(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sh_DY28wl4 (/ embed)
In June, Ultima Underworld and Syndicate were removed from GOG at the "publisher's request," with Electronic Arts being the publisher. The reasons for the elimination were not made clear, which led to speculation that EA wanted to make them exclusive to Origin or, dare to dream, do something new with the series. Regardless of the particulars, it was a loss: both games are very old (Underworld came out in 1992, Syndicate followed in 93), but they are absolute milestones in their genres and are still a lot of fun, as long as you can adjust- you to the very dated interfaces.
The good news is that they have returned, and the even better news is that they are all free for the next few weeks: until September 3, Syndicate Plus, Syndicate Wars, i Ultima Underworld 1 and 2 (come in a package) are free to carry and keep forever.
"It looks like twenty years later there's still a great love for these titles, so we're pleased to confirm that they'll be available on GOG again immediately and we'll keep them in store for the foreseeable future." EA dit. "To celebrate, we offer these games as a free download for four weeks."
The announcement says nothing about the refunds, but back-players who were quick to pick up any or all of them before withdrawing them in June will not be left hanging. Union owners say in the comments that listings in the order history now include links to claim refunds, so they can be claimed for free, and Ultima Underworld does the same. The date of purchase does not seem to be a factor: I bought it in 2013 and the link is still there. (And no, I won't click on it).
If you want to play more giveaways over the weekend and beyond, be sure to check out our list of free games you can grab right now.