The 87% Missing Report and Digital Preservation Advocacy

The 87% Missing Report and Digital Preservation Advocacy


While the video game industry and cultural heritage institutions agree that video games should be preserved for both entertainment and study, there is disagreement about whether the commercial market preempts the need for libraries, museums, and archives to expand their preservation activities. To better inform these discussions, the Video Game History Foundation and Software Preservation Network gathered evidence about what portion of historical games are actually still in commercial distribution. They believe this is the first major study to analyze the availability rates for a broad sample of historical games in this manner. The results are stark: Only 13 percent of classic video games published in the United States are currently in release (n = 1500, ±2.5%, 95% CI). These low numbers are consistent across platform ecosystems and time periods. Troublingly, the reissue rate drops below 3 percent for games released prior to 1985—the foundational era of video games. 

Join us as we discuss the report’s findings and the possibilities of using this research method and approach to advocate for both resourcing the preservation of, and shaping the law around, other types of at-risk digital and born-digital formats.


Registration is now closed.


Please note the timezone for this webinar: 16:00 EDT | 21:00 BST | 07:00 AEDT


Subscribe to our mailing list or follow us on Twitter to learn more.

Find out more about OPF member benefits and how to join.