Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
  • Sign Up
cr47t

Emulation Debate Thread: Piracy Vs Preservation of Games

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

 

The video is pretty biased in asking the question, and I don't agree with everything in it, but I do think the question should be asked nonetheless, and that a discussion should be had on this site about it. Should ROM emulation websites be taken down in a no-holds-barred effort to fight piracy, or are they better off left alone as a source of game preservation? Which purpose are they more likely to serve not as a unitary bloc, but as a whole? What benefits or drawbacks to the gaming industry or community may they have beyond preservation or piracy?

Feel free to discuss and debate this below.

Edited by cr47t
Changed the thread name to clarify the subject of the thread

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's really difficult to get physical copies of older games that work. Without ROMs there are some games that just wouldn't get played.

Plus there's ROM hacks which are basically entire new games.

In my opinion ROMs of games before a certain point in time don't do anything to the companies as most who would buy the games would get it from a used game store or such anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I don't plan on advocating piracy, as it's the leading concern with ROMs (and justifiably so), but it's as CowCow said. In addition to older copies of games eventually getting harder to come by, there come points where the old consoles themselves simply give in to age and use, and as a result consoles that don't get sold in some way shape or form become a steadily dying breed the moment production stops on them. ROMs and emulators are a consistent way to use these old games no matter the age, and provide functionality on the PC's side that the console itself simply doesn't have without shelling out for additional hardware that isn't even owned by the company making the console and can get pretty pricey. I'm not saying you should go find a Switch emulator, grab a Mario Odyssey ROM, and never buy the game itself if you like it (because you shouldn't do that). But as certain games and consoles get older and older, it becomes the only option unless a re-release happens.

And frankly, that sucks. A lot of amazing games from the Gamecube/PS2 generation fall into this group. The consoles themselves are gradually dying, with no known plans to remake quite a few of the exceptional games that really made that time period of games shine to be seen. Games like Kirby Air Ride, Dark Cloud, Super Mario Sunshine, Soul Calibur 3, and the entirety of the Tony Hawk's series have this problem, and it's only a matter of time before games on the Wii, PS3, or XBox 360 also suffer this fate. Nintendo 64s and the games for them are practically extinct by now due to age, let alone even older consoles. Keeping ROMs and emulator sites active for preservation purposese is a bit more shady than putting up the bodies and possessions of ancient figures in museums, but it's the closest comparison I could think of.

Also, even if a site meant for hosting ROMs got taken down, another one would just take its place, or the ROMs would otherwise migrate to torrent sites, which are dangerously good at doing exactly that.

Edited by Yui

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, LordCowCow said:

It's really difficult to get physical copies of older games that work. Without ROMs there are some games that just wouldn't get played.

Plus there's ROM hacks which are basically entire new games.

In my opinion ROMs of games before a certain point in time don't do anything to the companies as most who would buy the games would get it from a used game store or such anyway.

This. And I can tell from the numerous times I've bought games from previous generations. Cartridges fare better than disks. Well, until the battery dries out that is.

Buying a used disk is a gamble. Bought Super Mario Sunshine "Like New". And I put that in quotes because the box and manual were in lackluster condition and the disk didn't even load past the Dolby logo. After returning it, I turned to Dolphin to play Sunshine.

Only sure way to play old disk games is to buy them new. But as expected, most are expensive since they're old and out of production.

So yeah, if the games are old, out of production, and very hard to come by, I'd say it's fine to emulate. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

As someone who owns physical copies of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn from back in the day, I know just how expensive older games can get. Emulation is sort of needed nowadays for people to play older stuff, and no developers are losing any money because some guy wants to play an old N64 or Gamecube or even Wii game that can't be found anywhere. It's obviously different if some people pirate a new or recent game that is still actively being sold, but I'd consider that vastly different than what I assume most people think of when discussing emulation (even though emulation is still piracy).

I see piracy discussed sometimes with regards to manga, and while it's not a perfect analogy since manga is not nearly as widespread as video games in terms of distribution, I still feel like ideas like this are still somewhat applicable: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2018-02-13/manga-creator-criticizes-publishers-attacks-on-piracy-sites/.127695

As Gabe Newell once said, "One thing that we have learned is that piracy is not a pricing issue. It’s a service issue." There's simply no other option for many things beyond emulation, and situations like Nintendo very successfully selling the classic versions of the NES and SNES consoles show that people are willing to pay to play older games if given the option, even if emulation would be an easy and free alternative for many.

Edited by Shradow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the dying game consoles sentiment. Also, personally one of the reasons why I emulate games is to make modding them easier. Case in point SSBB. A few years go I requested the computer I'm typing on now as a Christmas gift for exactly that purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×