Topic: Why are classic games always discontinued but classic movies always available?

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I know that classic games do get re-released but only about half of them- if that many, do. I mean classic games such as Earthbound, Star Fox (SNES), a Boy and his Blob, TMNT III, and Illusion of Gaia are not yet available and even those that have been re-released either on a different format such as GBA or VC are never available on an all time basis. Even SMB3- a true classic or DKC games are for a whole decade available in re-make format only in stores. But movies on the other hand, are always there. Classic movies such as North by Northwest, Casablanca, Wizard of Oz, etc. are always in stores in VHS before available on DVD, DVD before it comes out on Blu-Ray and never vanish from store shelves. But a lot of classic games are only available now in remake version which is kind of like the remake of "Psycho" only available in stores and the original stopped getting produced. And movies are never only available now in downloadable format only. How come classic video games (Even Zelda and Mario) are never moved to new formats like discs in original unaltered version like classic movies gets moved to DVD from VHS and never always available to purchase brand new like hit movies are?

Edited on by Don



Good question. As a huge fan of classic movies as well as games i've had the same thought myself. There's probably a bit less legal wrangling over reissuing 70 year old black & white movies in which many of the participants are long gone compared to classic games, most of which are less than 30 years old and many of whose creators are still around and in the industry. Plus the most popular consoles and games are easily available properly or via emulation.

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classic games (well, all games, even) require work in order to watch the story (if there is one) play out, so the person involved has to be interested in working for those goals and that ending they want to see happen. also, many classic games are either one-player or very limited multiplayer, so that person will be spending time by themselves in order to play the game. with
classic movies, you don't have to do anything.... you just sit back and watch it play out, which makes them far more available to people who just want to chill out and watch something, especially with a group of friends. Public appeal and accessibility is everything, and anyone can watch a movie, whether you're a baby or you're on your deathbed, unlike a video game.

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Keep in mind that there are plenty of "classic era" films that are not available, or whose prints have been destroyed over the years. The ratio of "living" classic films might not be all that much different than the ratio of "living" classic games, especially now with the VC and related services in full effect.

The thing is also that the motion picture industry tends toward universal technology. With rare exceptions, any theater in the country can project any film, and there is almost always a dominant home-entertainment paradigm that the home releases cater toward. The technology evolves in one major direction, and it's therefore much easier for distributors to keep up with.

In video games, that's not the case. Each console uses its own technology, PC gaming could use any of a dozen different technologies or more, and each path goes obsolete a few years after it came about, leading to a whole new assortment of technologies that must be catered toward, not all of which are backwards-compatible.

Video gaming, sadly, has always been a disposable industry. When the new thing comes along, you're expected to junk your old console AND games...or maybe stash them away in the long as you make room for the new stuff. Hopefully that's a trend in the process of reversal, but we won't know that for some time, and it explains why you can still play a VHS copy of Casablanca that you bought in 1982, but not your Atari cartridges.




Are you saying you could go to the store and buy Casablanca on betamax right now? Because that's what you'd get.

When formats die out, it is no longer cost effective to produce said product. The NES cartridge (like Betamax) is no longer the current technology. It can be bought used, but not new. Now, to make the GAME available on newer format machines (such as Wii) you'd have to pay someone to re-code the game or emulate the previous technology. There aren't enough resources to devote to such a pursuit, therefore, it doesn't get done.

Your best bet is to look for PC games. Those most likely remain backward compatible or are easily emulated, making its back-catalog pretty boundless.

Just be thankful for the Virtual Console/XBLA etc. who make it available to us on today's machines.


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