Abandonware is a term defined by the English words abandoned and software that refers to games (or applications), but still subject to copyright.

This is why abandonware is not recognized as a software distribution method and does not have any legal support. Or to the contrary; its execution is illegal without the express permission of its owner according to the general terms of the copyright or until the latter decides to release rights and the software in question becomes a category that is legally recognized as Freeware.

What if a study has decatalogated a game and it’s supposed to no longer do business with it? Why can’t it be used freely? The question is answered in the questionable copyright regulations that would allow copyright to be maintained for centuries, even if no one benefits from it. And if Abandonware is illegal, why are websites that store such games allowed? They are tacitly allowed because simply a producer is not compensated for taking legal action against the pages that offer their download.

This is so until the market situation changes and commercial interests prevail over all others as we have recently seen in Nintendo’s attitude against ROMs portals. The Japanese firm has seen a Filon in the retro consoles and has acted judicially against the leading portals. There is no doubt that the legal reason is on Nintendo’s side, but demanding $ 100 million in damages from a few websites that have maintained interest in your games and that now allows you to monetize them back into retro consoles is already more morally questionable.

Where Can I download games Abandonware?

We are no longer involved in legal matters, although we believe that it is necessary to put them on the table. Personally, there is no lack of my PC an emulator and a few tale’s classic games that I relive from time to time and enjoy as when I played them 25 years ago. Beyond the fact that some of its sections, such as the graphic or the sound, have suffered the implacable passage of technological time, they offer something that does not have many of the current ones: a great fun. Several websites help keep them as follows:

  1. Abandonia

An index of “abandonware” titles dedicated to classic games that were published for the MS-DOS operating system. Some are no longer supported by the editor and others less; the copyright has expired. The site was created in 1999, and after an idle time, it has blossomed again. It hosts about 1,200 downloadable games, most of them analyzed, with screenshots and scores from the editor and its users.

  1. Abandonware Dos

Another portal dedicated primarily to DOS games although it also has a part of Windows games. Each title has its rating, legal status, release date, screenshots and most, a video of the game itself as a trailer. An account with a search engine to find the game by title, genre or release date and links to the offers classic games from GOG.com.

  1. RGB Classic Games

The portal offers a wide catalog of two classic games, unpublished titles and even some “modern ” titles. The entire site is ” dedicated to the preservation of classic operating system Games for dead computers,” such as DOS, CP / M-86, OS / 2, Win16 and Windows 9x, as well as facilitating their execution on modern systems.

  1. GamesNostalgia

A site dedicated to retro gaming, abandonware and old classic games of the past. You can browse by gender, Year, platform or developer and download them for free. Most are sets of TWO or Friend, but also have Windows, Commodore 64, Atari ST and other systems. Note that administrators test, configure and package all games with the right emulator. Only GamesNostalgia does that, seriously!

  1. MyAbandonware

We haven’t counted them, but they say they have 13,700 games, mostly classic 80’s and 90’s for a lot of platforms, from two to Sega, Genesis, Commodore or Atari. Like the above, it allows you to select them by name, gender, or year of publication.

  1. Remain in Play

Another website that offers a good collection of DOS games, Windows and others, but focused on commercial games that were released intentionally as freeware. It doesn’t have the best interface on the planet, but it does have good games like the rest of portals, a search engine, top-10 and top-250 with the best.