End of an era, EmuParadise removes its ROMs

Whether you are for or against the downloading of ROMs, it’s a surefire bet if you’re interested in Retro Gaming you will have encountered it at some point. Myself..? i’m very 50/50, while I appreciate the need to archive our history over the last few decades due to tape degradation, floppy disc corruption, cd rot, etc, and like the idea that some impossibly priced original copies of games produced by long gone companies can be just the click away from being played again by the people who genuinely want to experience them. I am annoyed by the few Raspberry Pi sellers who, through social media sell box containing 1000’s of games for a little over $120/£100. Not caring if any of the contents are still on sale, or how much profit is being made from other peoples hard work.
Yet I understand why so many have now turned up on Facebook feeds. Like Kodi boxes of old, people are lazy or don’t want to learn how to do it themselves. Yet they want to play the games of their childhood, and gasp at the current retro prices being paraded around ebay. For them, this person is offering a service, and by paying a small premium, you can have it all and MORE for a low low price.
Well not any more.
While CoolRoms and LoveRoms took the first couple of barrels from Nintendo’s lawyer letters and quickly removed themselves from the firing line, EmuParadise one of the net’s longest serving sites for the last 18 years received the second shot from the BIG N. As a result they announced today that they’re removing all ROMs from their platform due to legal action.
While shocking, it came as no surprise, given they have still been offering games to download for Wii, NES, SNES, Xbox to name a few that could still be bought today legally. It’s this which I suspect opened the floodgates of action, outside of Nintendo’s ever growing strength to reclaim its property from unofficial distribution.
EmuParadise statement which is currently available on their website is as follows below:

“Many of you are aware that the situation with regards to emulation sites has been changing recently. What you probably don’t know is that we at EmuParadise have been dealing with similar issues for all 18 years of our existence.
From receiving threatening letters in the early days to our hosts suddenly shutting down our servers due to complaints, we’ve seen it all. We’ve always complied with takedown requests but as you can see, that is no guarantee of anything.
I started EmuParadise 18 years ago because I never got to play many of these amazing retro games while growing up in India and I wanted other people to be able to experience them. Over the years, many folks have joined in and contributed to this vision and I think I can say that we’ve been successful in spreading our passion for retro games far and wide.
Through the years I’ve worked tirelessly with the rest of the EmuParadise team to ensure that everyone could get their fix of retro gaming. We’ve received thousands of emails from people telling us how happy they’ve been to rediscover and even share their childhood with the next generations in their families. We’ve had emails from soldiers at war saying that the only way they got through their days was to be lost in the retrogames that they played from when they were children. We’ve got emails from brothers who have lost their siblings to cancer and were able to find solace in playing the games they once did as children. There are countless stories like these.
It’s been a long and beautiful journey with many ups and downs. When I started EmuParadise things could have gone either way. But right now the direction they are going in could not be more than clear.
So where does that leave us?
It’s not worth it for us to risk potentially disastrous consequences. I cannot in good conscience risk the futures of our team members who have contributed to the site through the years. We run EmuParadise for the love of retro games and for you to be able to revisit those good times. Unfortunately, it’s not possible right now to do so in a way that makes everyone happy and keeps us out of trouble.
This is an extremely emotional decision for me after running this site for so many years. But I believe it is the right thing for us at this point of time.
Thus, we have decided to make a new start. We will continue to be passionate retro gamers and will keep doing cool stuff around retro games. But you won’t be able to get your games from here for now. Where we go with this is up to us and up to you.
We’ll still have our emulators database, the community, and everything that comes along with that.
We have already made several plans of what is going to happen next. It’s going to be a fun new beginning and there’s going to be lots to come! We’d also love to hear from you in the comments about what you think we should do. But for now, we need to make this change. We’ve served the community for 18 glorious years and it’s been a hell of a ride!
But every end is a new beginning and we’re excited to find a way forward to continue being your #1 emulation destination.
Thank you for supporting us through this journey. We could not have done so much without you visiting us, telling your friends about us, uploading screenshots and descriptions, telling us when something was wrong, letting us know when we messed up, and more. Thank you for being a part of our community and encouraging us through all these years.”

It does make me wonder what potential future a rom site has when it can provide no roms? will it fall to the abyss like the warez sites of old, or play cat and mouse like the torrent sites. or will they attempt to provide a legitimate source providing funds to forgotten IP holders.
Or will it just become a custodian of images and information of what past systems used to be able to play, a Wikipedia of a retro history..
Whichever it is, either bad or good the cards have been dealt.
Chris Thacker

Author: Chris

Freelance writer, Blogger, Youtuber Chris has dabbled around the industry for many years. having been published in two books, and with over 30+ years knowledge of gaming history, there are many obscure facts tucked away in his brain which have yet to be documented.

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