A study conducted by The Video Game History Foundation, in partnership with the Software Preservation Network, claims that 87% of classic video games released in the United States are 'critically endangered'. In their study, VGHF found that nearly 9-10 classic games released before 2010 were hard to come by or inaccessible since a very small fraction of them were still in circulation from re-releases.
Across the Gameboy category of handhelds, the number is only 5.8% thanks to the emergence of Nintendo‘s online service which has shut out their playable versions. Earlier this year, Nintendo closed its Wii U and 3DS digital storefronts, which affected the digital availability of games on these consoles.
Only 13.27% of Classic Games are Readily Available to Play
“Imagine if the only way to watch Titanic was to find a used VHS tape, and maintain your own vintage equipment so that you could still watch it,” the study said. “And what if no library, not even the Library of Congress, could do any better — they could keep and digitize that VHS of Titanic, but you’d have to go all the way there to watch it."
Across the board, only 13% of video game history is being represented, and no era of games ever cracked the 20% mark. The numbers are even worse for games on consoles with very little interest, such as the Commodore 64. And even for consoles like the PlayStation 2 with higher public interest and activity from the community, only a small portion of its games remain easily accessible for players today.
The report suggests that games released before 1985 only make up for just 3% of the current market. While libraries and archives like the Video Game History Foundation and Software Preservation Network have digitally preserved these games, the playable versions are not shared with the public over copyright laws.
GTA 6 Trailer Launch Date and Time: How and Where to Watch
Metagross Joins Pokémon Unite: A Powerful All-Rounder
Complete 82+ TOTW Player Pick SBC: Guide & Top Players
Complete Radioactive Aubameyang SBC: Guide & Cost
Cyberpunk 2077 Update 2.1: Metro System, New Vehicles, Accessibility Features And More
GTA 6 First Trailer Releases On 05 December 2023
EA FC TOTW 11: Top 5 Players to Elevate Your Game
How To Download BGMI 2.9 Update For Android And iOS
Gossip.GG brings you the latest scoop from Gaming, Esports, Tech, and a whole lot more. From breaking the latest industry news to in-depth reviews and features, Gossip.GG has you covered.
JJ is a writer for the Gaming section at Gossip.GG and brings multiple years of experience covering the gaming beat.