Platinum Games’ Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 are being pulled from the Nintendo UK and Nintendo Japan eShop starting 23:59 CEST on September 18th. The notice was posted up on the respective Nintendo eShop pages when you attempt to view the game on the Nintendo Japan or Nintendo UK storefronts.
According to Techraptor, they speculate that it could be a music licensing issue, which is commonly a problem with most digital games these days, as games that license music only have a limited publishing window in which to use said music and those licenses have to be renewed if there are plans to continue to distribute the game with the licensed music intact.
Rockstar typically gets around this issue by temporarily pulling their games from digital stores and removing the licensed music and then re-uploading them to digital storefronts. This has happened a couple of times in the past with the Grand Theft Auto games. In the case of Bayonetta, Techraptor mentions that Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon” is featured on the game’s soundtrack, and it could be the reason for the removals.
There’s also speculation that this could be due to a publishing deal with Sega. For those of you who don’t remember, the original Bayonetta was funded and published by Sega for the Xbox 360 and PS3. It was later re-released along with Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U when Nintendo picked up the publishing and distribution license(s) for the property.
But if the issue was with Sega, why would Bayonetta 2 be de-listed when Nintendo was the one that published that game?
Also it seems unlikely that the music licensing would be the issue since only the Nintendo UK and Nintendo Japan eShops are de-listing the two games, and only for the Wii U. So technically it really could be anything that led to the de-listing, but Nintendo hasn’t clarified what the reasons are.
(Thanks for the news tip MaverickHL)