Warner Bros. Pulls The Plug On Another Game, Small Radios Big Televisions

Another One Bites The Dust

We’ve lived through the Flash apocalypse, where thousands of the beloved games and videos we misspent hours upon in the early days of the internet.  The only reason we can still reference them is thanks to a team that helped get them uploaded to the Internet ArchiveThe loss of Gamespy could have killed all the old multiplayer games it depended on, but thankfully at least some were saved by other platforms like Steam.  The latest might seem like a small loss, but Warner Bros. killing off Small Radios Big Televisions is likely just the start of the end of the old Adult Swim games

The original developer of Small Radios Big Televisions will be making the game available for free download; hopefully without incurring the wrath the the Warner Bros. legal department, and therein lies the problem.  We have plenty of evidence that companies still consider abandonware games as still belonging to them and will sue those who try to revive them and charge any money for their time and effort.  We thankfully we have GoG who are able to find ways to license old games so they can sell them, but if they run on hard times then that would be it for games which can only be legally acquired through their platform. 

The other solution was emulators, and for the most part if you own the physical game then you are good to go.  However, if you don’t own the game and seeing as how there is nowhere to buy it from unless you get lucky at eBay or an estate sale then you have a problem.  Yuzu discovered this rather recently.  They might have gotten away with it if they weren’t seeking a little financial compensation for their time and efforts, however Nintendo also killing off the 3DS emulator Citra at the same time suggests otherwise.  The 3DS store doesn’t exist anymore, which means those games are essentially and completely lost.

As that article mentions, the games and play historian Holly Nielsen, “can access board games from the 1800s as part of her research, some games from just a few years ago are harder to obtain.”  This is not about lost revenue, this is about lost history and the current effort to make any attempt to save that history illegal.

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