fbpx

New Study Predicts Classic Video Games Are At Risk of Extinction

Photo by Stas Knop via Pexels

New Study Predicts Classic Video Games Are At Risk of Extinction

By Movieguide® Contributor

A new study found that most classic video games released in the U.S. are in danger of being lost forever. 

The Video Game History Foundation partnered with the Software Preservation Network to create the first study on how accessible vintage video games are. The study was performed by randomly selecting 1,500 games released before 2010 – when digital distribution started to take off – and researching how available each game is in today’s market. 

 The results were bleak as 87% of video games released before 2010 are no longer commercially available. For these endangered titles, the only way to access the games is to maintain the vintage game and hardware, some of which are nearing 60 years old. Otherwise, fans have to resort to piracy to access their beloved games. 

With 13% of vintage games still commercially available, the situation might not seem too dire, especially if the games being sold are bestsellers – ones that still have an audience. The 13% survival rate is better understood when compared to other forms of media. 

Classic video game availability “is [only] slightly above the availability of pre-World War II audio recording (10 percent or less) and slightly below the survival rate of American silent films (14 percent),” the Video Game History Foundation explains. “We’re talking about games from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s, and they’re in just as bad shape as music and movies from back when Calvin Coolidge was president.” 

The situation for classic video games has become so dire because of copyright laws. Rather than allow for comprehensive archives through libraries or museums, that allow users to access the games similarly to classic novels or albums, video game lobbyists have kept outdated copyright laws in place. 

These laws keep archives from distributing the games so big videogame companies can make money on rereleases and remastered versions of their games. Nintendo, for example, has a large library of their classic games available on their current platform – the Nintendo Switch – which they want to protect their profits on. 

While these outdated laws may help companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the fact that only 13% of video game history is currently preserved proves that they need to be changed. This study could be one resource used during next year’s rulemaking proceeding which will reexamine copyright law over video games. Hopefully, a change will be made, saving thousands of vintage games from being lost forever. 

Movieguide® previously reported on video games: 

The upcoming video game, Gate Zero, seeks to bring scripture to life through an interactive story set in 1st-century Israel.  

“The game starts out in the year 2072 in the dystopian world of Terrapolis,” a synopsis of the game reads. “You and your cousin Hector receive a cryptic mission from your eccentric late grandmother. She offers the chance to win her whole inheritance if you unlock the secrets of her mysterious ‘pearl.’ You and Hector decide to solve this mystery by going back to the source in his time machine, Gate Zero.”  

In an age of short attention spans and low scriptural engagement, the team behind Gate Zero – Bible X – wants to present key Gospel moments in a new, immersive way. They believe the Bible will come to life as players become eyewitnesses to the miracles that Jesus performed and take in the sights and sounds of 1st-century Israel along the way.  

“We really want to dive into creating a game for the younger generation to be able to experience Jesus and to be able to get familiar with the stories and events from the Bible,” game designer Arve Solli told Faithwire. 

4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.