Nintendo And Sega Raid Longstanding ROM Sanctuary To Remove Tons Of Classic Games

Image: Sega / Nintendo / Kotaku / Heritage (Getty Images)
Image: Sega / Nintendo / Kotaku / Heritage (Getty Images)

Vimm’s Lair, one of the oldest places on the web to find and download classic video game ROMs and emulators, recently announced the removal of many titles due to requests from Sega, Nintendo, Sony, the Entertainment Software Association, and Lego.

Established in 1997, Vimm’s Lair has been a popular place for folks to download classic video games that originated on a wide array of platforms, including N64, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 1, and Atari 260. Many of these games can’t be bought in stores or found in digital marketplaces, making Vimm’s Lair a useful place for those looking to check out pieces of video game history. However, Apple’s recent decision to allow emulators on the App Store has seen a massive influx of people looking for classic roms, and it seems all this attention has put Vimm’s Lair in lawyers’ spotlights.

As reported by Time Extension, Vimm’s Lair published a short post on June 5 announcing that many games had been removed following requests from various companies.

“Vimm’s Lair has been asked to remove many games from The Vault on behalf of Nintendo, Sega, Lego, and the ESA,” posted Vimm. “While most of these games (and the hardware to play them) haven’t been sold in decades, ultimately it’s their prerogative so these games are now gone for good.”

On Reddit, users have put together a list of all the franchises and games that were removed and it appears to be a lot. Here’s just some of what has been reportedly removed:

  • Mario games

  • The Legend of Zelda games

  • Pokemon games

  • Sonic games

  • Yakuza games

  • Shin Megami Tensei/Persona games

  • Ace Attorney games

  • Pac-Man games

  • Doom games

  • Metroid games

  • Resident Evil games

  • Metal Gear games

  • Mega Man games

According to some users, it appears that only the US and European ROMs were removed in most cases, but the Japanese versions are still available.

We don’t know for sure if Apple’s recent decision to allow emulators—like the Delta emulator—onto the iOS app store, is the reason for this massive loss, but it certainly seems like more than coincidence. This has led to a huge influx of attention around emulators, ROMs, old games, and the sites that host this content. Checking TikTok, the site is filled with videos about iOS emulators, where to download ROMs, and more.

Even Vimm’s Lair reported a huge increase in downloads and traffic in April following Apple’s rule changes.

“A big thank you to everyone who has recommended Vimm’s Lair to Delta users,” posted Vimm on April 19. “Sadly the surge in traffic is causing the web server to run out of memory and crash. Repeatedly. It’s now stable but sluggish, and will remain so until the Delta fervor subsides.”


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