Postal 3 has been taken off sale after 11 years, and Postal's original devs are thrilled

An image of Postal 3 showing Osama bin Laden handling a box full of exploding penises.
(Image credit: Running With Scissors)

Execrable videogame Postal 3 has been abruptly removed from sale on Steam, owing to issues with its DRM system and the fact that it's been a miserable experience to play since it came out 11 years ago. Running With Scissors, developer of every Postal game but 3, announced the game's withdrawal from sale in a tweet, attributing it to "DRM issues and overall shittiness of the game itself".

Running With Scissors doesn't go into any detail about what the DRM issues are, but recent reviews on Steam suggest that whichever server the game was phoning home to has simply gone kaput, and it doesn't look like it'll come back any time soon. Or ever. You can still pick up a DRM-free version elsewhere but, well, maybe you shouldn't.

While some (I) might argue that every Postal game has been a tedious exercise in saying nothing loudly, it's hard to deny that Postal 3 marked the nadir of the series. The game's development was contracted out to a third-party studio called Akella, which went bankrupt not long after Postal 3 released, and absolutely nobody was happy with the final result. Since then, the game has largely functioned as a marketing tool for Running With Scissors: Something the studio can poke fun at to make subsequent games look better.

In our Postal 3 review (which gave the game a wince-inducing 21%), Postal 3 was lambasted for trading in "the open world of its predecessor for a matted clump of short corridors" filled with useless,  borderline-comatose AI enemies. On the plus side, the game had the decency to crash a lot, which gave you plenty of opportunities to not launch it again.

But the worst part was the writing, which missed its mark so catastrophically that it made Postal's mid-2000s-mandated Uwe Boll movie look slick by comparison. Osama bin Laden, Sarah Palin, AIDS jokes: All the bangers of 2011-era 4chan were in there, and they were all about as funny as you'd expect.

I'm usually all for the archiving of games, good and bad, but it's difficult to be too torn up that Postal 3 isn't available on Steam anymore. We can all rest easier knowing that innocent users aren't at risk of buying it, and if you still really want to play the game, for reasons of self-hatred or academic interest, the studio has one suggestion for you: pirate it.

Update: This article has been amended to clarify that only the Steam version of Postal 3 has been removed from sale. DRM-free versions can still be bought elsewhere.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.