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Abandonware: The Ethics and Essentials

Posted on Sunday, February 01 2009 @ 00:31:01 CET by

As PC gamers, we tend to be as much about the good games of old as the up and coming new releases. We know that, while Crysis is all very pretty and fun, there’s a lot of nostalgic joy to be had by going back to some of the old Infocom titles.

That’s true for console gamers too of course and we know loads of people who’ve hung on to their original GameBoys and Mega Drives, but being primarily PC gamers we’re in the unique position of being able to get a lot of our favourite old gamers easily and for free.

Much of this is down to the merit of abandonware – the online distribution of games that are no longer available for sale or are owned by companies that have gone out of business. These games have been abandoned, hence the name.

Unfortunately though, abandonware is a bit of a thorny issue in PC gaming circles and, while some developers are happy to give away the licenses on their back catalogues and let players enjoy them for free, others aren’t so kind-hearted. There are even some egregiously greedy companies that will happily hunt you down and sue you for downloading their old games. Read more at Bit Tech.



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