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Download Diablo, Duke Nukem 3D and many other classics for FREE

The PC as a gaming platform has been around for several decades, its explosion came in the late 1980s with the appearance of VGA graphics cards and the appearance of the first sound cards. Since then, hundreds of millions of people have played a classic at some point in time. In other words, we are going to talk about the abandonware world.

If you ask any video game historian, they will name a large number of video game development companies. Some of them ended up being part of larger publishers, others, on the other hand, disappeared. We veterans still have a place in our memory for the works of Broderbund, Microprose, Sierra and many other labels that gave us many good times. Well, if you want to revive them again on your PC, it’s easy, what’s more, you can do it without spending anything and without having to go hacking.

What is Abandonware?

Abandonware is all software and hardware on which all intellectual property has been lost and this can be for three different reasons:

  • The parent company no longer exists and no one has claimed the intellectual property to exploit it.
  • Cases in which its creators continue to exist, but have decided to release the source code in a totally free license.
  • Commercially, it is not seen as a viable product at this time and the property has not been renewed.

A very famous case is the one that John Carmack and the people at id Software did with their Doom, Quake and other games. From time to time they were published under the GPL license, which meant that any user could freely modify and distribute them. Not only to play them, but also to learn the ins and outs of the code. Although in general, Abandonware products are usually distributed as they were in stores, but in digital format. That is, without its exposed source code.

doom 2

legal exceptions

The problem comes with the large number of laws in the world and the way they are distributed. For example, there are cases where the original creator no longer has the rights by relinquishing them, but the distributor of the same in certain regions maintains them. This is a problem, especially on older consoles, where the manufacturer licensed an Atari, SEGA, Nintendo, SONY or Microsoft game to publish it on their console. Not in vain, at that time the third parties were called licensees, for that reason.

That is why Abandonware focuses on PC software and if you see any console title and the manufacturer still exists as a company, then have no doubt that they are game ROMS, which is not the same thing. So unless the creator has officially released it, they can’t really be considered abandoned games.

Old hardware dependencies

Because many games are already old, they have hardware dependencies that no longer exist, in some cases the hardware of our PC has ways to emulate the operation of those systems. Although in general our recommendation is that you pull DOSBox-Xsince this version allows smooth running of games with 3D graphics optimized for 3Dfx Interactive cards, that is, the famous Voodoo.

What titles can I find?

Well, there are several famous historical titles that you can find via Abandonware to enjoy them again on your PC or discover them for the first time. We are not going to worry about the requirements, for the fact that they are light enough that the simplest of computers can run it without problems. The list of titles, however, is enormous, since in the few decades since the video game industry has existed, it has become a graveyard that is not small.

GTA Abandonware

Officially, the games that are Abandonware are:

  • The original version of Beneath a Steel Skythey recently announced a remaster, but if you have a GOG account they give you this game and several Abandonware titles such as:
    • Tyrian 2000.
    • stargunner
    • Shadow Warrior Classic.
  • Before Destiny and Halo, Bungie’s work was marathononly the second installment came out for PC and it is a saga that was born on Mac. Well, all of them are in abandonware, but you will need an emulator to enjoy them.
  • The first three installments of Doom and Quake for PCas well as Heretic, Hexen and both the wolfenstein original as the Return to Castle Wolfenstein today they are Abandonware.
  • The first two Grand Theft Auto they were released by Rockstar Games back in the day.
  • If you like strategy, you should know that both Westwood Studios’ first Red Alert is Abandonware.
  • The first two Elder Scrolls, namely, Sand Y daggerfall.

What happens to certain famous sagas that we have named in the title?

Well, abandonware versions are tricky, since they are those that were released under a different label or have received an improved version. That is to say, it is the same situation as that of the console ROMS and they cannot technically be considered Abandonware, but they have no commercial outlet and that is why their creators ignore them and allow people to enjoy them, because they see it as undercover promotional material for new deliveries.

Monkey Island DOSBox Abandonware

So we can find games from famous sagas like Prince of Persia, Command and Conquer, Diablo, Sim City, Monkey Island, DOOM II, Heroes of Might and Magic, LOTR, Duke Nukem 3D and many others online and play them legally.

Where can I find Abandonware titles?

Well, there are several ways to do it:

  • Obviously in a lot of websites about Abandonware, which you will find through the search engine.
  • In Internet Archive.

What old game do you want to play again or want to discover? Tell us about it in the comments.

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