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Bring All Your Retro Games to Steam

The original Resident Evil has been rated for a release on Steam, and it’s the most ridiculous thing ever that it isn’t already a thing.


Think about it. You have a giant library of games from the last 30 years just sitting there. The average PC gamer has it open by default. They want games to buy, and the rights holders… just do nothing?

Yes, the REmake is available for purchase. But that’s not enough. Steam should have all the original Resident Evil games, and chuck in Dino Crisis and anything else locked on old consoles too.

There is money to be made from back catalogues. This was evidenced by the release of Kingdom Hearts on Steam last week. It wasn’t the first time it was available on PC (it’s been an Epic store exclusive for many years), but it might as well have been. The entire collection flew up the charts.

And while nobody expects a random port of a twenty or even thirty year old game to sell millions, it doesn’t have to. It does good just by being available. Every Halloween, a few people decide to indulge their nostalgia. Having a game right there to buy can only be good.

Furthermore, it’s something publishers are already catching onto. We’ve seen a massive increase in the amount of old games getting a rerelease on Steam. The service is better as a result.

But what we need to see now is more old games make the leap in their original versions. Buying games packed with their own emulator isn’t an unusual thing. It’s been happening with Mega Drive games for generations. As computers grow more powerful, there’s no reason we can’t start playing games from other generations too.

Release Older Games on Steam

The biggest advantage PC has over console is that there are no real generations. You can play anything you want, so long as you know how to get things running. Even that is simpler than it has ever been before. If I want to load up Dungeon Keeper 2 or Final Fantasy X or Fallout 3, I can do so with a single click within the same list.

I can also jump into a variety of emulators, which allow me to play my old games through my PC at no additional charge. That’s something my PS5 or Xbox Series X, by and large, can’t do. In many cases this is about compatibility and licencing, but it’s still an advantage to PC gaming. I play my old games exactly as they were on the original consoles and it doesn’t cost me a penny.

Re-releasing those that you fully own the rights to could mean I pay for things I already own, just out of convenience. There doesn’t necessarily need to be many bells and whistles, simply making it legally available on Steam would go a long way.

Resident Evil isn’t the first, but it feels noteworthy. Currently it’s only playable through the PS5, and so there’s a defacto exclusivity that doesn’t need to exist. Hopefully with this release the floodgates will open.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott