It's unclear what prompted the removal from Steam, Xbox Live and PSN, although it was in the works back on December 21, when it was noted on the Facebook page for The Amazing Spider-Man game. Curiously, The Amazing Spider-Man remains on the storefronts, and Activision is still publishing the follow-up tie-in for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Activision Community Manager Dan Amrich confirmed the removal yesterday, but he didn't provide a reason for the superhero games going up, up, and away. We've reached out to the publisher for more details.
The expiration of a licensing agreement between Activision and Disney-owned Marvel is one possible explanation. Upon acquiring the comic book giant for $4 billion, Disney CEO Bob Iger noted his company was considering moving towards self-produced and published games in the coming years.
"As these licensing deals expire we have the luxury of considering what is best for the company and the products," Iger said during a 2009 investors' call (via MCV).
When Disney closed LucasArts last year, it then turned to EA with a multi-year exclusive agreement to license out Star Wars games.