Why don't companies sell their own older games as ROMs?

MrSlic

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For companies that are still in business that have a lot of nostalgic fans like Nintendo or Rare wouldn't it make sense to sell their own ROMs? I know they do some things like Nintendo online with the SNES and NES ports and other ports to newer consoles. But for companies who made games for the older consoles but have nothing to profit from console sales why don't they sell their ROMs online? Is it some sort of licensing/copyright issue? I feel like it wouldn't be much work as emulators already exist and ripping ROMs would be a lot easier since they own the games.
 

Dimensional

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Not every game they release are owned by them. The IP could be co-owned by another company, or entirely owned with the big name company only being the licensed distributor. As such, permission would have to be obtained, usually requiring lots of money, to get the license to distribute a digital re-release of a game. Most of the well known Nintendo released games are owned by Nintendo, so they don't have to seek permission or pay another company for the right to sell a digital re-release/rom of it.
 

Tom Bombadildo

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They already do, they simply package them in additional DRM and bundle them with an emulator so you can't use them anywhere else. Nintendo VC and most of those "XYZ SERIES COMPILTION COLLECTION!!!" are, just ROMs packaged with an emulator.

But to answer why they don't just sell the ROM so you can use it whenever, it's simple: Because money. Companies know that they can make consumers pay for their old titles multiple times whenever they want, ie Nintendo and their VC that you can't transfer between consoles (even though they're the same game) for no reason, or the various "XYZ collection!" releases you see nowadays that are, as noted above, basically just ROMs packaged in a launcher with DRM. Much more profitable to make you have to buy the same thing multiple times elsewhere than buying the ROM once and letting you play the game wherever.

Licensing issues are also a thing as well, as noted above.
 

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