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Abandoned Games 334

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
Ghost Pig writes "The people of Exiled Gamers have put together an Abandonware Campaign with which they hope to be able to convince game publishers to rescue titles from their current 'Abandonware' status, and make them available for the public to play (legally) once again. They have made mention of quite a few titles that have slipped into the status of Abandonware (titles that it's no longer possible to buy at retail, and that are near impossible to locate on sites such as eBay), which includes System Shock 2, Freespace 2, as well as older titles, such as The Chaos Engine, Alien Breed and Flashback."
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Abandoned Games

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  • Leave them "dead" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:34AM (#15184349) Journal
    Personally I'd rather they left them in the "grey" area or released them as freeware. Quite often I've played a game left for dead, found it to be really worth it and hence became a fan of the company. I'd like to hope others have done this as well and hence we're all found some new games and new intrests.

    I tend to pirate games I can't get any other way. If I could buy them then I woukd, but with the current market there just isn't space on the shelves for older games and the retailers would make no money off them so wouldn't even want to stock them.

    Leave them where we can get them for free. That way we can check out the history and decide if the latest one would be worth investing in or not.
    • Better yet, set up some sort of clearing house where old game licenses go to die, and let us buy a legit license (and download the program to play) for a nominal fee (five bucks maybe?)
      This would solve a few things - legitimatize the "grey" area redistribution of 'abandonware', and let those that pirated the game when they were poor college kids living on less than $400 a month (to cover rent, food, clothing, bills, etc) buy a license to clear their consience. A few years ago I bought a new in the box copy
      • So, you want something like GameTap? [gametap.com] Granted, it's more of a subscription/rental service, and I'm not too sure how extensive their library is, but it seems like the first step (well, *a* first step).
    • What's a game you can't find any other way? When you've got eBay, Amazon, USENET forsale newsgroups, and so forth? If you give yourself time to find it, put out a few searches, you can probably find what you need.

      I think "can't find any other way" is probably a euphemism for "can't find for a price I'm willing to pay".
      • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @10:39AM (#15184606) Journal
        Sonic 2 beta comes to mind.

        Many really quirky Japanese titles you've never heard of which become legendary among small communities.

        Many Japanese Playstation games. Dreamcast games in the same way.

        You have to remember, some of us don't believe in credit cards. We also don't trust handing money over to someone who has a name like Superhappyboy9982 with top "karma", that his friends could of given him. Remember a lot of people are dodgy and I can't be bothered to trust them on a number you can easily manipulate.

        Amazon is a good source for new stuff. But if I can't open the wrapping fresh from the factory I won't order it without checking it out in person. My "good condition" could be "Mint condition" to someone else just as easy as it could be "I threw it to the dog and he only sort of ate most of it.. but you can still read page 38 to 42 without any problems".

        I live in England where we get royally shafted on the Japanese market. Getting most the stuff I want is extremely difficult, let alone trying to find a limited run Japanese SNES game which no one has even heard of outside the small community it's built up. I have at least 50 SNES games in a cupboard behind me from all over the world, just as many Mega drive/Genesis and such.

        You could argue that because fans translated the old Shin Megami Tensei games on the SNES (and hence I pirated them), that ATLUS now have made 6-7 game purchases out of me. There is no way I would of found the Megaten series if they hadn't been pirated and translated, hence I wouldn't of taken any notice of ATLUS, hence I wouldn't of bought SMT3, DDS1, DDS2.

        In the same way I couldn't get Super robot taisen. Now ATLUS has picked up the rights to the only 2 games they can release.. Guess who has both on pre-order?

        So yea, maybe once in a while I decide to be cheap and "steal" a game. Maybe some times I can't get hold of them. But I see no problem with a little underhanded dealing as long as we both win in the end.

        I suppose you've never done anything even remotely close to illegal. You're a regular perfect human being with no faults and everything right?
      • These guys are trying harder to find titles that you could expect the average joe, and they cannot find everything. They have reacently branched out to other platforms, but the Amiga list has been there for a very long time.

        http://www.softpres.org/?id=wanted [softpres.org]
  • Just like all the old arcade games, these will be preserved by users like us. As for being available legally, I don't see any company really caring. Look at all those Mame games floating around.

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
  • Dink Smallwood (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shreevatsa (845645) <shreevatsa.slash ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:42AM (#15184382)
    A plug for one of my favourite games — Dink Smallwood [rtsoft.com]. Two years after the game was published, it was "On 10-17-1999 released the game as freeware, no ad-ware, no spyware and no strings attached." Now that's an example to follow!

    That was one cool and wicked game [wikipedia.org], and because they included the source of the original game (the map, etc; not the engine, IIRC), I was able to recompile the game so that I started with 500 Strength, 50000 money, etc and have lots of fun ;)

    You should check it out, it's the funniest (in a wicked sort of way) RPG I've ever played.
  • by goofyheadedpunk (807517) <goofyheadedpunkNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:45AM (#15184393)
    I'd much rather have the source code to those games, as opposed to having them go on sale again. You know why? Because when the companies who own those games decide to stop selling them (again) you'll have to go right back and beg for them to sell them (again). If they release the source not only will you be able to obtain it whenever you want, but you can port the code to play on modern systems (meaning you don't need the silly hack of emulators or having an old DOS machine sitting about).

    Open Source: Ensuring that my kids don't have to listen to Dad tell the same "Oh man, when I was your age I played this great game, but we'd need to find an old binary and a goddamn 60 year old computer to play it..." story over and over again.

    Losing information is serious business. Games are quickly becoming part of our shared culture. Think of how much our culture loses by losing those games to time? I can still read ancient Greek and Arabic poetry but I can't play Master's of Orion on my PPC Linux box? I don't know, something seems really fucked up about that.
    • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @10:05AM (#15184470)
      I'm assuming you'd also like them to release the arts and assets in addition to the source code. Otherwise you have yourself a nice engine that doesn't do much until you put together your own models, textures, sounds, music, and whatnots.
      • Sometimes the code is just gone.

        I wrote a commercial game back in 1989, and as far as I know the source code is GONE. A backup on floppies survived until the early 1990's, but I sure don't have a copy anymore. Even if I did, I don't own the copyright - the publisher does, and they got bought out by a bigger firm a long time ago (which in turn was itself eaten). The publisher owned all the art and sound copyright also.

    • Well, for practical reasons that's not going to happen. Old games often contain licensed code, all sorts of media content and so on that are probably specificly licensed for that game. While these licensors may or may not care about it today, even if they're all willing to release it as open source, someone has to make the rounds and get all the necessary approvals. Whereas releasing it as freeware they can probably just do like that. I would say even that would be a great improvement over the current state
    • If they release the source not only will you be able to obtain it whenever you want, but you can port the code to play on modern systems (meaning you don't need the silly hack of emulators or having an old DOS machine sitting about

      The source code is the least of your problems.

      You will it far more difficult to "port" game assets to a modern system.

      The background art, sprite animation, and MIDI musical score for "Maniac Mansion Deluxe" were new. The game engine was off-the-shelf AGS.

      Manic Mansion is a tri

    • Making the code available isn't usually a path you can easily take unless you plan for it up front. Even the Netscape guys had a lot of work to do before they could release Mozilla as open source. I think the best thing to do for these old software packages is emulate the old hardware. MAME and its ilk are what's going to keep 1980s arcade games alive forever: not source code. Same applies for PC abandonware. In the best cases, the emulator maintainers will get permission to distribute the abandonware binar
    • Did you go to the site, if you click on most of the games you will find that what is released is ONLY the source code.
    • I think one of the best examples of this was surprisingly enough by Microsoft Research. After abandoning Allegiance (a game truly ahead of its time), the game was continually run by the community, with them modding the game. Years after the fact, Microsoft Research thought the community's efforts were so great, they finally decided to release the source code for the game. What Allegiance is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegiance_(computer_ game) [wikipedia.org] Where the community is/get the game: http://www.freealle [freeallegiance.org]
  • by Seta (934439) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:47AM (#15184399)
    A lot of old games were really nice. The one in that list that really stood out to me was Flashback. I played for ever just to beat it, and it was among the first games I really liked. That along with Another World were really fun games. A few other not noted in the list at the site are the "Space Quest" series (Space Quest 1 was *awesome*! First game where "lick ground" was a valid command!), the "Kings Quest" series, and also the "Quest for Glory" series (Though it's not fun being killed completely randomly by bees.) All fun games, and really entertaining. Comparing them to some games these days will make some say "They really don't do it like they used to". Games these days are a lot more graphics centric.
    • I have a compilation of all 5 Quest for glory games laying about somewhere. I'm pretty sure they were updated to be playable on windows 98 (I'd assume you could play them on xp, also). I never did make it all the way through the 2nd (or even play 3, 4, and 5). I could probably play the first one all the way through in a day or two with out looking at any cheat guides still. Did you ever play Black cauldron? similiar game play (I think it was Sierra too). I'm pretty certain that can be found on the
    • If you have the data files you can still play Flashback. Go here [cyxdown.free.fr] for a remake that works with SDL. The author also did a similar remake of Another World but has removed his source code for that on a request from Eric Chahi (it's still around though).
  • All of those games will be perfect if recoded and released for the DS or PSP. they all are very suitable for small screen formfactor and with a little reprogramming can even add decent features such as Save and autosave to make them even more enjoyable.

    These companies are pretty much morons for not trying to squeeze more out of their games that sold well from the past and these portables are the perfect place for them.
  • System Shock 3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by T-Kir (597145) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:48AM (#15184406) Homepage

    Well, EA recently renewed the trademarks on System Shock 3 [gamershell.com].... although they have probably done this just to sit on it (and stop fan made successors?). AFAIK the IP relating to the SS series is owned by different companies (this was in an interview on one of the SS fan sites).

    Bioshock the spiritual successor to the SS series, so we'll just have to see how that lives up to expectations when it comes out.

  • Another world Hi-res (Score:3, Informative)

    by dalmiroy2k (768278) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:50AM (#15184410)
    Speaking of abandonware, there is also the option of taking the old DOS game and optimize it for current hardware and OS:

    On April 14th 2006, a Windows XP/ME/2000/98 version of Another World, with high-resolution support and more detailed background graphics, was released as a tribute to the original game on the Another World website. The port is shareware; to unlock the full version, a special key must be bought from here for 7 euros.

    You can download it from:
    http://www.anotherworld.fr/anotherworld_uk/index.h tm [anotherworld.fr]
  • by boa13 (548222) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:54AM (#15184423) Homepage Journal
    Another World (aka Out Of This World in the US), a technological predecessor to Flashback and a great, mythical game on its own, lost its abandonware status a few days ago when a High Resolution Collector's Edition was released by its author, Eric Chahi. It is currently being sold online for 7 euros, a demo is available. You can also play the official Gameboy Advance port, if you have an emulator or a flashable game cartridge.

    Official Website (still being translated; download links at the bottom of the page)
    http://www.anotherworld.fr/anotherworld_uk/index.h tm [anotherworld.fr]

    Official Website in French (lots of very interesting details about the making of the game)
    http://www.anotherworld.fr/ [anotherworld.fr]

    Buying the Game
    http://www.magic-productions.fr/aw/index.php?lang= us [magic-productions.fr]

    Official Gameboy Advance Port
    http://www.foxysofts.com/index.php?l=content/gba/a nworld.inc [foxysofts.com]

    An Excellent Review (from an excellent site)
    http://www.idlethumbs.net/display.php?id=13 [idlethumbs.net]

    An Excellent Interview (from same site)
    http://www.idlethumbs.net/display.php?id=44 [idlethumbs.net]
    • I've also heard there's an officially sanctioned Dreamcast port of it. I've seen a number of pages referencing it, but no links to an actual working copy. Anyone happen to know where it can actually be obtained?
      • Gregory Montoir started writing an open-source interpreter for the Another World data files in 2004, but was contacted by Eric Chahi who asked him to stop, because he was planning to release the Hi-Res edition for the PC (err, Windows actually). Gregory agreed and pulled the sources (and kept working on other projects, such as a similar interpreter for Flashback).

        His work was not completely lost however: two ports to less popular hardware platforms were created using the interpreter, and Eric Chachi allowed
  • by user no. 590291 (590291) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:56AM (#15184431)
    . . . aren't going to be interested in releasing for free old games that might diminish the desire for the purchase of new games (or in the case of arcade/console classics, repurchase of the same games). The effectively perpetual copyrights of these programs have mostly passed to companies with interest in selling current games--the occasional and lauded freeware release of an old game will continue to be rare as hens' teeth.
    • I talked to Maxis a few years ago about asking if I could put up a copy of the original SimCity that I bought on 2 x 720Kb floppies online for people to download free of charge.

      After a week, I got a reply back saying that no, I'm not allowed to as it's a copyrighted work. I'd love to offer this for people, as the original SimCity is a blast to play because of it's simplicity - even if you have to jump through hoops to make it work!
    • If they were sensible they would release these games and make newer better versions of them also. People will play on the old one and go "my god, this is the best game ever... if only it had better graphics and more levels then it's be even better", so the people then go and buy the new one... its like free advertising or sending out playable demos of the games like the sort you used to get on the front of computer mags.
  • One example... (Score:3, Informative)

    by MTO_B. (814477) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:58AM (#15184441) Homepage
    This is sort of what happened with my favorite game: Continuum / Subspace.
    Subspace [wikipedia.org] was one of the first massive multiplayer games for the internet... I played it first in 1995 with a 24k modem... and I continue playing it year after year, still my favorite game.

    Virgen Interactive released the game after it gave up on selling it (I guess it was too much ahead of times). The most popular client for it is Continuum. [wikipedia.org]

    Download Continuum / Subspace clients at:
    http://www.subspacedownloads.com/ [subspacedownloads.com]
    http://www.trenchwars.org/Trench/index.php?action= Downloads& [trenchwars.org]

    Give it a try & join the hundres of players online! :-)

    I hope other abandoned games can find such a future as this Virgen abandoned product.
  • by Gorath99 (746654) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:59AM (#15184446)
    Even if a publisher would want to release one of these old games, they may not be able to due to contractual obligations or practical considerations.

    For instance they may have to pay royalties to the developer or licence fees for a software component or trademark for every copy distributed (even if for free). This is particularly troublesome if the party to pay is now defunct or if the current owner of the rights is unknown or disputed. The original contracts may even be missing.

    If there was serious money involved they could perhaps be compelled to sort such issues out, but since that isn't the case, most publishers really don't want to go through all the hassle.

    A damn shame for sure, but that's just the way things are.
    • I was going to comment along similar lines, but instead decided to read the thread to see if someone else mentioned it. Just because a publisher had the rights to publish a game at one point, doesn't mean that they have those rights in perpetuity. A lot of times the agreement with the developer is for a limited term.

      For instance, suppose a game was developed by Company A in 1990. They then signed a 5-year publishing contract with Company B. Everyone remembers the game being released by Company B. My under
  • In fact it should be applied to other software, Applications like earlier versions of autocad. The company I work for has license for software that runs within the autocad software, however of the two licenses only one was upgraded to run in newer version of autocad.The non-upgraded license requires an earlier version of autocad. This autocad license did not transfer with the purchase of the assets of a bankruptcy from which the company I work for, obtained. But the license for the other software did.

    Ultima
  • by boa13 (548222) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @10:04AM (#15184468) Homepage Journal
    It looks like more and more "abandoned" games are being ported to mobile devices, the low resolution, low power of which is a good match to the capabilities of the computers they were developed on, that many years ago.

    Check this page for example:
    http://www.magic-productions.fr/mobile_games.php [magic-productions.fr]

    Currently, it mostly contains classical Amiga titles, ported to Symbian-compatible phones. I guess in a couple of years it will also contains PC games from the mid-nineties, as mobile devices keep improving.

    If I was owning the rights to a famous computer game of yore, I sure would be very cautious, today more than ever, not to miss an opportunity to license it again. Today is a bad day for abandonware.
  • Please, please republish Close Combat 3! Its still the best from the series!
  • One underdog I loved to play was Gene Wars.

    For those who don't know it, it is about growing funghi to feed your creatures, which you can cross-breed into pretty weird variations. It is cool and was only much later followed up by games like Impossible Creatures.

    There were two things that might have kept the game from being more popular:

    - The screen is very small and displays only a few creatures (fine at the time, but annoying later, when 1024x768 was standard)

    - There is no strict mission progress or thread
  • I'm pretty sure Dark Sun 1 and 2 are officially abandonware, but I want more! Since everyone reads Slashdot : over the years I've been working on and off in reverse engineering them in order to make an open source client, to play them in modern machines. It would be excellent to find anyone working on this same project, or even better, an original dev or someone who has or knows who has the rights to the source (if it isn't lost forever).

    The other games I loved and I'd like to see in a new edition (hardwa
  • A great developer did a full engine for Flashback in SDL, it's called REminiscence [lycos.fr], and it even supports the MOD files from the Amiga version. His version works out of the box on Windows and Linux/BSD/etc.. I also ported the same program to Mac OS X [punknews.org] so while it's not trivial to get the data files, it's at least playable on all major platforms.
  • Apogee (now going by 3D Realms) have released a bunch of their old game for free: Here [3drealms.com]

    I'm now going to suggest something that I suggested at least a year ago and is even more feasible now:
    CD burning stations in game stores. It need not be bigger than any of those displays which have a working playstation or whatever in them for people to use, so wouldn't take up more sales space than stores as used to giving up with those machines.
    It would basically be a computer with a huge wad of storage space fille
    • This is being done with Linux distributions here in South Africa (where many people have either crappy dialup or no internet at all). The Shuttleworth Foundation has set up "Freedom Toasters" which you can use to burn distros to CD (for free, but you bring the CDs). There is in principle no reason why this shouldn't work for paid software as well.

  • by Snarfangel (203258) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @10:48AM (#15184645) Homepage
    And even with a lot of the code and content ripped out of it (like the music) for copyright reasons, and despite not being under the GPL, it still has a fair number of people modding and improving it. If you aren't going to make money on a property anyway, the good will from such a gesture could help your other products.
  • Redneck Rampage (Score:2, Interesting)

    Personally, I'm looking for a copy of redneck rampage. Yes, it was a stupid game, but I've never laughed so hard at an FPS before in my life.
  • I liked the EOB series a lot. Not only it immersed you into the dungeons (the Skeleton Warriors level on EOB2 was creepy!) with the lack of background music and the sound effects (has anyone noticed that Silent Hill uses exactly the same technique?), it also provided a very good story with subquests here and there.

    I've been searching for clones or an open source engine for this kind of game, with no success. But I'm glad this game was listed.
  • Casablanca is STILL one of the top dozen or two dozen movies of all time, and people still buy the DVDs.

    Good Shakespear and good games are no different.
    • Except for the fact that you can't get good old games as easily (read: legally) like good shakespeare and good old movies.

      Other than that, yeah, sure. There is no difference.
  • Freespace 2 (Score:4, Informative)

    by NekoXP (67564) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @11:35AM (#15184863) Homepage
    I was under the understanding that Volition had released the source code for Freespace 2 *and* officially classed the original game CDs as abandonware already.

    The ISO images (capable of being put through Alcohol 120% or so) are VERY readily available online with what looks like a real blessing. The FSOpen project is one of those better game-source-code efforts where some real, even impressive improvement was done to the game engine to bring it up to scratch..
  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <{elmuerte} {at} {drunksnipers.com}> on Sunday April 23, 2006 @11:53AM (#15184929) Homepage
    There is no major money is the ancient games. There is however small money in them.
    Selling these games online for a couple of bucks doesn't hurt anyone. It's pretty much 99% profit. They don't need to produce "expensive" cdroms. Support? well.. none, make that very clear when people buy it. Afterall, it's ancient software that often doesn't run well on current systems. In turn the distributers could donate money to projects that offer support for their ancient games. Projects like DOSbox, which is pretty much required for a lot of those older games.

    So in short:
    - online distribution of the game AS IS
    - including optional scanned manuals
    - low price
    - percentage of the profit to projects that make it possible to run the old game

    it's a win-win situation for everybody
  • by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Sunday April 23, 2006 @11:54AM (#15184936) Homepage

    This doesn't concern me personally. I have three legit store-bought copies of the game already.

    But why oh why oh why did the folks at Vivendi "We put the 'Battle' in Bnetd" Universal decide to pull (well, rather, not re-arrange the redistribution [liberatedgames.com]) the Betrayal at Krondor from freeware? It's a wonderful game, one of the greatest RPGs ever made for PC. And there it sits, dusty, once again doomed to be "abandonware". I may sound a bit silly when babbling about the mythical Golden Era when people could download the game, legally and all, from Sierra. But it is a nice game. *sigh*

  • What would be nice is if the gaming companies could be convinced to include a clause that allows free trading/no-cd patching etc. of a game after an elapsed period of X number of years. They wouldn't have to give away the rights to the game itself, just make it so that you can trade it without penalty. They get to keep their exclusive commercial licence, gamers get to play old games without getting sued.

    Frankly any game that still has any impact whatsoever on a company's balance sheet after a year from re
  • I'd kill Abandonware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:00PM (#15184964)
    if I was a publisher (and profits mattered more than games, I know a few for whom they don't). Right now I'm sitting on a stack of 40+ PSX/PS2 games I'm dying to play. There's probably another 10 or 20 'classic' games I want to spend serious time with. Then there's the whole MMORPG thing. And then you've got games like Morrorowind and Oblivion with 300+ hours of gameplay. How the hell is a publisher suppose to sell new games in a market like this? It was fine when the common folk were first getting into games. All those 20-something's buying Final Fantasy VII and Madden 2kX did a fine job driving growth. But pretty soon publishers are going to run smack into the wall that is their own back catalog.
  • If the people behind xbox live arcade were smart they would pull up famous games from the past, slightly update the graphics (not necessary, but would be nice for HD), and sell them on arcade. I know they are trying to go more for arcade games, but I would bet a decent amount of people would pay for Betrayal at Krondor with the original soundtrack, Wing Commander, some of the old school RPGs, etc. I know you can get these games for free, but if they slightly updated the graphics I wouldn't mind shelling out
  • by grumpygrodyguy (603716) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @02:37PM (#15185691)
    "The people of Exiled Gamers have put together an Abandonware Campaign with which they hope to be able to convince game publishers to rescue titles from their current 'Abandonware' status, and make them available for the public to play (legally) once again. They have made mention of quite a few titles that have slipped into the status of Abandonware (titles that it's no longer possible to buy at retail, and that are near impossible to locate on sites such as eBay), which includes System Shock 2, Freespace 2, as well as older titles, such as The Chaos Engine, Alien Breed and Flashback."

    Woah woah woah, hold the phone.

    Abandonware is a godsend for gamers. It allows you to download your old favorites for free if you can spare the 5 minutes to Google for them. Licensing these games back from abandonware status does nothing to help consumers! The public domain is an endangered public right...music , games, movies...even our very childhoods...are being made illegal to re-visit unless we pay a tax to the information slave masters. When you revoke abandonware status you make it illegal to download games for free, and you end up paying $39.99 on amazon for M.U.L.E. or Space Quest.

    STOP ADVOCATING THE PILLAGING OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, WE NEED MORE PUBLIC DOMAIN RIGHTS NOT LESS.
    • You seem to believe that there is some kind of legal status to "Abandonware" and that it is somehow equivalent to being in the public domain.

      Most "Abandonware" is still legally under copyright, it's just a copyright that is not currently actively defended. There is no law that says "It's okay to do anything you want with this", only an understanding that you probably won't get sued for doing it today.

      It's like sitting on the grass when the nearest police officer is having lunch, or parking in a pay lot

  • System Shock 2 is widely regarded as one of the best games ever made, both by gamers and gaming publications. It is one of my favorite games of all-time; second only to Deus Ex.

    For those who haven't played the game, I highly recommend checking it out; it remains an amazing and compelling gaming experience to this day. The game is an FPS/RPG hybrid, and it isn't necessary to have played the first game to understand or enjoy it.

    Some used copies of the game can be found at GameTZ (http://gametz.com/aGame [gametz.com]

  • by speculatrix (678524) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @04:04PM (#15186039)
    I think there's a good case for automatically expiring copyrights and trademarks if they're abandoned. For example, if software is no longer supported and sold, it should become open source unless it can be shown that it makes up a substantial part of a newer version which is being actively developed. If music or movies not published for say five years, they should lose copyright protection. If the owner of a patent does not create or license a product embodying the invention for five years, it should expire. Ok, so this is simplistic, but the spirit I am trying to get at is to stop hoarding of intellectual property and denying the public at large the chance to enjoy it.
  • by 1053r (903458) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:12PM (#15187259)
    Interestingly enough, after I read this article I went and read some spanish proverbs on Wikiquotes [wikiquote.org] (I am [trying] to learn spanish). I came across this one:

    Agua que no has de beber, déjala correr.

    Which roughly translates to "water that you are not going to drink of, let it flow". It seems like game companies (not game developers, though as it would seem by the article) don't get that they're not going to get any money on these games, and insist on suing the pants off anybody who tries to relive the old days by downloading an old adventure game off bittorrent. Some people are saying, "Well, they could be ported to mobile platforms and sold for money!". This sounds like a great idea, if I do say so myself. Heck, I would buy them if some old games got ported to the PSP/DS or cellphone. The problem is, they're not doing it! And even if they were, what if I didn't happen to own the platform which the companies choose to port it to? Would it really hurt their revenue if some people were playing it for free on PCS while some were paying to play it on the DS? No, it probably wouldn't. Because the people who would play these old games on new portable platforms wouldn't be playing at home. They would buy it because it's PORTABLE, first, and it's NOSTALGIC second.

    The bottom Line? why are you game companies hoarding water (old games) and not drinking it (selling it)? It's not doing ANYBODY any good, and releasing it as abandonware would improve your image.
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Monday April 24, 2006 @06:12AM (#15188671)
    Although I'd happily pay a few dollars/pounds/Euros for "official" releases of Abandonware games, those individuals or companies that still own the copyrights to old games should remember that for a lot of us (myself included), it's about replaying some of those games we enjoyed and legally purchased in our younger years - for example, in my case, since I never owned a console, it's ZX Spectrum and Amiga titles.

    Consequently, I've already paid for the rights to play a lot of games already where the floppy disks or tapes they were supplied on have long since deteriorated and have been binned.

    So those who are anti-Abandonware should bear this point in mind...

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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