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Preservation of ios games (is this even possible!?!)

01-11-2013, 12:36 AM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,213
Preservation of ios games (is this even possible!?!)

The thought occurred to me how ios gaming would survive in say 30 years. Up until recently, video games were preserved as ROMs which could be played through various software that emulated a console. Because everything was consistent for the console, it was easy to keep track of all the games and make sure their legacy will go on forever.

However, with app store apps, this doesn't seem as those this is a feasible task. As much as I would like this to happen, I doubt we'd ever see some of these games again, and there'd be absolutely no way to ever play all of them again.

Mainly because...
-There are waaaaay too many games to keep track of. Even if all ios games were possible to preserve, it would be a lot harder to track down hundreds of thousands of games versus only a couple hundred.
-Outdated games require older firmware to run it. There are games already which can't be played. If a developer decides to not keep up an app and update it then it'll end up lost in the app store abyss. If an ios emulator ever does show up then you'd need to change firmware specific to each game which would not be ideal.
-Similarly, apps have different updates. What if you wanted to play a version of a game before X update? While this would be mostly a negative to a most games there are some which had vastly different older versions of games (Tap Tap Revenge back when it was called Tap Tap Revolution anybody remember?) and still seems like it should be kept.
-Some games are banned/removed. This would make it nearly impossible to track these games down and although the games probably sucked to begin with, they are games nonetheless and deserve to be preserved as well.
-Probably some other thing

I'm really interested in how things will go with ios games in the future? How will games hold up? Will some vanish from history forever? What can we do about it?

btw, sorry if there was a thread on this earlier. If there was, I didn't see it.

TA's resident ios rhythm game player
Former #1 Rhythm Control 2 Player (#2 now)
Unofficial #1 Gears Player (ignoring hackers)
Check out my Rhythm Game thread
01-11-2013, 01:51 AM
#2
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Alienville
Posts: 239
In 30 years I will play angry birds on my apple holodeck with data from star trek :P. But seriously...In 30 years everything will be so cross platformed there will always be a way to play the oldies. Where did i put that tape drive with zork 1,2,3, at? Oh there it is .(over 30 years ago)

Last edited by earthclaw; 01-11-2013 at 01:53 AM.

01-12-2013, 05:58 AM
#3
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,082
You are forgetting that there are millions of IPA files out there on the internet. You wont need to use the appstore (in the future when, if Apple vanishes). You can download any version of the game if its uploaded somewhere.

Is it true that devs need to update games for new iOS or else it wont run? I never encountered this issue before... Can you show show an example of an outdated game?

We will either play the games on old jailbroken Apple devices, or run it in on an iOS simulator in the future.

I wouldnt really worry about this.
01-12-2013, 07:21 AM
#4
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,680
I wouldnt worry, as the person above said you'll find tons of ipa files in the future if somehow the App store disappeared.

Look at MAME, those old arcade machines from the 80's have been preserved, if they can preserve those i'm 100% confident that they can preserve apps no matter what happens in the future.

Look at 80's computers, Sinclair/Commodore, all their games are available online. To be fair its not at the top of my things to worry about list but i'm certain all the games will be available in the future no matter what
01-12-2013, 09:54 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 5,308
The biggest challenge is finding the correct .ipa file. I have thousands stored outside of iTunes due to the whole greedy developer issue.

Finding the "good" version will be the toughest part.

A more pressing issue is being able to save your damn data easily, whether or not you remove an app from your device. Apple seems inclined to further lock down everything, though, rather than making data transfer any easier.

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01-13-2013, 02:07 AM
#6
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,213
I have no doubt the apps will be preserved in some form, but it's more about how they all will be. It just doesn't seem possible to archive them all. With the amount of apps in the app store it would take decades to fully get the right version for them all. Heck even older consoles are still going for 100% completion (hyperspin project)

TA's resident ios rhythm game player
Former #1 Rhythm Control 2 Player (#2 now)
Unofficial #1 Gears Player (ignoring hackers)
Check out my Rhythm Game thread
01-13-2013, 04:10 AM
#7
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 747
Quote:
Originally Posted by coconutbowling View Post
I have no doubt the apps will be preserved in some form, but it's more about how they all will be. It just doesn't seem possible to archive them all. With the amount of apps in the app store it would take decades to fully get the right version for them all. Heck even older consoles are still going for 100% completion (hyperspin project)
Yeah- I doubt every app is backed up. But to be completely honest, the vast majority of apps in the AppStore are total garbage. Only like 15% tops are even worth a look. All the good apps are almost guaranteed to be backed up somewhere, especially with how much piracy there is. You're better off without all the filler apps which make up the majority of Apple's flaunted app count- same goes for Android.
01-16-2013, 08:15 PM
#8
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 551
it's data now... how is this an issue?
01-16-2013, 10:12 PM
#9
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 8
I find it kind of reassuring. I think the good games will be popular and will keep being updated to each new platform. (For an example, take the new iPad version of MechWarrior, a very old and very popular PC game.) And the not-so-good games will simply die out because no one's looking for them. It'll make it easier to sift through thousands of games. My only worry is that some lesser-known games are still really good...
02-04-2013, 12:50 AM
#10
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 1,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Primoz View Post

Is it true that devs need to update games for new iOS or else it wont run? I never encountered this issue before... Can you show show an example of an outdated game?
There's loads of games that suddenly doesn't run properly, or even at all, every time iOS is updated.
That's why there's always a flurry of updates to apps after a major iOS release.

When I upgraded to iOS 6.0, the shmup Siberian Strike from Gameloft suddenly didn't have sound or music in game. Only the intro video had sound.
The game hasn't been fixed yet, and I doubt it will. Gameloft have other fish to fry I guess.

This happens more often than you might think, a developer don't have the time, resources or the will to update apps or games when they cease to work properly after an iOS update, mostly, I think, because the game or app hasn't made any money for them for a while.

They get abandoned.

And it happens to good games too. Siberian Strike is one of the better iOS Shmups out there.

"To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable."
Aaron Copland