, as part of that agreement, that they have to provide notice before yanking their stuff from the store to ensure your customers are able to exercise their right to retrieve what they paid.  Should have happened with every game after the Tailgunner incident, and apparently it hasn't happened with any.  You're sitting here acting like this is a situation that was completely unpreventable when it is not so.

It sounds like what happened to Atari with Tailgunner happened everywhere else too. As far as Alien Abduction, Atari may have been legally okay to keep the game on the store, and still.chose to take it down at the request of the developer, John Van Ryzin. Atari is probably erring on the side of keeping the developer happy, even if they have some wiggle.room.

 

Redownloading games that have been removed sounds like a hassle, but not that big of a deal. You can still do it, you just have to go through an extra step and it takes a little bit longer. I do not understand why that is making people as mad as it is.

 

@John Van Ryzin I hope you allow Atari to sell the game on the store again. It was on my list of games to buy, but I had not grabbed it yet.

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I think its just going to be a waiting game until the Atari VCS store gets an update that will resolve needing to go through customer service for purchased games that have been pulled from the store at the request of the developer. I think the Atari VCS 800 will get there in the end, it's moving in the right direction as it is with lots of new games etc. I'm feeling more trusting that my digital games are secure after the video from Atari, but i feel bad for new Atari VCS 800 owners not getting the chance to play Alien Abduction on the console anymore unless they wait for the USB cart reader and purchase Alien Abduction on cart. I think new owners of the Atari VCS will be happy with A.R. T. I. 7800 though its pretty much the same but with stunning visuals and tighter controls. 

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1 hour ago, jeremiahjt said:

It sounds like what happened to Atari with Tailgunner happened everywhere else too.

 

Oy vey, already we're not off to a good start.  The point is that the Tailgunner affair should have been a warning signal that this situation is something that needs to be dealt with.  The workaround they have now is inadequate.  That's not my characterization of it; that's his characterization of it.

 

I don't care what the excuse is with respect to Tailgunner.   The fact that nothing's changed since then is what is at issue.

 

1 hour ago, jeremiahjt said:

Atari is probably erring on the side of keeping the developer happy, even if they have some wiggle.room.

 

Then he made his choice and he can take the heat for it.

 

1 hour ago, jeremiahjt said:

Redownloading games that have been removed sounds like a hassle, but not that big of a deal. You can still do it, you just have to go through an extra step and it takes a little bit longer.

 

You have to put in a support ticket and, presumably, have an Atari employee clear you to retrieve your game.  That's not simply an extra step.  A little bit longer?  How do you know how long it takes?  Again, am not the one saying this is an unreasonable pain in the ass.  Dave is admitting it himself.

 

And, we continue to miss the point which is that this is not what I agreed to when I gave them money.  In before any amateur lawyers doing pro bono work for a million-dollar brand start flogging some clickwrap bullshit at me, it's called a reasonable expectation.  I understand I'm not buying a physical product here, but even in the age of digital-only consoles, no reasonable person in his right mind expects the products they purchase to get memory holed 6 bloody months after release.

 

But you just have to contact customer support!  Yeah, I had to do that once when I ordered the machine and they took weeks to ship it out because of a warehouse issue and they weren't exactly timely or helpful then, and I wasn't alone in that experience.  When my phone is locked up in the teacher's desk drawer, technically it's still my property and she's going to give it back, but in the meantime, she has taken it away.  Not what I signed up for.

 

1 hour ago, jeremiahjt said:

I do not understand why that is making people as mad as it is.

 

And neither do they, apparently, which is precisely the problem.  I have 41 games for this thing, and apparently, 24 of those are equally subject to this same spontaneous disappearing act.  I assume the Atari-published stuff is not, but who knows?  Maybe an e-mail from Sneakybox is all it takes to get those gone, too.

 

Yeah, I have Tailgunner and Alien Abduction on my machine, and I now have AA backups out the wazoo.  I don't personally need to submit a ticket to get any of my games at the moment.  That isn't the point.

 

That anyone has to do it at all means they screwed up .  It happened once, fine.  This is the second time in a few months now, and obviously nothing is being done to prevent it happening in the future.  He's acting like this is just an inevitable fact of life that nothing could or can be done about.  Yeah, yeah, future updates.  We're continually being told this and that is going to be fixed in a future update and it never happens.  

 

And even all that, I would grin and bear it, but to then bow up and accuse someone who's understandably nonplussed about it of lying because you have a differing interpretation of "taking something away" is where it crosses the line and they should be made to know this is not acceptable.

 

Respect works in both directions.  We've put up with a lot of bullshit from this company and with this system in order to support something we like, but there's a limit to what people should have to put up with for that end and that, in my view, is where it lies.

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I don't think the current solution really counts as the game still being available once removed from the Store. It is too dependent on someone privately communicating with the person needing the replacement download, and that will only be possible as long as someone is around and willing to do that work. 

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55 minutes ago, Mockduck said:

I don't think the current solution really counts as the game still being available once removed from the Store. It is too dependent on someone privately communicating with the person needing the replacement download, and that will only be possible as long as someone is around and willing to do that work. 

Steve Bannon Bingo GIF

 

Somebody here gets it.  Absolutely right; it is "available" only in a limited, qualified sense.  This is not what your ordinary Man on the Street thinks when he hears "the game is still available."  Mistake #1 of interpretation on the Atari side.  Mistake #2 is the assumption that "having a game" in this context necessarily means it is on your hard drive right now.  Therefore, in order to have "taken it away," you must have unilaterally removed it from the user's drive.  Not so.  As I tried to explain, which was interpreted as me just grousing about the size of the storage, is that there are many instances where a VCS user may have to delete games from the internal drive.   Now, sure, Alien Abduction is 16k, so it's not like anyone needs to delete this particular game to make room, but the fact is all games Atari doesn't own are subject to this happening at a moment's notice.

 

Yeah, fine, we live in 2023 and we no longer "buy games" but "purchase licenses" and this is par for the course with digital-only, but the way this is being handled is very amateur hour.  That's all.  You can like what these guys are doing and still not have to excuse shoddy service.

 

 

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This is why I wasn't thrilled when I heard Atari was building its store.   They are a small company without the resources of Sony/MS/Steam/Google.   So it was always likely to lack features and need time to mature.

 

Obviously the ability to remove a title from the store while having the binary available for redownload was not something built into the original design.   This is something the other stores have,.

 

Remember Davpa inherited this from the previous administration, he seems to really want to fix these things, so hopefully this gets addressed.

 

But until they get there, back your purchases up!

 

 

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I think David will get the store situation resolved for us all, its just i don't think it will be in the next update i would say at some point next year for sure. I really feel like this whole Alien Abduction situation could have been avoided if both the developer made it clear earlier that he was planing to remove the game from the store instead of giving David like a days notice or something that way everyone who didn't have the game could have grabbed it or re downloaded it if need be. I'm going to need the game pushed to my account again unfortunately as one of my other Atari VCS consoles doesn't have it, the other three are good to go. I put in a ticket to get Tail Gunner pushed to my other Atari VCS consoles but haven't received and email back yet so I'll need to drop Ashlee a message on Discord and see if she can help sort it out quicker. Its inconvenient but again when a developer gives you no notice and the store cant recognize the basics of what you own there's nothing you can do apart from this method.

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