UPDATE: SEGA has provided Eurogamer with the following statement with regards the XBLA version of OutRun Online Arcade: "Due to the expiry of the contract with Ferrari, OutRun Online Arcade will remain offline on PSN but will still be available on XBLA until Dec 2011."
ORIGINAL STORY: SEGA has removed excellent racing game OutRun Online Arcade from the PlayStation Store, Eurogamer can reveal.
The Sumo Digital-developed game was removed at SEGA's request. "Due to the expiry of the contract with Ferrari, OutRun Online Arcade will remain offline on PSN and XBLA," a SEGA spokesperson told Eurogamer.
It's still up on Xbox Live Arcade, which conflicts with SEGA's statement. We're checking on that now.
OOA sees gamers race their choice of Ferrari through a selection of 15 stages in the shortest time possible.
It was releases worldwide on Xbox Live Arcade in April last year. The PlayStation 3 version was exclusive to Europe. Oli awarded it 8/10 in Eurogamer's review.
Last week eagle-eyed gamers on forum NeoGAF noticed OutRun had disappeared from European PlayStation Stores.
Days later Eutechnyx's Ferrari The Race Experience was released exclusively on PSN. Strangely, OOA is still listed on SEGA's UK website.
SEGA's comments suggest fans won't see a new OutRun game until the Japanese company renews its licence with the famous Italian car manufacturer.
Spurred on by his love of Ferraris, game developer legend Yu Suzuki created the original 1986 arcade OutRun featuring a car believed to be a Ferrari Testarossa convertible - despite SEGA not owning the official license.
It wasn't until 2003 and the release of OutRun 2 that SEGA officially licensed the use of Ferrari cars.
So, if you own OutRun Online Arcade, keep hold of it. It just got a whole lot more collectible.