On closer inspection, this might be another ill consequence of ITAD’s “plain” system for identifying games.
A “plain” is essentially a string that is derived from the game’s name, e.g. the plain for “Gamey Game of Names - Standard Edition” could be
It shouldn’t be too hard to imagine cases that led the system astray. For instance:
Name changes, big or small
Let’s say Gamey Games of Names - Standard Edition is retired in favor of the latest Game of the Century Pack for Cool Dudes and Dudettes. The latter is a new plain, so it starts from scratch…? Even better, looks like the data associated to the (now removed) Standard Edition plain, ends up finding a new home in /dev/null; …or becomes inaccessible, at the very least.
Different games with a similar, or the same, name
Obviously, the plain system has the benefit of being largely store-agnostic, although internally things are likely a bit different.
But, if right now you’re thinking “whoa whoever thought this was a robust approach, sure was having a massive outburst of optimism that day”, that’d be the sound of me nodding.
In fact, I think ITAD’s problem with the HITMAN games might be caused by the interaction between changes made by either IO Interactive or Warner Bros on the Steam store, and the plain dynamics that I was describing in point 1.
HITMAN was included in the Monthly as “The Complete First Season” Steam sub ID 71223, now no longer available, and all the relevant data appears to have vanished into thin air.
HITMAN 2 has been recorded as a “Standard Edition”, a description there is no mention of now on Steam, however for this ITAD has retained data, up until the end of last July (perhaps they’ve switched policies at some point?), and it’s correctly marked as part of the Choice bundle.
HITMAN 1 is also present in their system with two other entries, named “HITMAN 2016” and “Hitman 2016 HITMAN” tied only to the Evil Store, though I haven’t investigated whether the name change took place on Evil first or it’s an ITAD thing (probably the former).
On this page there is also a “MIssing bundle?” button, which leads to a dead URL, and manually redirects to a thing called Vouchers, and that’s where I stopped, as it asked for a login. If this hasn’t been fixed yet, it may be a sign that, while ITAD is expecting users to report problems in their bundle tracking system, this isn’t actually happening all so often.
If HITMAN 2 is anything to go by, it’s possible ITAD now keeps a record of deals that are no longer available which would be the more expensive but also more sane option, IMO. Or, maybe?, the data hasn’t “expired” or garbage collected yet?
Needless to say, it can be pretty hard to keep running an accurate bundle tracking system, if data is thrown away every time there is a name or configuration change on Steam.