Emulation and the Video Game Industry

As a guy who writes whitepapers for a living, this one struck me as readable if fairly academic. It is, after all, written for an academic journal, so the tone is only natural. Entitled “Use of a Game Over”, it discusses emulation and piracy in the video game industry:

A decade ago, video game emulators epitomized the cutting edge of programming technology. Ten years hence, they are the subject of a heated debate over copyrights and the video game industry’s future.2 Emulators, which provide conversion software that enables games to run on personal computers (“PC’s”) and other systems or platforms for which they were not originally designed, have become a staple among gaming enthusiasts. Several factors have contributed to the robust market for emulation: the continued growth of the internet, the emergence of peer-to-peer (“P2P”) file sharing technology, and the major console manufacturers’ persistent inattention to latent market demand for access to older games.

I didn’t read the whole thing, but I was interested in several infographics they had. This one shows how your video game dollar is divided, while this one shows the chain of ownership between the original developer and the consumer. I’m reminded of Project Massive, a longterm study of MMORPGs which recently released its first findings.

1 comment

  1. Huh? A decade? At best, you’re talking 8 years but in truth closer to 6 years. I dunno, that alone is playing loose with the facts.

    Computer emulators have been around longer, but until the whole phenomenom started with Digital Eclipse’s Williams emulator (and later MAME) they notoriously didn’t emulate games very well. Hardly “cutting edge”.

    Just another example of folks in the videogame industry being habitually addicted to rewriting their own history. Next we’ll have people saying Atari invented Pong.

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