Last week, another game has been removed from digital store shelves due to an outside issue. Alan Wake can no longer be bought due to the copyrighted music’s licenses running out. This isn’t the first game nor the last to no longer be available, but just another reason why we need to take greater steps for game preservation.
Over the last few weeks and maybe even the last few years, people have been lamenting the rise of digital distribution and online sales of video games. Looking at the industry it’s easy to see why : Xbox One’s original feature of required internet connection, developers and publishers attacking used game sales and constant micro transactions to name a few.
But with all the doom and gloom it can be easy to forget some of the major benefits that have come from the game industry going digital.
In the past I’ve talked about my views on preserving game design and the importance of backward compatibility. Video games like any platform have projects that stand the test of time, much in the same way a piece of art or classic movie can.
But while there are plenty of great games (as evident by the success of Good Old Games,) the game industry at this point doesn’t have those timeless works and the reason is due to the limitations of the medium.
In consumer based markets, products have another usage beyond the general consumer base: as collectibles. From comics, to cars, books, and guns and so on, there is a lot of money out there. The video game industry is over twenty years old from when Nintendo brought things back, and we already have games that have become hard to find and collectible.
With other collectibles, no one knew at the time that they would be worth big bucks, but does that mean that classic gamers are sitting on a potential gold mine?