Editorial: Dear Console Developers, Please Sell Us Our Old Games Again. Thank You!
There’s no denying this new generation of consoles has brought with it numerous groundbreaking changes to the gaming world. Sure, the graphics have improved overall, online components are almost par for the course these days, and many games require you to waggle your controller in front of the screen to the amusement of those around you. And while the latest consoles may offer a wide variety of hardware differences themselves, they all share one pivotal change in common: they each offer a service to download classic games online. The Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade, and the Playstation Network all offer their own unique sets of games to purchase and play without even getting up from your couch. While their efforts to resell me my childhood have not been in vain, I sometimes wonder why there aren’t even more old school games showing up at a more regular pace. So who do I have to bribe to get more classic games to show up on these networks?
I brought this point up briefly once before concerning the rumors about an XBLA release of Goldeneye, and a recent installment of Sessler’s Soapbox on the same subject just made me think about it even more. With the exception of the original Star Wars trilogy, I can’t think of another instance where a large mass of people has collectively demanded to essentially be resold the same product they already bought years ago. In fact, let’s just look at the original Star Wars trilogy for moment. Over the course of my short life, I’ve already bought these three movies four separate times; and when they eventually re-re-re-re-release them in high definition, I’ll probably buy them again. Why? Well, partly because I’m a sucker. But more than that is the fact that my nostalgia and devotion for these films far outweighs their monetary value.
Granted, there’s probably not a single game that can match the pure fan devotion of Star Wars, but the fact that games like Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade, and Metal Slug 3 continue to dominate the XBLA’s top downloads shows that I am not alone in this sentiment. Honestly, I’m more excited about the updated versions of Bionic Commando and Duke Nukem 3D hitting the XBLA than I am about their respective next-gen counterparts. Part of the reason for this is that I already know the old games are fun, but with the brand new installments, there’s still a chance the developers could ruin those fond memories with a poor modern version.
Which all leads to me to one question: why aren’t there more classic games available on these different downloading networks? I’m no game developer, but it seems like porting an old game to a new system would be a lot easier than creating a brand new title from scratch. All you really have to do is slap on some online multiplayer and leaderboards, sell it for $10-$15, and the gamers will thank you for it. It just seems ridiculous that almost every week seems to bring another puzzle game or side-scrolling shooter that effectively rips off older games when the developers could easily sell us the older titles for the exact same price. Developers have already complained that creating original games for some of these networks is a hassle with file size limitations, so why not cut back on that and provide something the gamers are sure to like anyway? But the biggest reason of all that developers should be porting more classic games is simply because the gamers demand it. Let’s think about that concept: a large group of people are essentially begging for the opportunity to buy a product again that they’ve already bought before. Seriously, it’s like holding a license to print money.
I guess part of the reason I want to see more classic games become available for download is I’m tired of dragging out my old consoles every time I want to play one of my favorite old games. If that means paying for them all over again, that’s fine by me. Besides which, I missed a few games when they came out the first time around; so short of scouring eBay, this is the easiest way for me and other gamers to actually experience the games we’ve only heard about. Now, where’s my Goldeneye on Xbox Live?