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Some Video Games have items, characters or what have you that become inaccessible after a certain point in the story, never to be seen again until you start the game over or do some Save Scumming. It's frustrating, but it can be fixed.

And then there are these. The instances where some content becomes available online for a limited time only (days, weeks, a season... or even years), and after that, the goodies are lost for good. Literally. No Save Scumming, no resetting, nothing. You lost your chance, now you're screwed.

The creators may have decided from the start to withdraw the content from the game on a specific date beforehand. Alternatively, casualties have demanded that the content be taken away from the public all of a sudden, contrary to plans. The result is the same.

This trope can happen in three situations:

  1. A data update to the game with additions that are suspended or removed by a later update.
  2. Downloadable Content — new content that can be purchased (or obtained for free) for a while and then goes out of sale.
  3. Achievements, challenges, unlocks etc. which are only available through online play, and which become impossible to get once the servers are shut down.

There may be several reasons for this course of action. Perhaps there was some backlash about the quality or implications of the DLC and the creators are forced to take it away from the shop or the servers. Maybe the thing offered is a Pre-Order Bonus or is simply temporary eye candy whose only purpose is to attract newcomers or keep the fanbase playing (this is especially the case with the MMORPG genre). Other times, it just turns out that the game developers are shutting down the servers for good, throwing every piece of online content down the drain.

Not to be confused with Permanently Missable Content, in which goods can (despite the name) be reobtained, but only by starting over your game, or Save Scumming (the story, instead of Real Life events, is what makes the content inaccessible from a certain point). Can overlap with It Only Works Once and Too Awesome to Use, but doesn't have to. Compare Denial of Digital Distribution. For the logical extreme, see Defunct Online Video Games.


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    Action Games 
  • Rockman Mega World, a Mega Drive compilation of the first three Famicom Mega Man games with 16-bit graphics and sound (and a small yet brand new secret fourth game), was in fact released in Europe as Mega Man: The Wily Wars. The North American version was only available via the now-defunct Sega Channel, meaning that the game was lost once the service was discontinued. However, the game did see limited physical re-releases throughout The New '10s and The New '20s, as well as being added to the Nintendo Switch Online library in 2022.
  • The Hurricane Packs for the original Ninja Gaiden Xbox game, following the discontinuation of the original Xbox Live service. While Ninja Gaiden Black carries over most of the content from the Hurricane Packs (extra game modes and costumes), the famed Intercept move was removed, due to the developers deeming it too powerful.
  • The Bouncer weapon in Ratchet & Clank (2016) is exclusively obtained as a Pre-Order Bonus, and it was never intended to patch the game to make it obtainable afterwards.
  • Senran Kagura: Estival Versus has various characters and clothing options that are only available as DLC. However, one Guest Fighter bundle pack, which allowed people to play as Ayane from Dead or Alive, was removed from digital distribution in early 2021 due to the licensing deal with Tecmo expiring. At the time of this edit, a similar DLC pack for Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash is still available for purchase.
  • tranquility was an arcade game where the levels were procedurally generated on the game's servers and uploaded to the player's computer. Once the servers were shut down in 2010, the game became unplayable.

    Action Adventure 
  • Predating EA's always-online games are Nintendo's Satellaview The Legend of Zelda titles. Specifically, a remake of the original The Legend of Zelda for the SNES with different dungeon layouts, and a sequel of sorts to A Link to the Past. These titles were transmitted via satellite and programmed to only be executable within a certain date and time, checking them against the Satellaview cartridge's RTC. Although the Satellaview does not delete these "expired" games automatically, they are no longer playable. Especially since the game needs to be played while an accompanying audio drama is playing out on the TV at the same time. Thankfully, someone had made a recording of the audio drama, and coupled with the extraction of the game from the Satellaview cart and patched, the game is now fully emulated.
  • In November 2012, Atari shut down the servers for the PC and PS3 versions of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, making the ten achievements/trophies only obtainable online impossible to get.
  • The entire second-disc online multiplayer for Batman: Arkham Origins became obsolete in 2017, when the servers were shut down. Along with the servers, all online achievements became impossible to obtain.
  • The community challenges for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag are no longer available. Thus, all of the bonus items unlocked through completing those challenges are permanently locked.
  • In late 2019, the activation servers for TRON: Evolution went offline, rendering the game permanently unplayable.
  • Disney Infinity:
    • With the online server shutdown, several feats became impossible to obtain due to being unlocked via online activities. As a result, certain props like the Sugar Rush Grandstands can no longer be unlocked (due to being unlocked via playing Toy Box Speedway online), and the Toy Box Theatre and Arcade can't be visited anymore.
    • While new toy box games can still be made despite the server shutdown, anything involving displayed text is now permanently unusable due to them being connected to online-exclusive censors.

    Action RPG 
  • Darkspore. The game, predating SimCity (2013) by two years, was among Electronic Arts' first titles to require an always-online connection to EA's servers to be playable, and all progresses are stored on EA's servers. EA pulled the plug on the server in 2016. The game's copy protection and has yet to be cracked due to lack of interest, and there are no private servers in existence because the server protocols has yet to be reverse-engineered for the same reason, and thus there is absolutely no way anyone can play the game at this time.
  • Solatorobo had DLC missions that have been unavailable since Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection shut down in 2014.

    Adventure Game 
  • The Wii U exclusive Affordable Space Adventures has a post-credits scene where a survey form the player fills out near the end of the game, plus any Miiverse drawing made, emerges from an interstellar fax machine in the office of U Explore's safety director, ending up on the floor with numerous other calls for help from other players. Since the end of the Miiverse service, it is impossible to accomplish this ending (though the game does have an offline mode).

    Card Battle Games 
  • In KanColle, while there are better air-to-air planes than the Reppuu, those are only available as Event or Ranking Rewards and thus are lost forever to newer players.
  • Legend of the Cryptids has cards from limited events that are no longer available.
  • Rage of Bahamut had limited event cards that can no longer be obtained.
  • Shadowverse:
    • Starting October 2016, the game began issuing special emblems and card sleeves as Score Rewards. Each month, Score Reward progress is reset and these special rewards change, rendering them unavailable past that month unless they are made available through other means, like the in-game shop.
    • Various emblems, card sleeves, alternate leaders, and card reskins are only available during certain events and rendered inaccessible past that point.
    • The Grand Master flair and associated sleeve for any particular card pack can only be acquired by reaching Grand Master rank within the first 3 months after that pack's release.
  • Hearthstone:
    • A handful of promotional Golden Legendaries can no longer be obtained. On the plus side, the non-Golden versions are still craftable, and the cards aren't actually very good anyway.
    • The vast majority of alternate hero skins are temporary content. Some were made available from defunct promotions, and most of them were bonuses tied to card bundles or pre-orders. Blizzard has given no indication whether they'll be up for purchase ever again.
    • Reaching enough wins in Ranked each season unlocks a new card back to use, which changes each month. If you miss a month, that card back is locked forever (except in extremely rare cases, such as when the Ragnaros card back from 2014 was brought back in 2019's Fire Festival as a special reward).
  • In Valkyrie Crusade, as unique events are not featured again, limited cards from events can only be gained from random draws.
  • This tends to be the case with 100% Orange Juice!, which often runs limited-time events that have exclusive items (such as accessories, colours and even stages). Once those events are done, that's it; they're gone. That said, methods have been introduced to alleviate this somewhat, such as rerunning old events starting in 2018 to give those who missed out a chance to grab the items before they wrap up and adding items that have appeared in previous events to the Mystery Bag in the shop, but there's no telling what gets added and what doesn'tnote .
  • In Fate/Grand Order, certain Servants can only be acquired by participating in certain events. While the game does occasionally re-run certain events, the free "Welfare Servants" acquired this way are permanently lost once these re-runs are over. Also, the profiles of Beast III/R and Beast III/L are only available by completing the events in which they were featured.

    Driving Games 
  • In general, racing games with licensed vehicles and DLC packs will inevitably have the latter packs as TOC once those games reach end-of-life (EOL), usually when their servers close, licenses expire or both. For instance, Forza tends to delist their games exactly 4 years after release, or Driveclub's DLC packs were delisted on late 2019, 5 years after its release.
  • The online servers for the original version of Burnout Paradise were turned off on August 1, 2019. Accordingly it is now impossible to participate in the online Freeburn Challenges. This in turn means that 101% or 102% completion is no longer possible, the two cars awarded for completing the Challenges can no longer be unlocked, and several achievements/trophies related to the Challenges are unobtainable. However, online play still works in the Remastered version of the game.
  • In the case of Forza, outside the general cases:
    • Motorsport games and Horizon 3 has several cars deemed as unicorns, which could only be obtained from challenges from the developers. Once the games went EOL, the challenges are unavailable and those cars become unobtainable, or ridiculously hard to get as they are locked behind the auction house.
    • Horizon 4 has Hard-to-Find cars added each month, and there are two ways of obtaining them: you complete the in-game's challenges the week they launch, or you hope the car is cheap on the auction house. Oh, and there are more than a hundred of them, so good luck obtaining them all in a short amount of time.
  • The seasonal events in Gran Turismo 5 and Gran Turismo 6 were online exclusive ways to get ahead on grinding credits, even though they were single player only. The reason they were online exclusive is due to the leaderboards showing the best times on them. When their servers were shut down in 2014 and 2018 respectively, the events went along with them. This also includes the Online Dealership in 5, meaning that you now have to rely on RNG in the Used Car Dealership if you need to purchase the Formula Gran Turismo for the required Formula GT Championship, whereas it was always available in the former at the end of the list.
  • LittleBigPlanet Karting's servers were shut down in July 2018, putting it among the games that cannot be Platinumed since several trophies need online levels, players, or functions, such as "Playing the Popular", "We Have Good Taste", "Online Sampler", and "Dive In!".
  • MotorStorm. While they do not directly affect gameplay (i.e. all vehicles of a class are supposed to handle the same), some vehicles are affected by this due to the fact each game's servers are shut down:
    • Monument Valley doesn't use PS3's native update manager, but an in-game one. Without the servers you can't download the updates up to 3.1, so at version 1.0 you are locked away from time trials, DLCs, the AI using the cars from said DLCs, two new songs... and rumble functionality. You want any of that? Your only hope is to play the Complete Edition, which features all of the game's packs and the latest updates.
    • Pacific Rift has some cars locked behind online trophies, which are obviously unobtainable right now. The only two ways to play them are in local multiplayer (as each player's car roster is randomized) or using cheats to unlock those trophies by yourself.
    • Apocalypse is the worst one in this aspect: vehicle customization and unlocks are tied to your online progress. You start with one vehicle per class, there are 2 more left to unlock (excluding DLCs, which add more vehicles per class). Without the servers, one of the game's main gimmicks (compared to the previous 2 - it mean a huge part of their vehicle roster - around the hundreds - got axed!) is rendered entirely pointless.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4 had an event that let you transfer 3DX+ data to 4. This event ended on October 24, 2013, much to the ire of players whose country has yet to even get the game at all and thus will be forced to start all over again if they ever get the game.

    Fighting Games 
  • ARMS: While you can still get most of the Badges in the game, each Party Crash community event had a set that could only be received for participating in them, in addition to more general ones related to the limited time mode. As such, 73 out of 359 Badges cannot be achieved. 74 out of 360, if you include the bonus Badge rewarded for collecting every other Badge in the game.
  • Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath were characters from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 that were available at launch, but only when downloaded from a digital marketplace, until all Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 content was removed from digital markets at the end of December 2013. This also applies to the updated re-release, Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, which still required the two characters to be downloaded. Averted in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases, however, where all the DLC is available, including Jill and Shuma.
  • Sometime around possibly Late 2016/Early 2017, the DLC for Soulcalibur IV was delisted from both respective console stores in all regions (PlayStation/Xbox). This also includes the digital Xbox 360 version for unknown reasons (although back in the day, full games for PS3 digitally weren't a thing yet until the Early 2010's, so no digital PS3 version never happened). Although no official sources mention anything about the delisting besides word of mouth by some social areas/forums for Soulcalibur. Fortunately, the game is still available physically, but those looking to have a complete character roster will be sadly attuned that the DLC characters for Darth Vader and Yoda are no longer available.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • In November 2020, Destiny 2 deleted their entire main campaign and the first two DLC campaigns to make way for their "Beyond Light" DLC campaign, reasoning the game was becoming too bloated (it was starting to become bigger than some console hard drives) and that most people who hadn't played the campaigns by then weren't going to anyway. While the deleted campaigns were made free when Destiny 2 was released as free-to-play on Steam, some people who paid for Destiny 2 when it was a Battlenet exclusive were pissed that single-player content they had paid real money for was being erased. Made even worse by the fact that with the deletion, Destiny 2 now has no campaign content other than open-world free roam if you don't pay for any of the DLC expansions, which some people are now weary of doing knowing that access is likely to be deleted in the future. Later in February 2022, the Forsaken DLC campaign was deleted to make room for The Witch Queen.
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier was accompanied by a free Facebook game which could be played to unlock things in Future Soldier, including a new weapon. Eventually, however, the Facebook game was shut down, making it impossible to unlock the weapon. An update around that time got around this by automatically giving everyone the aforementioned weapon for multiplayer use... but getting it through that game unlocked it for singleplayer and co-op use as well, in which it is now totally unobtainable.
  • Killing Floor's Potato achievements, and by extension its unlockable skin, although for the 2013 Halloween event they were brought back. Not strictly for the others, but to achieve them one must wait for the matching holiday to come around, which can feel like forever (doubly so for Halloween, since any given year has one of two mutually exclusive variations).
  • Left 4 Dead 2 has two achievements that are no longer obtainable due to them being related to real time events. The "Valve Gift Grab-2011" achievement could only be obtained during Valve's holiday event back in December of 2011 that put several games on sale and earning this achievement was a part of that event as a shot in earning some gifts. It was brought back during Dec. 2012, but if you missed out on the event, then you will never be able to earn this achievement. The "Good Guy Nick" achievement requires the player to play with another player who is playing for free via the free weekend event and help them survive a campaign. Naturally, the achievement can't be obtained anymore once the free weekend event ends.
  • Hope you got the platinum trophy in MAG before the servers shut down.
  • Due to Nintendo Wi-Fi shutting down in May 2014, the Friend Vouchers in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and the Metroid Prime Trilogy Compilation Rerelease can be no longer be redeemed, thus permanently preventing you from obtaining unlockables that require green credits (except through save files recorded on SD cards then shared online.)
  • Overwatch:
    • The Olympic Games skins were only available during the real life Olympics.
    • While every seasonal loot box is this (at least until the event rolls around again the next year), a special note is reserved for the "Boop!" spray that debuted during Halloween Terror. There were two sprays: one that was simply "Boo!", something you'd expect to see in any fun Halloween event. The second was "Boop!", with the "P" added with purple spray paint. The spray wasn't given much thought by players, largely because the word really held no meaning and seemed just like any other random spray... until three days after the Halloween event ended, and "Boop!" was revealed to be the Catchphrase of the new hero, Sombra, and said catchphrase became an instant meme. This led to a lot of players kicking themselves about missing out.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist has a timed event achievement called "Merry Xmas". Throughout the month of December in 2011, a gift box could be found in any level and finding it got you the achievement. Since Christmas has come and gone, the presents no longer spawn and the achievement is forever lost.
  • In PlanetSide 2, the Anniversary bundles contain exclusive gear - such as holographic armor in the second anniversary - which cannot ever be acquired once they are removed from the market at the end of the anniversary.
  • Special weapon skins for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege have been distributed for holidays, unobtainable once they are gone. Christmas 2015 offered the Ralphie skin, the next years was the Nutcracker. Other holidays with limited skins produced for them include Valentine's Day and Saint Patrick's Day.
    • In fact, Siege had an entire game PVE game mode, Outbreak, which was a time-limited event for Halloween season 2018. It was a Left 4 Dead style co-op zombie shooter. The fact that the devs were able to develop an entire new game mode, with unique maps, enemies, A.I., and game mechanics, all for a limited event that gets deleted after a month shows just how much money Siege is raking in.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • A number of cosmetics that were part of an event count as this, including:
      • The medals introduced in the 119th Update (with the exception of the Mercenary badge, which is given to anyone who started playing TF2 for the first time). The Soldier of Fortune was given to those who played the game between January and October 2008; the Grizzled Veteran to players who played the game between October 2007 (the game's official release date) and January 2008; and the Primeval Warrior to players who started playing between September 17 and October 9, 2007 (the game's pre-release beta-testing phase). There was, and is, no other way to get these medals.
      • The hats and noise makers sold as part of the Japan Charity Bundle in March 2011 (where all money spent, excluding tax, went to American Red Cross relief operations in Japan following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami). The items were taken off the Mann Co. Store on April 7, and have never re-appeared since, on top of being untradeable.
    • 26 of the Golden Wrenches were deleted permanently (12 as part of a Child's Play charity drive, 13 because the owners felt harassed, and one For the Lulz). This means that just over a quarter of the Golden Wrenches are really, truly permanently missable.
    • Some hats were retired in January 2013, so you won't be able to obtain them through random drops or crafting anymore.
    • Halloween 2014 severely limited the amount of halloween items obtainable that year (a maximum of two free packs, containing three items each), opting out the gift system altogether. The reasoning behind this was to prevent gift farming. The fanbase claims that gift farming was absolutely harmless during the previous two years and really didn't approve of the change. The items obtained for free being untradeable didn't help matters either.
    • Halloween 2015 replaced the gifts on all pre-2014 Halloween maps with... tiny gargoyles that gave souls, which you could easily get from kills or objectives. Players that wanted to get certain objects only available through Halloween gifts, such as the Halloween Spells from Lakeside, or the Saxton Hale mask, were not happy that these things were essentially gone. Not only that, but the update only added nineteen new cosmetics, compared to fifty from the 2014 update and 102 from the 2013 update. Indeed, the Medic, Sniper, Heavy, and Spy didn't get anything at all beside the all-class items, of which there were only four.
  • The Scarface character in PAYDAY 2 is no longer purchasable due to the license to use character's real life likeness expiring. Players who purchased him previously can still use him in the game.

    Minigame Games 
  • WarioWare:
    • A few of the medals in WarioWare: D.I.Y. require entering microgame design contests that were periodically held by Nintendo. Nintendo no longer holds these contests, so if you hadn't already gotten the medals for them you can now no longer obtain them. Thankfully, it's still possible to get all the records even without these medals. The same, of course, goes for the microgames that won those contests. Even while they were running, you could only access the two most recent contest sets at a time to download their microgames. Now, you can't get any of them, unless you can get them from other players.
    • Because most of the online services for the Wii and DS have been shut down, the online-related medals can't be unlocked anymore, meaning that not all records can be unlocked on one save file. Fortunately, there's a way around this as well: because the records you obtain from medals are semi-randomized, you can obtain the ones you lack from a friend or relative. If all you care about are the music on the records and not having the full collection in your game under the built-in section, you could also copy the music from the records you could get into new records in the music maker, send said records to DIY Showcase, then restart your game and get new ones.

  • Brawl Stars is full of these.
    • Seasonal skins (Christmas, Lunar New Year and Halloween): three new ones for each occasion are introduced every year, and they come back discounted for two years before being retired entirely.
    • Star Shelly, a pre-registration reward available only to those who played the game before 2019.
    • Ricochet, available for free from Christmas Eve 2019 to January 6th 2020, based on Rico's old model.
    • Old School Brock, available for free from Christmas Eve 2020 to January 6th 2021, based on Brock's old model.
    • Brawl Pass exclusive skins, obtainable only during their respective season.
    • Challenger Colt, obtainable by purchasing an offer to support the Brawl Stars World Championship.
    • Free Christmas and Lunar New Year pins.
    • Brawl Pass exclusive pins.
  • Smite has Limited Edition skins, which are only available for a limited period of time, and once obtaining them is disabled they can no longer be obtained through conventional means.
  • Heroes of the Storm: There are a number of mounts and a small set of skins that were only available for a limited time. Many of these are Gold-only purchases, of which only one exists at a time and a new one is added in each major patch. There are also exclusive mounts for making real money purchases, logging in during events, completing promotional quests, and reaching high ranks in Storm League.
  • Heroes of Newerth once sold an announcer pack voiced by Samuel L. Jackson himself. It was only available for sale for about a week.

  • Because of their nature, MMORPGs fall into this. While the longest-running games such as Everquest, Ultima Online and Anarchy Online are still going strong, it's a truism that unlike games with a standalone single-player or player-side multiplayer component, these games will inevitably shut down and become unplayable at some point in the future, if they haven't already. A list of the most well-known defunct MMOs can be found here, but a few of the examples which stand out include:
    • Disney's MMOs (Toontown Online and Pirates of the Caribbean Online) both shut down on September 19, 2013. Disney's reason was that the quest-driven MMOs weren't profitable for the company anymore. While the server side of the games isn't released for obvious reasons, a group of fans are taking to writing their own servers- In the form of Toontown Rewritten and The Legend Of Pirates Online respectively.
    • NC Soft's City of Heroes shut down on November 30, 2012, after the publishers decided to unceremoniously shut it down. Whether this was indeed financially motivated is still unclear.
    • The original version of Final Fantasy XIV shut down after severe content issues, the sacking of much of the devteam, and huge outcry from fans. It was later rereleased as A Realm Reborn, with a far, far better development in play, but much of the original content, such as the original Hildibrand Manderville quests, is only nodded towards in the new game's lore, and several pieces of equipment and mounts from the original version have never been rereleased in ARR or the expansions as a way for veterans to distinguish themselves.
    • Neverwinter Nights (AOL), which lasted from 1991 to 1997 until disagreements between TSR, America Online, and SSI killed it off.
  • Final Fantasy XI has featured limited time event only items that cannot be traded to other players, such as the Moogle Rod from Fan Festival 2006.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, Events and Collaborations will only be available for a limited time. Likewise, subverted if the event later gets a re-run or archived into the Side Stories, allowing players to replay them.
  • In Grimms Notes, Sky and Rebirth heroes hail from limited-time events which never get re-runs (they aren't even available in the final gacha). This means new players will never be able to get them, unless they have a time machine in hand. Frustratingly, said heroes tend to show up again in the plot, and you even get to fight some of them!.
  • The Facebook MMORPG Mob Wars had a weekly limited heist that was offered from the 8th to the 13th of Feb '11 which involved "smuggling a man-eating shark into their private pool".
  • Kingdom of Loathing: "KoL is not a completionist's game" seemed like one of Jick's catch phrases for a while there.
    • Trophies: A "be there for the rollout of ascension" trophy and a "learn 30 recipes for a crafting method that no longer exists" trophy are the only truly unattainable trophies left. For a long time, "not have pants equipped one particular New Year's when Skully created a trophy on a whim" and "waste 10/100 turns on one particular year's Crimbo event" were the infamous examples of unattainable trophies, but they've both been given alternate unlock methods.
    • Items: Sufficiently old Items-of-the-Month are no longer attainable as the supply gradually dwindled to nothing. The hand turkey outline is probably the most infamous example, mostly due to the very last ones being purchased by a bug exploiter who promptly got banned for it. Event items, of course, are generally no longer created when the associated event is over, though only some of them are truly gone (by being untradable as well). But a surprisingly large number of them ended up coming back when an item was released that could summon random monsters.
    • Monsters (and associated Manuel data): Any time a quest gets revamped, only most of the monsters are reused, and all but one of the main quests have been revamped at least once. And monsters exclusive to events, of course. Non-bosses that have Manuel factoids can still be summoned by the above-mentioned item (and many lost monsters that predate Manuel actually had factoids retconned in for just that reason), but the bosses are still gone forever, most notably the Puzzle Boss guardians of the old Sorceress's Tower.
  • Unfortunately, all of Phantasy Star Universe Episode 3 is no longer available, as it was an online-only story expansion and sequel to Ambitions of the Illuminus, and the game's servers have long since shut down. In addition, although private servers have been able to keep Universe alive, they do not have data from Episode 3 to make it playable, meaning it is sadly either buried in SEGA's vaults or lost to time.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2:
    • As one would expect, the Collaboration Scratches. Once their Scratch card expires, that's it. No more new stuff. The only remaining stuff is what currently exists when the Scratch expires, which means the price of said gear will proceed to skyrocket once it's no longer readily available. And God help you if you want any of the older Collaboration items, like Evo. Device/Kyubey or whatnot.
    • In a strange case where this applies to common equipment, many of the older, common-rarity gear is no longer obtainable by normal means. This is because the introduction of New Type grinding brought with it a change that removed a bunch of older gear from the drop tables that used the original Grinding system and replaced it with gear that uses the new New Type grind system; as such, much of that gear can no longer be found except by looking on the Player Shops. Some of the replaced gear does drop in Phantasy Star Online 2es, however, since that game didn't accommodate for the New Type update and thus some gear can still be found as regular drops or as Weaponoid Presents.
  • World of Warcraft has done this lots of times, in many different ways. There are lots of items, achievements and titles that can no longer be obtained, or quests that can't be done anymore.
    • Several one-time-only events offered goodies which are otherwise unobtainable. A particularly rare mount could only be obtained after an event requiring countless man-hours from the entire server, for a period of less than a day. Any future new servers will have this event completed already, as well. Add in holiday rewards, anniversary pets, world events, and advertising promotion rewards...
    • Some achievements are no longer obtainable, whether from being tied to a one-time event (such as logging in during World of Warcraft's anniversary) or from removed content (such as completing the original Zul'Gurub, or maximizing weapon skill), and those that are become Feats of Strength, worth no points.
    • Many NPCs and quests from the original WoW were wiped off the map in the Cataclysm expansion or otherwise went missing without explanation. Well, apart from the fact that a psychotic black dragon had recently wreaked major havoc across the kingdoms and killed millions throughout the world. Oddly enough, many NPCs that were made redundant from certain changes still stick around, such as additional profession trainers (there used to be one for each rank) or the class trainers (while they still offer a few services, there is no need for one for each class in every capital city). While the old quests would be completely outdated by today's standards (the content aged poorly and was already feeling clunky and old by 2007), they contained a lot of story that new players won't be able to experience anymore when the old world was paved over - like the Onyxia quest chain - as the new quests focus on story set during the events of "Cataclysm". As for items, the most blatant example is the Black Qiraji Battle Tank mount. Back then, the only way to get it was by being the first one to open the gates of Ahn'Qiraj, something so hard to accomplish that it's said less than one player by server owns it, especially now that the related event was removed during "Wrath of the Lich King". As for levels, there were many dungeons that got completely reworked in later expansions, with the old versions no longer accessible, such as Naxxramas, Onyxia's Lair, or Upper Blackrock Spire (the latter example in particular being particularly blatant, with the old version being a candidate for Best Level Ever and the new version being an unremarkable dungeon belonging to what's seen as the worst expansion to players).
    • The first expansion "Burning Crusade" saw the quests related to Karazhan being removed when "Legion" added a second visit there. The quest chain provided plenty of lore about the tower, the Kirin Tor, and Khadgar himself.
    • The second expansion "Wrath of the Lich King" saw the Battle for Undercity, the conclusion for the Wrathgate chapter of the storyline, completely removed during "Cataclysm", related to Undercity getting a revamp in said expansion and said Battle taking place in the old version. Without it, the Wrathgate quest chain suddenly just ends with you standing in front of Alexstrasza, who has nothing to say while the Alliance and Horde armies lie dead all around you. You then mount up and fly to Grizzly Hills because there's nothing left to do. Striking back against Putress was a satisfying conclusion to the storyline. Before that, Varimathras - an important demonic NPC who was made a killable villain during said quest chain - was removed to players who had completed the quest chain, preventing access to a a few low-level quests which he gave out. However, a new orc NPC was added in patch 3.3. who handed out the same quests as Varimathras did.
    • The fourth expansion "Mists of Pandaria" saw the Vale of Eternal Blossoms being completely destroyed at the end of the storyline, preventing the players not only from seeing the old place but from doing the quests taking place there. The Vale of Eternal Blossoms, now corrupted by the Sha, used to be a beautiful and golden valley with an almost entirely different set of quests and exclusive storylines. This zone was available for less than a year, disappearing entirely when Garrosh's actions ruined the vale. However, by far the worst example here is the removal of the legendary cloak quest chain during "Warlords of Draenor". Not only these quests contained a lot of story regarding Wrathion, but the reward for completing them is completely necessary to access a fight against a boss, Ordos. Players who didn't get the cloak with at least one of his characters back when these quests were available simply can't fight Ordos.
    • Blizzard repeated the previous example during the fifth expansion, "Warlords of Draenor", with the legendary ring quest chain being removed during "Legion". Although this time there was no boss who required the ring, the quests involved a lot of story regarding Guldan and Cordana Felsong, and featured exclusive lore and interactions with Khadgar, Garona, Yrel, and others. Without that story, Guldan basically appears out of nowhere in Tanaan Jungle and Cordana Felsong's Face–Heel Turn in "Legion" is completely unexplained. The events that occur within these quests have ramifications that run all the way into current content, and their removal makes later developments in certain plotlines confusing and half-explained.
    • Mists of Pandaria introduced the Black Market, an NPC auction house where many (formerly) unavailable items such as unique mounts and old raid loot are put up for bidding at exorbitant prices. The revamped Darkmoon Faire introduced in Cataclysm added cosmetic versions of the old dungeon gear sets that were formerly unavailable.
    • Every new expansion has in-game pre-launch events of some form that offer either items or story events that are unavailable afterwards.
      • Burning Crusade had a small demon invasion. Helping fight them granted players the unique Tabard of the Protector.
      • Wrath of the Lich King had a richly detailed zombie epidemic event and several important story events. Players who did not participate may not be aware of when Variann Wrynn returned to the Alliance or that Garrosh challenged Thrall for the position of War Chief. Several pets and unique items could only be acquired during this period.
      • Cataclysm had elemental invasions, doomsday cultists running amok in capital cities, and Orgrimmar burning to the ground so it could be rebuilt with a new style. More notable were the Operation: Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall events, wherein the gnomes and Darkspear trolls each tried to reclaim their homes. Completion gave unique toys and tabards.
      • Mists of Pandaria granted special toys to players who completed the first scenarios released in the game.
      • Warlords of Draenor was opened with a special quest chain in the Blasted Lands trying to stem the flow of the Iron Horde into Azeroth. Completion granted a unique battle pet.
      • Legion saw entire zones being overrun with Legion invasion forces, with Alliance and Horde working together to drive them out. Players could acquire new armor and weapon skins along with a new pet.
      • Battle for Azeroth has the War of Thorns, the storyline which covers the Horde's conquest of the Night Elf lands and the destruction of Teldrassil. Each faction received a unique mount for completing the story.
      • Shadowlands had the "Death Rising" event, with Mawsworn Soulbearers descending from Icecrown's shattered sky to periodically resurrect bosses from the Wrath of the Lich King expansion for players to fight, with said bosses dropping both equipment and a currency that could be used to purchase armor sets, a toy and other cosmetic items.
      • Dragonflight had the Primal Storms, where so-called "Primalists" summoned Elemental Lords periodically in an effort to let said Elemental Lords ravage Azeroth. Once again, there was a special currency that could be used to purchase armor sets, weapons, a toy and a pet. There was also a special Heirloom that needed to be crafted from rare drops from the four types of Elemental Lords (Fire, Earth, Storm, and Ice).
  • Guild Wars 2:
    • The Living World seasons expand on the game's storyline. Starting with Season 2 this content was made permanently available to qualifying players, but Season 1 was only available while each event was live content. The developers have made some noise about making it available again in some fashion, but at present the only way to know what happened in-game is by talking to historians and other characters.
    • The Bazaar of Four Winds and Queen's Gauntlet are special events focused on unique player challenges and mini-games. After the events of Season 2, neither event repeated for five years.
    • The first Halloween event told the story of Mad King Thorn's return to Kryta for Halloween after a century of silence and the player's attempt to keep him from fully returning. Later events told the story of Bloody Prince Edric and his own attempts to claim both Kryta and the Realm of Madness. Both stories have since been rendered historical, leaving the details of the Thorn's family squabbles unclear and the Ascent to Madness dungeon with no context.
  • Discounting its servers being shut down after only 2 years, with new content patching stopping nearly a year earlier, Earth & Beyond had an evolving world. As each patch moved the story forward all previous story missions were removed. Unfortunately, this served as a detractor to new players. They were dropped into a story they didn't understand, and 1 major patch involved an invasion that put high level enemies in low level zones where quests still existed for new characters to obtain skills.

    Party Games 
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout:
    • Each season of Fall Guys lasts for a few months, and offers a season pass full of exclusive items that anyone can get for free by leveling up their beans during the season. Once the season's over, however, these items will be rendered unavailable forever, unless if you count recolors that can sometimes appear in the shop (even then, some of the items offered by the pass are unique, and has no recolors or substitutes; for example: patterns, faceplates, nameplates, and color schemes). If you didn't complete your season pass and collect all the items offered in time before the season ends, this means that you'll miss out on these items for good.
    • Since December 2020, Mediatonic has partnered with Amazon Prime's "Prime Gaming" service to release exclusive costumes that can only be obtained by linking your Fall Guys account to a Prime Gaming account. The costumes are bundled in with either Kudos or crowns, and a different costume is released each month; when a new costume is released, the previous costume is phased out and you can no longer obtain it.
    • Season 5 introduces limited-time live events, which requires players to complete certain challenges within a set time limit (usually a week) in order to obtain exclusive costumes and other goodies.

    Platform Games 
  • There are some rare DLC costumes in LittleBigPlanet that players can miss out on, mostly rare shirts and hats. There are special shirts (and occasionally hats) available at each game's launch, the Slurpee Shirt, which you got by redeeming codes that were on the bottom of Slurpee cups, a shirt in the second game that was only possible to get by pre-ordering the Vita game, and 3 shirts with each of the new playable characters from the third game (and one with the 3 from the logo) for pre-ordering the digital version of LittleBigPlanet 3. In Karting, there's the Target Racer for pre-ordering the game from said store.
  • A kind of No Export for You example is Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10, which are still avaliable on PSN and XBLA, but were delisted in various other regions, specifically in Latin America which these games are unable to buy or get via download code. However, a cheat to get them anyway is to change console region to US and then they can be downloadable.
  • While Mega Man X DiVE is getting an Offline version to prevent the game itself from becoming this, the same cannot be said for all of the Crossover collaboration items and characters, which is explicitly stated to not be returning for Offline. This includes characters and armors from Monster Hunter, Street Fighter, and Devil May Cry.
  • The original Dreamcast versions of Sonic Adventure and to a lesser extent Sonic Adventure 2 had a number of online features that were missing from all later ports. There were online contests and global rankings with physical rewards, downloadable events and challenges, and the ability to share Chao online. Additionally, players could download rare and otherwise unobtainable Chao from the Black Market. Nearly all of these features were lost even for the Dreamcast versions, as they used the games' official websites, which closed down years ago. Players can still find most of the Dreamcast-exclusive DLC floating on the web, and they can still be played despite their online contests no longer being active, but the first kart event, and the Black Market Chao downloads, seem to be lost.
  • The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Sonic Generations has Casino Night Zone available as DLC, but it can only be obtained through a download code given out through pre-orders of the game at specific physical retailers. (The United States had it the worst, as GameStop was the only retailer.) If you didn't pre-order the game and can't find anyone who held onto their download code without using it, you're out of luck. That being said, it is still available to download on both systems to this day; you just need the download code for it. As if to apologize after people complained, when Sonic Generations came out for Steam, Casino Night was made available for purchase soon after the game was released there and has been continuously available since.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Love & Pies:
    • Edwina's Cash Dash and Yuka's Date Dash Events are two recurring events that run for three days each. They involve raising as much money and collecting as many roses from completed orders, respectively, within the time limit, and then reaping the rewards based on how much you've gained.
    • The Tip Jar, which was introduced in the v0.14.4 update, gets filled with gems each time you complete an order. Upon reaching 150 gems, you can buy them with real money, but you can fill the jar all the way up to 300 and pay for them at the same price. However, once the jar's full, you only have two weeks to buy the gems before it empties.
  • Marvel Puzzle Quest has had costumes for the characters that were limited period deals. Sometimes the developers get generous and make one available again in the purchasable offers.
  • After Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ended, if you didn't download all the puzzles in the earlier Professor Layton games, you're not getting them. Fortunately, these were only optional in the first place.

    Real-time Strategy Games 
  • Age of Empires II:
    • HD Edition had the "Dark Ages Rush or Early Adopter" achievement that could only be obtained by preordering the game.
    • Definitive Edition has a variety of events where completing objectives unlocks profile icons, graphical mods, or even cheat codes.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • The Play Station Vita release of Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland had, for the first month of release, a DLC with swimsuit outfits.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance: Activision refused to renew their contract with Marvel, citing poor sales, so any downloadable content for either game was removed from the Xbox 360 and PS3 marketplaces; their reasoning was that the characters "were always a limited offer". With MUA1, at least, the player can hunt down a copy of the Gold version which contains all the DLC on-disc or mod the PC version to add them in. Activision added the DLC back online for MUA2, but it wasn't put up in PS3 outisde the United States. Then the DLC was withdrawn one more time on December 31st, 2010... And when Activision re-released both games on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it became available again.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2 and 3 both had special crossover data with mobile games; the former had Mass Effect Galaxy, while the latter had Mass Effect: Infiltrator. By playing Galaxy, you could unlock special dialogue with Jacob and Miranda in a sidequest in 2, while the latter gave you some additional War Assets depending on your progress in Infiltrator. As both mobile games have long ceased support, these are no longer possible to earn legitimately, although the later released Legendary Edition includes the full Galaxy dialogue by default.
    • Mass Effect 3: The multiplayer mode had weekend events (e.g. "Operation Tribute" on the weekend immediately following Robin Sachs' death), which gave special Cosmetic Awards for those who completed it. There is no way to receive those awards if you failed to get them on the corresponding weekend, and the events themselves have long stopped.
  • Monster Hunter: The full online campaign in the first three home console games (Monster Hunter (2004), Monster Hunter 2 (dos) and Monster Hunter 3 (Tri); plus the expanded version of the first game, Monster Hunter G), in each of which it has its own set of exclusive quests, monsters, armor, weapons and upgrades, became inaccessible after their online servers were shut down. The remaining games avert this, as they allow the player to access and tackle the multiplayer campaigns solo without needing to connect online or look for additional local players.
  • Pokémon:
    • Every once in a while the current main series games offer a special Mon (a legendary, a shiny, a shiny legendary, a Mon with an unseen combination of ability and nature) or an item used to trigger an encounter with one for a limited time. These can be obtained either by going online and downloading them for free, going to GameStop or a similar store for a download code, or participating in an online competition through the Global Link. Unlike most examples of the trope, however, such content is hard-coded onto the cartridge even before it receives an official release years after release, so it's at least possible to hack it into regular gameplay. There also exists unofficial servers that replicate the Mystery Gift functionality, meaning you can still obtain many of these events today.
    • HeartGold and SoulSilver had an event where the player could travel back in time with Celebi to the moment where Team Rocket calls for Giovanni from Goldenrod City's Radio Tower (meaning that the player was in two places at the same time, since they were fighting Team Rocket in the tower). The player could then battle Giovanni, and if they won, Giovanni would finally end his wish to restore Team Rocket to its former glory. Unfortunately, because this was a limited-time online event, new players can't battle Giovanni or get Celebi.
    • Pokémon Black and White: There's a Zorua in Castelia City that will only join your party if you show it the same Celebi used to trigger the HG/SS Time Travel event. In addition, a Zoroark can be found in Lostlorn Forest if the player has the shiny Legendary Beasts from a different past event.
    • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2: With the Gen V iteration of the Dream World being shut down in January 2014 (only a year and a half after the games' Japanese release), a few of the medals associated with obtaining Dream World Pokémon have become permanently unobtainable. In order to get all of these medals, you needed to have brought over 100 Pokémon.
    • Applying to both Black and White and their sequels:
      • The ability to change your C-Gear and Pokedex skins are lost, which could only be done through the Global Link system.
      • When the Dream World was still up, one could download and obtain a great number of Pokémon that you normally couldn't and most of them came with hidden abilities and all of them came in a Dream Ball. Since it shut down there's no way to obtain anymore of them in the Gen V games. Most of them are obtainable in later generations but there are a few that aren't and must be bred from parents that were.
      • Berry planting was done in the Dream World in these games, and there was no way to transfer berries from old generations. So with its removal, it's no longer possible to grow berries, and while you can still find a few berries in the offline games, many of them are only available in limited quantities per game. And that's not even getting to the Dream World-exclusive berries.
    • In Pokémon Sun and Moon:
      • Mega Stones for Pokémon that were not native to Alola were only available online. Either they were given as prizes for participating in Wi-fi competitions or as codes. Each code gave you up to 4 Mega Stones and they stopped working at the end of October 2017, just a few days before Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon's release.
      • To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the anime, Pikachu with Ash's cap was made available for download from September 19-October 30, 2017. There are six versions of this Pikachu, each with a different cap and moveset, but the code available for them only works for each save file once. When you download the Pikachu determines which hat it'll have, plus which moveset it gets that corresponds with that anime era.
    • Two in-game events and three Warlord episodes in Pokémon Conquest were available over Wi-Fi note  until New Year's Eve of 2012. Unless you're in Japan, in which case those suckers are never gonna stop transmitting. Subverted in the end, though: unknown to many people, said Wi-Fi downloadable missions turned out to have hidden passwords within the game code that anybody can use without the use of hacks. This is a grave case of Guide Dang It! as this was never officially stated to the public.
    • The Pokémon Ranger games featured entire sidequests that were only accessible if you downloaded them from Ranger Net when they were available for download.
    • Shiftrite and Zoronite in the fan game Pokémon Insurgence can only be received as a special promotion via Mystery Gift, and if you miss the availability window they're lost forever. It's been suggested that these Mega Stones will be available later on in the game once it's more complete, but for the moment they play this trope straight. Flygonite used to be this but can now be found in-game.
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet periodically hosts the Superboss 7-star Tera Raids, where you have to deal with incredibly powerful max level Pokémon who have the unique Mightiest Mark Cosmetic Award. While the Pokémon species themselves can be obtained another way another day (such as via trading or transferring from another game), the ones with said Mightiest Mark are only available during the period when they are available for battling, and each save file can only catch one of each.
  • The 2014 mobile ports of Tales of Phantasia: all game saves and game data are stored on the server and what the player got when they downloaded the game was just a client. As a kick to the groin, the game shut down just 6 months later within the same year.
  • Final Fantasy XV: The Moogle Chocobo Carnival and Assassin's Festival events were only available for a limited time in 2017 and, despite remaining in the main menu, have not reopened since. Got the game later than that and want the exclusive outfits, items, and camera filters? Too bad. Adding insult to injury, getting the Master Assassin's Robe outfit required an item obtained from completing the carnival, which closed for good shortly after the Assassin's Festival launched.
  • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: There are Events that usually run for 2-3 weeks, with some of them including characters from different Final Fantasy games, or even other games (such as Dragon Quest); the rest include FFBE characters that you either would meet in-story, or show up in the backstory. During these events, you usually get a chance at earning the characters that show up for the quests, and either directly earning equipment/items, or earning Event Currency that can be traded in for equipment/items from a list. Once the relevant event is over you usually end up hoping the event gets a rerun, for another chance at (at least) the characters.
  • Child of Light: At release, players had the ability to send Occuli to their UPlay friends. After Ubisoft shut the servers for this down, the achievement/trophy for doing so became unobtainable.

    Rhythm Games 
  • Rock Band:
    • As time has passed, some songs have become unavailable for purchase due to relicensing issues and/or being locked behind special offers or exports. As of October 2018, over 250 songs are unavailable to purchase, including most of the tracks on Rock Band 1, 2, and Lego. Anyone who purchased these songs before they were removed can download and play them freely, however, and select tracks have been rereleased as DLC for Rock Band 4.
    • This applies to the entirety of the Rock Band Network, a service that allowed people other than Harmonix to create DLC for purchase. In Late 2017, all available RBN songs were pulled down from the store. However, select RBN tracks have been rereleased as "new" DLC for Rock Band 4. Unlike Official DLC, these must be purchased again even if you previously owned the original release, as RBN tracks and official DLC have different rights processes.
    • When the three Metallica songs were pulled from Rock Band World's library, the "Master of Metallica" goal went with it.
    • While most songs that get removed do so after 5 years or so, a couple songs had a very short window of purchasability. For example, Runnin' Wild by Airborne was only available for 2 years, going up in August 2008 and coming down in March 2010. The king of limited availability, however, was Snoop's Upside Ya Head by Snoop Dogg, which was pulled after less than three months, going up in September 2010 and coming down in November.
  • No song was removed from the Sound Voltex series until June 1, 2016, when "Cyber Thunder Cider" was removed due to an expired license.
  • Sound Voltex II has POLICY BREAK songs, straight ports of songs from other BEMANI series in a series that otherwise does not allow non-remixed/arranged ports. The catch is that you can only unlock them for up to one week from the unlock date each, and then you cannot unlock them anymore.
  • jubeat saucer experimented with this idea with its "song swap" system: once a month, currently-available songs would be removed and some previously-removed songs would be brought back. By the end of this version's life, one last major update brought back most of the songs that were currently swapped out.
  • DJMAX Technika's Weekly courses. Each one was available for one week, then was gone permanently, replaced by the next Weekly course. Furthermore, Technika's Platinum Crew service went permanently offline in December 2013, which means nobody will be able to use songs or other items requiring unlocking ever again.
  • DanceDanceRevolution:
    • Five songs in the American console port of SuperNOVA were only playable in online mode, which has since been shut down, making them inaccessible forever. To compensate, they are featured as regular unlockable songs in the console port of SuperNOVA 2.
    • With the advent of e-Amusement, Konami has added and removed licensed songs according to their expiration date. The earliest such instance of this is the song "Beautiful Life", which was only available for a month in 2006 in the Japanese arcade version of SuperNOVA to promote the drama film Backdancers!.

    Sports Games 
  • Rocket League once had a DLC pack consisting of flags for various NBA teams to coincide with the Hoops update. Presumably due to licensing issues, it was eventually removed, leaving anyone who didn't buy it out of luck.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Cave Story's Secret Santa (official trailer here) was a Christmas Episode spin-off released by Nicalis (with no input from the series' original creator, Studio Pixel). Advertising for it made it clear that the game would only be available for a limited time (the holiday season) before its removal from digital distribution.
  • Hitman's World of Assassination Trilogy features Elusive Targets. Elusive Target missions are only available for a certain period of time. What's more, you can only play these missions once. You can't restart the mission if you start working on an objective, and after you successfully completed the mission or die, you cannot replay them (unless you've lucked out and disconnected from the game's servers and your progress doesn't get logged).

    Survival Horror 

    Third-Person Shooters 
  • As Warframe is beta and thus under constant development, all of the below is subject to change at the whims of the developers; for now, there's a significant double-whammy:
    • There are elite, one-of-a-kind versions of various weapons (Dex for celebrating the game's anniversary, Wraith for supporting Grineer during events, etc.) Once the relevant event to acquire these weapons passes, they're gone, and barring a future event by the developer, new players can never obtain them. These versions are flatly superior to their normal versions, so it can miff some players that they may be stuck with inferior versions of their favorite weapons. Fortunately, the anniversary weapons return each year, and old event weapons have slowly been making their way back into the game through Tactical Alerts, Sorties, and Baro Ki'Teer's wares.
    • Prime weaponry are similar to the above, being upgraded, gold-and-white trimmed versions of existing weaponry. Unlike the event weapons, these weapons can be obtained by any player with persistent farming for the blueprints and components (or, for the lazy, they can just buy them from other players); however, starting with Volt Prime's release, the oldest Primes get shelved with each new Prime Access. Items do get brought back occasionally, but at a much slower rate than items going away in the first place, and they only come back for a month at a time. Specters of the Rail alleviated some of the frustration with the overhaul to Void, since players can still use existing Relics to farm vaulted items, but you're out of luck for items that were vaulted before the change, and the Relics can start to become Too Awesome to Use over time as the supply diminishes.
    • Played dead straight with the very first Primes: Excalibur, Lato, and Skana. These were part of the Founders' Package during the earliest parts of the game's beta; as part of the deal, now that those packages are no longer available, those Primes are out-of-reach for any player that doesn't already have one (and DE has confirmed they WON'T be coming back.)
    • To a lesser extent, played straight with the events themselves. While some of them (Survival, Excavation, injecting and defending toxins from the Cicero Crisis) remain in the game in some form, many of the original, unique maps and gameplay modes, and ALL of the unique dialogue, lore, and character interactions, are gone, with no way for new players to experience them (short of brief text blurbs in the Codex.)
  • A sizable portion of Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain's unlockable content could only be unlocked via online co-op multiplayer, often involving team-dependent mission objectives, and thus became permanently inaccessible once the servers closed down in 2008.
  • The Splatoon games have a couple of these.
    • Splatoon: You unlock songs for the rhythm game minigame by simply hearing them, but there are three songs that only play during Splatfests. So if you got the game or the amiibo that unlocks the rhythm game after Splatfests were done running, the songs are impossible to unlock. Splatoon 2 originally had this conundrum as well (and added even more Splatfest-exclusive songs), but a later update released past the final splatfest made them available for obtainment, subverting the trope.
    • The Splatfest Tee is a special shirt with Special Saver (the first game) or Ability Doubler (the second and third game) and three slots for sub-abilities to fit into. The problem is that they are only around for a given Splatfest and must be returned when the event is over, at which point everything on those tees is lost. When Splatoon 2 came about and offered the ability to wash ability chunks off of clothes, it was no uncommon thing for players to do that before turning the tees in, something which became palatable when Murch offered a massive 90% discount for the service. Even then, and with the addition of constant refilling the shirt's EXP gauge to get new ability chunks afterwards, laundromat services still were commonplace, and some players just wish you could keep the tee afterwards. After the final Splatfest of Splatoon 2, an update introduced the Splatfest Tee Replica, a replacement shirt obtainable through a news post; it doesn't completely replicate the Splatfest Tee, but it comes with the Ability Doubler and changes color to reflect the player's ink color.
    • Also in Splatoon 2, Marina develops a custom arena known as Shifty Station, which changes every time a new Splatfest rolls around. Some players lament that you cannot revisit these stages when the Splatfest ends, as some of them have gimmicks that make them far more entertaining than the usual fare. Similiar to the aforementioned Splatfest Tee, this was later averted, as all 24 Shifty Stations were permanently added to the game in Version 5.0.0. (albeit only in private battles rather than the main rotation).

    Tower Defense Games 
  • Arknights:
    • Several events were collaborations with other franchises: "Operation Originium Dust" (Rainbow Six Siege), "It's Been A While" (The Legend Of Luo Xiao Hei) and "Leaves Chasing Fire" (Monster Hunter). As the gacha banners were limited and the events are unlikely to rerun, all collab operators featured are no longer obtainable for players that missed the event.
    • This also applies to other events to an extent. Once an event's rerun concludes, its exclusive items (welfare units, furniture etc.) are no longer obtainable until Record Restoration is implemented for said event.
  • Metal Slug:
    • Metal Slug Defense has event units who are available to purchase within a certain version.
    • In Metal Slug Attack, units and special item parts that are received through the Extra Ops, Pack-Shop, and pre-acquisition become unavailable once the event is over. Starting around November 2016, some Pack-Shop units replaced a majority of other units in the Medal Crank. Pre-acquisitions would return in a few weeks after debuting, and they are placed in the Medal Cranks and/or in the various shops. In a later update, old Extra Ops unit parts can be farmed for or purchased in the Another Story mode. Old United Front and Try-Line units can be obtained when their respective Extra Ops returns in the month (except for the most recent ones).
  • Plants vs. Zombies:
    • This happened to original, Michael Jackson-inspired design of the Lead Dancer Zombie some time in late 2009. Understandably, some fans of both MJ and PvZ refuse to update their copy for this exact reason after learning that Popcap refused to cave in to the demand of MJ's foundation to give them a cut of the game's profits and instead opted to replace the old design with a generic disco-themed one.
    • Plants vs. Zombies Adventures on Facebook was closed down for good on October 12, 2014 due to not being very popular. This meant all your hard-earned stuff on that game was lost forever.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Special events are occasionally held on Grand Theft Auto Online where unique items particular to that event can be won or purchased for a limited time and can be kept permanently. These can range from t-shirts to fireworks and weapons to car horns.
  • Sea of Thieves permanently removed the Sea Dog's Arena in early 2022, making all PVP mode-related gear and cosmetics completely unobtainable to anyone who hadn't gotten them already.

  • Mobile Phone Games may use this trope to entice players to quest for a limited event item or spend cash to obtain the item. The event offering the item may last a few weeks or less than a day. Hope a later event offers the item again, or it's permanently missable.
  • Mafia Wars has achievements that cannot be completed and items that cannot be gotten, including a 7-11 promotion, and promotions from games the developer has since discontinued: Café World, FishVille, Treasure Isle, Mafia Wars 2, Mafia Wars Shakedown, CastleVille, Hidden Chronicles, Bubble Safari, The Ville, ChefVille, CityVille2, CoasterVille, Hidden Shadows — all involved in a MafiaWars promotion before being discontinued, and then there's the rest of Zynga's discontinued games. Here's hoping you didn't pay actual money for virtual items in a game that has been discontinued.
  • Ingress:
    • Didn't get to Level 5 or higher before December 14, 2013? Say good bye to the "Founder" medal.
    • Beginning with the "Recursion" anomaly, you can get event medals. Miss the specific event for a medal and you won't be able to get it.
    • The option to submit new portals was disabled in 2015, and with it, the ability to obtain the "Seer" medal or any upgrades to it if you have it already.
  • The Nintendo DS and Wii servers were shut down in 2014, leaving games with Downloadable Content missing quite a lot of content.
  • PlayStation Home:
    • Some spaces will be taken down for one reason or another, meaning that the items within can never be obtained again.
    • Some items can only be obtained during limited-time events. If you don't get them then, you usually won't have another chance.
    • Home itself was shut down on March 31, 2015. Since there is no way to access items/spaces offline, users lost everything.
  • The Sega Dreamcast, known as the first online console ever, had its own internet browser as well as games with exclusive content only downloadable by this system (the prime example is Shenmue Passport). Being this console discontinued since 2001-2002, this online system shut down and all the possible content is now history.
  • Vocaloid: Despite LOLA, LEON, and MIRIAM all being removed from sale, it was still possible to buy a downloadable link until November 2015. MIRIAM was the only one of the three to have all her serial codes had been sold at that point, making it currently impossible to purchase her.
  • Blu-ray discs with "BD-Live" content, which require downloading files from off a server to function and which could (and inevitably will) be taken offline, often without any warning.
  • Due to the closure of Nintendo's Miiverse service on November 7, 2017 at 10 P.M. PT, it is impossible to unlock all of the Workshop items in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, since the built-in 88 levels obviously do not produce enough stars to get everything available.
  • Exclusive games downloaded from either The Sega Channel on the Genesis, or Satellaview on the SNES. Your only chance of playing these at this point is through emulation, as both services are dead and buried, and neither Sega or Nintendo have any interest in re-releasing them in any form, and the only chance of retrieving these is through dumping the storage media of the Satellaview or Sega Channel Adapter respectively while the games are not yet deleted. Needless to say, a number of games on both services remain irrecoverable and lost forever.
  • The PlayStation 3 game Buzz: Quiz World has a trophy for starting the game from PlayStation Home. Seeing as the latter game has been shut down, if you don't already have the trophy you'll never be able to get it.
  • The Wii Shop Channel discontinued the ability to add Wii Points for purchasing games as of Mar 26, 2018, and the channel itself shut down on Jan 30, 2019. You can still download games until Nintendo shuts that down, but you can no longer purchase games. Similarly, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989) was delisted from the Wii Shop Channel when Konami's license for the IP ran out, so anyone who didn't get to buy the game before that were out of luck.
  • The shutdown of GameSpy in 2014 resulted in the loss of online functionality for all games that utilized it, save for those that were migrated to third-party servers.
  • The most salient point critics of the download-only PSP Go raised about its lack of a UMD drive was what owners were supposed to do about games that for whatever reason were no longer listed on the PlayStation Store. The answer, obviously, is that they're screwed as far as getting a legit copy is concerned; these games can still be had with an unauthorized firmware update and quick internet search, but there's no way to obtain copies by legally paying for them anymore.
  • This also raises concern of how the contents of PlayStation and Xbox digital downloads are handled. While some games are taken down in per-title basis, games for legacy platforms may, someday, no longer be supported due to the necessary shutdown. This has been partially alleviated by Microsoft's attempt to update Xbox 360 and original Xbox games by making them backwards compatible with the Xbox One. But the end of digital distribution was seemingly close for the 7th console generation PlayStation systems. On March 29, 2021, Sony announced plans to shutter the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 3 and Playstation Portable systems on July 2, 2021 and the PlayStation Vita's store not long after that on August 27, 2021... only to backtrack a couple weeks later and confirm that the PS3 and Vita stores would remain up for the time being (with the PSP store's closure still moving forward as announced).
  • Neopets has had a few assorted features removed over the years, causing them and any related unlockables (such as Neoboards avatars) to become this. These range from minor things such as the Tooth Faerie avatar and the corresponding Random Event which granted it (inadvertently lost in the shuffle when Random Events were revamped in 2014), to major things such as the entirety of Neopets Mobile (pre-smartphone era mobile app), Key Quest (a Mario Party-esque virtual board game) and Petpet Park (a now-defunct spinoff site). The removal of Key Quest in particular was met with a large outcry from fans, both due to it having been a fun and practical way of earning Neopoints and items, and due to it having had alternate pieces players could use via purchasing them with real money; the latter are still viewable in a player's collection, but are unusable due to the game no longer existing.
  • Many modern Tamagotchi toys have had certain items and characters that are only unlockable via a website or, in Japan, an arcade machine or cell phone game, and become unavailable once the method for unlocking them becomes unavailable.
    • The Tamagotchi Music Star had exclusive items that are required to unlock certain characters. Obtaining these items required you to visit the Tamatown website, which is no longer active as of 2013, to earn points to buy the items and transfer them to your Music Star toy.
    • There are certain characters on the Tamagotchi 4U, among them Miraitchi and Clulutchi, that could only be obtained via limited-run events in Japan involving a special NFC touchpoint.
    • The Tamagotchi m!x and Meets have marriage partners that can only be found in stations scattered across Japanese stores and cycle through different characters depending on the season.
  • To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. 35, an eShop-exclusive online battle royale game where 35 players compete to complete levels with the twist that enemies defeated by a player will be sent to other players. The game had an extremely limited run of about six months before Nintendo pulled the plug on it. Since the game was online only, it's impossible to get or run the game.
  • To celebrate Sega's 60th anniversary, the company temporarily released various games for digital distribution, such as Golden Axed: A Cancelled Prototype, Endless Zone, and Streets of Kamurocho. However, once the event concluded, the games were removed from store shelves; if a user had not already added them to their online library, they could no longer be downloaded at all.
  • Dead by Daylight, just by virtue of being an online-only experience, will inevitably fall victim to this, but one facet that occured during its playable lifetime: Chapter 13 of its downloadable content, based on Stranger Things, was removed from sale just a little over two years after its initial release, as Netflix declined to renew their contract with Behaviour. Anyone who bought or unlocked its inclusions gets to keep and use them, and its personal Achievement System was generalized to avoid preventing 100% Completion, but its Underground Complex map was removed from playable rotation for all players.
  • In the North American release of the first Animal Crossing, the player could obtain the NES games Soccer, Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong 3, Clu Clu Land D, and Punch-Out!! through secret codes generated for the player's specific character and town on Nintendo of America's official website for the game. The site eventually shut down, rendering the items inaccessible outside of third-party code generators or hacking.
  • War Thunder has some old vehicles that were discontinued because later found to be not historically-based enough (such as the Coelian or the Panther II) or unbalanceable (like the Maus). If you unlocked them you can keep them, but other players won't be able to use them. The latter however can be researched during the anniversary of the game in November, for a brief period of two weeks. Also, several premiums have been removed from the store and some periodically return just for special occasions, such as the days of specific armed forces.