Lik-Sang announced yesterday that they were shutting up shop because of the weight and volume of the lawsuits being thrown at them by Sony. Sony claimed that Lik-Sang weren't offering consumers the kind of safe, quality hardware that the consumers were used to (read: Sony wanted complete control over each region's retail channels). This is just the latest in a long line of dumb, half-assed or just plain mean-spirited moves that Sony has pulled that makes me hope that, for the good of the industry, Sony is no longer the market leader when we reach the next generation of videogames.
The Lik-Sang news bums me out for a whole bunch of reasons. Mainly because I really, really liked Lik-Sang. They're one of the few online shops that I've had 100% satisfaction with, always going above and beyond the basics of shipping me out the things I want - usually throwing in free stickers, coupons off next purchases, lanyards etc. When I bought my DS Lite from them, they packed in so much extra stuff, it felt like all my Christmases had come at once. In May.
But I'm also bummed out because it means that it's even more difficult for me to get a hold of decent games while they're still relevant. For example: Okami is an awesome game. With a narrative similar to Zelda and a visual style all its own, it has been frequently used to support the idea that videogames can be art. But I wouldn't know about that because, despite having been released in Japan in April of 2006, it won't be hitting our shores until February 2007 (and given that its developers just folded, a European release might even be on the cards).
Today, when my copy of Daigasso! Band Brothers arrived from Lik-Sang, it hammered it home for me - this was the last time this wonderful shop would help me get my hands on some wonderful games.
For European gamers, the short end of the stick just got even shorter.