Walled gardens kill

On another subject with the same online problem:

Many of the best games ever released on the App Store now only exist in reviews or YouTube videos we published.

These games are effectively lost forever.

(not totally, I’m sure some people have them on old devices and raw images on hard drives). The problem remains.

The fact that we lose things online is dramatic and stupid because:

– We always thought this would never happen. If costs (storage, bandwidth) were a problem in 2000, they’re not in 2019. It’s a whole lot of laziness and control by the big brands in the game and a lack of culture preservation in the developer community.

– Computers are so resilient. Software flows. We can run code anywhere. We can run Doom on a doorbell  or Half-Life on a 3DS. Code can always be translated, virtualized or decoded. It absolutely doesn’t have to be the way of not being able to run anything from a device to another.

So it’s dramatic because it’s only because folks (at Apple, Facebook, overall developers) not thinking about the long-term and past history. It’s not about technology. It’s about us focusing on the short term, the next hit.

It demonstrates that far too many developers don’t and didn’t make games for anything but using new tech, make a bit of money and maybe go viral, instead of trying to build something that lasts. Some games did badly 5 years ago but maybe they would benefit from a re-release with more polish and be successful today. That happens all the time in other fields. Putting out great products is hard, it’s not crazy to try multiple times. Consumers don’t mind at all, they even sometimes absolutely love it.

But for that, you need to foster legacy and a sense of continuum in the medium. We’re not doing that at all.

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