Train Simulator 2015 fans rail against removal of US-based content

Fare play.

Like wisps of steam signalling the approach of a locomotive, Train Simulator 2015 fans have sent up smoke signals that something is amiss.

There's no sign of the content on steam.

Recent months have seen the Train Simulator community slowly carved into two, following the removal of numerous add-on packs for players outside of the US.

The British-developed Train Simulator once included support for the US-based BNSF (Burlington Northern and Santa Fe) Railway network, regardless of which country you played the game from.

The BNSF is the second largest freight network in the US, boasting more than 32k miles of majestic track spread across 28 US states.

Imagine you were a wagon of coal. The BNSF could transport you from the tip of Texas to the northern wilds of Minnesota, or west across the Rockies from Seattle to San Francisco.

So it came as a shock to Train Simulator players when, a few months ago, several BNSF-branded DLC packs were removed from the game's Steam store outside of the US.

At the time, developer Dovetail Games blamed the removal on the fact that the BNSF no longer licensed its products outside of the US.

Now, an additional nine DLC packs have been removed as they too feature BNSF content.

It was time for the community to steam into action - so Train Simulator fan Martin van der Louw has set up a petition aimed at getting the content reinstated.

Fans say Dovetail should conduct itself better.

The latest DLC packs to be delisted outside the US included several "vital and major routes", van der Louw told Eurogamer.

"At least two of these add-ons (Marias Pass and Stevens Pass) are key and vital components for the game and are widely used in workshop scenarios and routes effectively rendering the bulk of the workshop unusable for the non-US player."

In a statement to Train Simulator players, the BNSF explained that its licensing agreement only stretched as far as the mainland US.

"In order to provide international use of our brand and logo, BNSF would have to register our trademark in every country," a spokesperson said.

"That would in turn mean we would have to devote extensive resources to a team that would manage our image and branding worldwide. Additionally, we would then have to collect royalties on any product that uses our branding and logo, which we currently do not do."

But fans have pointed out that Train Simulator rivals such as Trainz and Run8 continue to include BNSF content.

"All this was done without ever informing the customers that it would be done," van der Low concluded, "when it would be done and why it would be done."

Eurogamer has contacted Dovetail Games for comment, and to find out if it will help its community get back on track.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

News Editor  |  tomphillipsEG

Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.


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