Why Aren't Games Republished More?


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Why Aren't Games Republished More?

I'm working on the following article for my blog, but it's kinda rough right now and I'm probably missing a few things, so I would appreciate some input and/or corrections.

Here we go...

I actually have some time to actually do some relatively deep thinking tonight, so I pose this question: why don't game publishers release their greatest accomplishments from the past to newer consoles on a more frequent basis? Would gamers not buy older games for modern consoles?

Now I realize that most games might not sell enough units to warrent spending the necessary resources to make a perfect port to multiple systems. But with the processing power of today's console and even to a greater degree with the next-gen consoles (XBox 2, PS3, Revolution), developing an emulator to run older games is not unfeasable.

It might not be effective for every developing house to make their own emulator for every system, but here is my example solution: look at Nintendo and Sega. Both of these companies dominated the gaming market in most of the 1980s and 90s. They could develop emulators in-house for their respective systems (NES, Genesis, etc) to run on the current and future systems. Keep in mind, both Nintendo and Sega have done this to some extent already. Nintedo supposdly used an emulator to run its highly-successful Zelda pack and Sega also has done so in its Sonic Mega Packs (for all three current platforms mind you).

Not only can Nintendo and Sega use these emulators to re-release games from their own back-library, but they could also license these emulators to other publishing houses such as Konami, Square/Enix, Namco, and various others that could lead to a flood of classic titles being available on current consoles for a reasonable price (for both the publisher and the consumer). Even if they might be a bit reluctant to get working on emulators, there already some open-source initiatives already underway. After all, PocketNES was already utilized in a similar way.

Although, one concern they might have it people hacking these emulators in order to put together their own complilations. An example of this would be the Sega Smash Pack for Sega's Dreamcast. Although the emulator was far from perfect, somebody took the time and effort to rip it and distribute it on the Net. While I am not aware of any other more recent examples of this, I would not put it past the gaming community to come through on the challenge. But there should be some way to be able to make an emulator either difficult to rip or made to only run a certain game under only certain circumstances. It's all about creativity.

Not only could classic console games be emulated on most any system, but there are also some opportunities to port some classic PC games to newer systems, especially the XBox. Sure, most XBox gamers want the most cutting-edge graphics, but I'm sure there are a decent amount of people that would like to see some not-so-new PC games ported over to XBox. Again, I'm not much of a PC gamer, so I may be off on this one.

Personally, I see the gaming industry as inching toward being a major piece of the entertainment marketplace in the coming years. As more of today's gamers grow older, we will see classic gaming afficianados just as we see classic film buffs today. The movie industry has it a bit easier -- it has a standard format on which to release a movie and there is no porting of code. So to make up for this, the gaming industry needs to develop a way to preserve their games without requiring their customers to keep piles of aging machines in order to play their old favorites.

The combination of emulation and backwards compatability is the technique that could be the solution to this problem. In the past, backward compatability was significantly harder because of the changes in cartridge formats, but now with optical media standards, it has become a bit easier. That's the one thing I respect most about the PS2 -- the ability to play the extensive list of the PSOne game library -- including giving the option to improve the experience.

Backwards compatability is a ongoing struggle for the XBox 2 rumor whores however, with the talk of switch to an ATI graphics processor, it looks as if you won't be able to play your original XBox games on Microsoft's next console. In my opinion, this would be a very bad move on their part if they really want to compete with the powerhouse that is Sony.

Until the game-markers take some clues from the ideas I've presented, nostolgic gamers will be forced to either have 15 different consoles hooked up to their TV or devise a HTPC that will run their old games on emulators every time they want to play a certain game from yesteryear.
Why Aren't Games Republished More?

I agree. What would they have to lose? An emulator would be a lot cheaper to make than a new game and would probably generate a lot more sells.

I have never thought of it that way, but your comparison between the two markets is good. People will want to play all the old classics w/o all those damned systems hooked up (reason why I have a modded xbox). If this was done, they would have to work real hard as to not make it hack-able (sega smash pack as you stated). I can see this as being a VERY big possability and would help preserve some of our old favorites.

As an addition, I enjoy remakes just as much as the other guy, but I like to play the classics more. They just have a sense of nostalgia that can't be achieved through a remake. Stop these remakes and make emulators damnit! grrrrr!
Why Aren't Games Republished More?

Piracy is probably the biggest trun off.

Say they go ahead and write or license an emulator (Sega Smash Pack or GiriGiri for instance) for an older system. That's going to cost more than just a few dollars.

A short time later some l33t h4x0r cracks the emulator to allow anyone to play what are relatively common roms/disc images etc that float about the net.

Who then would buy the commercial product?

What I would be much more interested in would be the ability to license roms (both arcade and console) from Sega, Nintendo or whoever. I thinkStarroms is a great idea.

BTW I haven't "bought" any roms from them - I don't play any Atari games in MAME.
Why Aren't Games Republished More?

Nintendo has been releasing and rehashing a lot of stuff on the GBA, and they've gotten some flack for it. Mostly this has to do with pricing, though.

As far as the whole Xbox 2 thing goes, I don't know if the verdict is in on backwards compatibility, but I don't think the graphics chip would have much of an effect on that at all. I believe they're planning on using PowerPC processors, though, which is a much bigger factor.

Concerning the article itself, I know it's a rough, but make sure you do some spellchecking and proofreading. I noticed several errors in the first few paragraphs... just FYI, not trying to be a Nazi or anything.
Why Aren't Games Republished More?

I think piracy is a relatively small concern - people will play roms on emulators whether or not official emulators exist. The bigger problem is: how do you position something like this in the market to where it's seen as a good deal, but doesn't end up exhausting all of your viable titles in a short timeframe for a tiny profit? Nobody's likely to release their entire back catalog on one disc, and only the most prestigous series can hope to get away with one game per disc. I think Sega and Capcom are striking nice balances with their current collections, but this is still something that is probably tough to manage effectively.
Why Aren't Games Republished More?

I do see some franchises that could benefit from a release. Games like the Mario package would probably sell well. The problem with Nintendo titles though, is N has tried re-releasing them at over priced levels. I look at Sega and Capcom as having set good prices.
Why Aren't Games Republished More?

I am against rereleases, unless we're talking about games that were never released stateside.

Snatcher+Policenauts Combo Disc -- GOOD

Classic NES series -- BAD

I prefer playing games on the console for which they were intended.
Why Aren't Games Republished More?

I think it would be great if Konami released a Castlevania compilation disc (the ones from NES, SNES) and also include DraculaX Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night. I don't think Konami's making much money off these particular titles and they could sell it in limited run if they like. Although, that means a bull rush at your local EB.....
Why Aren't Games Republished More?

Originally posted by ExCyber@Thu, 2004-12-09 @ 02:12 PM

I think piracy is a relatively small concern - people will play roms on emulators whether or not official emulators exist. The bigger problem is: how do you position something like this in the market to where it's seen as a good deal, but doesn't end up exhausting all of your viable titles in a short timeframe for a tiny profit?

This may not be such a problem if you consider the aging demographic of gamers. More people with long, fond memories of old games are in the market than a decade ago. If someone sees a "nostalgic" title from their youth for a bargain price, they'll probably snap it up.

Also you've got the goldmine that is new platforms. Not top of the range stuff, like the Xbox2 and PS3, but new platforms like the Nintendo DS and mobile (cell) phones. These are devices that are perfectly situated to run the games of yesteryear and you've got access to a whole new (younger) market - especially with the mobile phone market. Simply port the old IP across and you've got a whole range of "new" titles with minimal dev costs. Almost any income gained is profit.
Why Aren't Games Republished More?

My problem is, companies retool old hardware and software, then release a fucked up copy of it, and when nobody buys it (because the product is inferior), the company then claims that there is no money in classic gaming.

Look at that bastard piece of shit one-off copy of an Atari 7800 that just got shit out.
Why Aren't Games Republished More?

Originally posted by mountaindud@Wed, 2004-12-08 @ 11:36 PM

I am against rereleases, unless we're talking about games that were never released stateside.

Snatcher+Policenauts Combo Disc -- GOOD

Classic NES series -- BAD

I prefer playing games on the console for which they were intended.

[post=125565]Quoted post[/post]​

Why Aren't Games Republished More?

I actually disagree with you about companies not re-releasing their past games.

This generation, Atari, Midway, and Namco have all released collections of several of their classic games on all three consoles. There have also been several "plug-and-play" type collections, which I hear have actually sold pretty well. Now, most of these games were before my time, but I would imagine that they encompass most of these companies' big titles pre-NES.

And speaking of the NES, Nintendo is of course releasing its most popular NES titles systematically on the GBA. Additionally, many of their games were included as bonuses in their more recent games, the best example of which would be Animal Crossing. Never a believer in overkill, many of them have also been released on Nintendo's e-reader series.

Capcom has released Street Fighter Anniversary Collection for PS2 and (soon) Xbox, as well as Megaman Anniversary Collection for Gamecube, PS2, and (soon) Xbox as well. Those are certainly two of Capcom's most recognizeable series. Perhaps the third most recognizeable, Resident Evil, has had all of its iterations ported to the Gamecube, although those are such modern games I'm not sure if they count.

On the other side of the 2D fighting fence, SNK is remaking the original KOF'94 for PS2, and including the original game.

Among many companies, it seems, including an older version of a game as an unlockable has become popular. Tecmo included the original NES Ninja Gaidens as unlockables in its Xbox remake, and Ubisoft added the original Prince of Persia games to its multi-platform remake. In the realm of less-popular games, TMNT2 had the original Turtles arcade game as a bonus. (I wish Capcom would make a modern Strider game, just so they could include the originals as unlockables.)

Sega too, is no stranger to this. The original Panzer Dragoon was included in Panzer Dragoon Orta, and I hear the original House of the Dead was an unlockable in House of the Dead III (although I don't own the game). Perhaps my favorite bonus games are the Yu Suzuki arcade ports found in Shenmue 1 and 2. Not only are they great to have, but they add to the immersion of the game, but I digress.

Japanese Sega fans have been luckier than American fans (as always), as they've gotten remakes of Sega's most popular games on the Master System, Mega Drive, and the Model 2. Although not exactly ports, the same idea of recycling past hits is present.

For more faithful releases, there is of course the Sonic Mega Collection. For GBA, we have a slew of classic Sega titles. Phantasy Star 1, 2, and 3, Shining Force, Golden Axe, Ecco, Sonic Spinball, and a Yu Suzuki collection have all been released. Although the quality of the emulation varies, it's the thought that counts, right?

If early indications are anything to go by, the amount of ports is not likely to slow down. Popular N64 games are likely to be seen on the DS, while popular PSX games are likely to appear on the PSP.


I personally am very pleased with the amount of re-releases on the current systems. The kind I'm most fond of similar format to the Sonic Mega Collection, and Capcom's SFAC and MMAC. I missed out on the classic Megman games and am grateful for the chance to try them out on a console. And while I certainly didn't miss out on the original Sonic series on Genesis, the Sonic Mega Collection still appeals to me as a fan. Although it's also quite nice to have them included as unlockables.

To be honest, I really wasn't much of a gamer until the Dreamcast came out. I missed out on a ton of great games, and now I'll be able to make up for it without having to buy a new NES.

END OF MY RANT! :rant :huh :rtfm :unsure: :sigh