With console gaming entering its ninth generation, the digital storefronts from the previous generations are slowly disappearing, taking with them thousands of digital-only video games.
Ash Parrish for The Verge:
Combined with the decline of physical media in favor of subscription services and digital distribution, it’s getting harder for people to play older games and harder still for the games of the present to be preserved for the future.
As games age and as companies continue to remove the means to properly purchase and download them, people are looking at other, less than legitimate options to continue to play the games they enjoy. It’s created tension between players and companies. While it’s unrealistic to expect publishers to maintain their prolific libraries in perpetuity, it’s also not ideal that large swathes of games can, at any time, just disappear on the whims of the store operator.
So how can we ensure that older games can be enjoyed by future generations without the expense of maintaining aging digital infrastructure or violating existing copyright laws? Video game preservationists are doing the work at the intersection between these two points.