The Alarming Truth: 87% of Classic Video Games Are Completely Unavailable


Classic Video Games

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. It can transport us back to a simpler time, when we were carefree and full of wonder. For many gamers, that time is often associated with Classic Video Games.

Classic Video Games
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But what happens when those classic games start to disappear? What happens when they become too difficult or expensive to obtain?

That’s the question that the Video Game History Foundation is trying to answer with their new study, which found that 87% of Classic Video Games released in the United States are “critically endangered.”

What Does “Critically Endangered” Mean?

In the context of this study, “critically endangered” means that a game is difficult or impossible to obtain. This could be due to a number of factors, such as the game being out of print, the console it was released on being discontinued, or the game’s files being lost or corrupted.

The Implications of This Study

The implications of this study are significant. For one, it means that a large portion of our gaming history is at risk of being lost forever. Additionally, it means that it is becoming increasingly difficult for gamers to access classic games that they may have fond memories of.

For example, the PlayStation 2, the best-selling console in history, has seen just 12% of its entire catalogue survive the test of time. That means that over 9,000 games are now considered to be critically endangered.

And it’s not just old games that are at risk. The study also found that a significant number of newer games are also becoming difficult to obtain. For example, an estimated 1,000 unique games disappeared when the 3DS and Wii U digital storefronts closed earlier this year.

What Can Be Done to Prevent This?

There are a number of things that can be done to prevent this from happening. One is for publishers to make more of an effort to keep classic games available. Another is for libraries and other organizations to preserve classic games. Finally, gamers themselves can help by supporting efforts to preserve classic games.

The Future of Video Game Preservation

The future of video game preservation is uncertain. However, there are a number of organizations working to ensure that our gaming history is not lost forever.

One such organization is the Video Game History Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to preserving and documenting the history of video games. They have a number of initiatives underway, including a project to create a digital library of Classic Video Games.

Another organization working to preserve video games is the Software Preservation Network. The network is a group of libraries, archives, and museums that are working together to preserve digital media. They have a number of resources available to help people preserve their own video games.


The study by the Video Game History Foundation is a wake-up call for the video game industry. It is clear that we need to do more to preserve our gaming history. By working together, we can ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the same Classic Video Games that we did.

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