Raph Koster on the ESA’s DMCA battle: ‘Preservation matters’


Remember last week when we covered how the Entertainment Software Association is fighting a proposal to amend the DMCA that would help preserve online games, including MMOs, for future generations? MMORPG developer Raph Koster has since thumbed his virtual nose at the ESA’s jerk move.

“Speaking as a designer, I’d rather my game be played for free than never be able to be played ever again,” the Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies designer wrote on Twitter. “Much of my work is basically gone and what survives is all altered. Preservation matters.”

He points out that the ESA’s claim that putting sunsetted games back online would create a “loophole to let the public flood” in is absurd, since the lack of a flood is generally why the game closed down to begin with.

“When Metaplace shuttered, we were basically obliged to not release any of the code because it was a very valuable asset with owners (and it was in fact sold, and used in other games). Now it’s not used and nobody cares, but there’s no way to get it out. A HUGE regret of mine. […] In the end the legacy of online worlds lies in the players — many of the creators on Metaplace are now working in the industry! And really, it’s more like founding a city and watching it grow (and decline). But it’d still be nice to be able to visit tho I know it’d be empty.”

Source: Twitter
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