Listen to Erathoniel ranting on and on in good ol' conservative Christian fashion.
Does it really hurt the market, or is it good? And, is it right or wrong?
Published on April 26, 2008 By erathoniel In Gaming

    Technically Abandonware is a legal grey area, but how is it morally? I view it to be a helpful promotional tool for future products.

    Shadowrun (for Genesis) is the game that introduced me to the Shadowrun series. I'd buy a sourcebook if I had the cash lying around, could find it, and would actually use it, and I frequent the novels and fanfic of it. I'd even buy the 360/PC Shadowrun if it weren't M$ crap (Still not buying their games often since MechAssault, those heathen heretics who defaned a good series). That's how awesome it was. Oh, and, whoever owns the rights, if you actually care, contact me with legal proof and an address and I'll mail you $50, when I get a chance.

    RPG Maker (95/2k/2k3) is an iffy area also. Abandonware is technically a commercial product abandoned by its maker, but what is something never released? Now, I know that it was released. In Japanese. I know a bit of Romanized Japanese (Ok, so virtually nil, but I can pick it out from other languages), but I won't learn a language to buy a product to make games. Much less when my target denomination would suffer. However, the pirate versions of RPG Maker serve very well as marketing tools for the later, legal, English releases.

    Abandonware is, in my opinion, legal and right. It's not like you can't protect your products, give them away later, or even just release them everywhere, or join a coalition to have your things removed (Also, mind you direct contact to distributors will stop true Abandonware, as opposed to blatant piracy) to prevent people wanting to enjoy ancient games from enjoying them, and considering buying other products or your later products.


Comments
on Apr 27, 2008

So you think that if a company is not protecting its copyrighted material due to a lack of funding, it's okay to steal it. The idea that this is "good and right" is be a bit nieve.

In this day and age of the XBOX Live Arcade and Wii Virtual Console, is it a far stretch of the imagination that companies that own the rights to old games could still make money off of those games via microtransaction on these consoles?

I find it interesting that you consider stealing someone else's property "good and right."

on Apr 27, 2008
Nowadays a lot of companies are offering their older games as freeware(Original GTA, C&C etc.) so it's not out of the realm of reason that if the copyright owners of said abandonware were still active that they might not be offering the same thing. There is very little if any profit left to be had from such titles anyway. I guess as long as it is offered out in the open, like abandonia does and noone is stepping up to lay claim. Who knows, there is so many grey areas when it comes to these things.

btw: Great mention on the original Shadowrun. It's my favorite console game of all time. I don't consider that crap they recently released using it's name to be Shadowrun.
on Apr 27, 2008

I don't believe it stealing if the game is multiple years old, not supported (it doesn't cost the maker anything), they can send C&D to stop it, since I sincerely doubt they if they cared they wouldn't know about it, I view it as promotion.

If you can't go to a site and tell them to stop distributing the game, because you don't care enough, is it really wrong for people to enjoy it.

Also, I'd consider a copy of Sonic warez because it's still being sold, but in a time and place where a game is not being sold, I find nothing wrong in taking a free copy, especially if you would pay for it if it were available.

Also, for a game like Shadowrun for Genesis (which is awesome, so if you can find it, buy it), the publisher doesn't make money unless the game store pays them royalties on used games.

on Apr 27, 2008
Abandonware is a legal and moral grey area I agree. Personally I think it's fine if the game is dead, not sold or otherwise available at all commercially. If another company picks it up and offers it though it stops being abandoned though and you should purchase it but if not it really is a personal decision since noone is ever going try and enforce something like copyright infringement for abandoned but then re released games.
on Apr 27, 2008
Abandonware is not a legal gray area. These products all have copyright holders who can determine whether or not to distribute it. It is the law. They can prosecute the sites (and their users) if they think it is worth the trouble.
on Apr 27, 2008

But the question is: Do they care?

A large number of the rights for the IP and actual code of games gets shifted around so often, who even knows for sure if they own it?

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