[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: General]]
* While {{abandonware}} technically is a general software term, the vast majority of cases where people actually ''care'' are video games, since nobody is going to download an obsolete version of Word when an open-source client can legally be downloaded and redistributed (e.g. over [=BitTorrent=]) at no charge. The basic premise of the concept is this trope: software that is 'abandoned' (unsupported and undistributed by the right-owners, if who owns the rights is even ''known'') isn't morally wrong to put up for download (the modern day equivalent of circulating the tapes, so to speak).
* A lot of {{arcade game}}s fall under this. While a good fraction of them have had ports, some ports range anywhere from being good but not [[ArcadePerfectPort one-to-one]] to outright {{Porting Disaster}}s. The only other legal option in these cases is to acquire the original hardware, which is costly and not designed for consumer purchase; 100 USD for a board is considered ''cheap.'' Even then you'll still need a way of playing them, whether it be a cabinet (easily available but still expensive) or a "supergun" device to bypass the need for a cabinet. Finally, with the severe decline of arcades outside of Japan discouraging developers from exporting their games and the advent of mechanisms that shut out arcade importers, such as arcade digital distribution platforms such as [=NESiCAxLive=], Japanese arcade developers limiting their games to lease-only rather than outright selling the machines, and always-online DRM (often requiring the arcade to register their machines and pay subscription fees), it is becoming harder if not outright impossible for arcade fans to legally acquire and play games through any means even if they have the money, leaving travelling to Japan the only option. If you're lucky, some of these games may get exported...to select parts of East and Southeast Asia...and may suffer anywhere from limited online infrastructure to outright BadExportForYou.
** The entire aim of the {{MAME}} project was to preserve such games and keep them from vanishing forever. Unfortunately while the program itself is legal, it's debatable whether or not the ROMS are.
** Some arcade games have gimmicks that are difficult, expensive, or outright impossible to fully replicate at home, even with emulation, which is why a number of arcade games have ports that deviate from the original version or simply don't have ports at all. Some examples:
*** Four games in the ''VideoGame/{{Darius}}'' series--''Darius'', ''Darius II'', ''Dariusburst Another Chronicle'', and ''Dariusburst Another Chronicle EX''--have multi-monitor setups. The former two have ports that use more standard aspect ratios, while the latter two are adaptations of the PSP game ''Dariusburst'' anyway.
*** ''VideoGame/{{Galaxian}}^3'' was a theme park attraction in Japan with a 360-degree display and a massive 28-player setup, and closed down in 2000. The arcade version is a bit better, with two monitors and a six-player setup, and while a port exists, it can only take up to four players.
* [[DoujinSoft Doujin games]] are exceedingly difficult to find outside of Japan (or even in Japan, unless you know where to go); while doujin manga usually only has a niche market, doujin games are usually quite popular. Pressing [=CDs=], however, is expensive, so not very many copies are made at a time. While the games usually only sell for about 1,000 Yen (a little over $10), the limited print run means it can be difficult to find any copies after the fact. Some doujin titles get digital releases, but usually on Japanese-native sites like Playism and [=DLSite=]; Steam releases for doujin games tend to be limited to doujin games with localized, international releases.
* The rise of DownloadableContent has been both a blessing and curse for many gamers. While it has resulted in modular content being delivered more easily to players, it can also result in DLC that vanishes into the ether and can't be bought ''anywhere'' if the licensing rights are pulled or the game is removed from digital distributors. Likewise, many pieces of DLC offered through limited-time giveaways, pre-ordering or other promotions can be rendered inaccessible (and unable to use unless one has a code from the time the giveaway was running or a Steam gift) after the fact.
* Virtually every LicensedGame, due to the publishers and/or developers either no longer existing or no longer having the licenses.
* PC games in general fall into this, especially pre-2000s games. Games are known to quickly become incompatible with newer systems and can be rare to find. Website/GOGDotCom is attempting to avert this, but even they can only do so much as they don't have the source code for the games they are "upgrading," meaning all compatibility fixes must be done by reverse engineering. The only exception is if the game is a DOS game, in which case {{DOSBox}} is used instead.
* Pretty much the entire point of ROMS and emulators. Old games that are no longer in print (usually anything from the Playstation 2/Gamecube/Xbox era and earlier) are uploaded onto the internet for everyone to play. The big game companies did force a cease and desist order on various web sites that were caught distributing the games, but many others still host them. This caused the creation of services from the major game companies that lets people download old games at a price, such as Nintendo's Virtual Console, Sony's [=PlayStation=] Network, and Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Activision]]
* Creator/{{Activision}} is infamous for picking up and then dumping licenses, largely because of a decision in 2013 to move away from the licensed game market due to underwhelming sales for several franchises. This resulted in many titles being pulled from circulation, with the only way to get them now being through second-hand copies or an increasingly-dwindling number of Steam copies. These include:
** Several ''Franchise/JamesBond'' titles, including ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'', ''007: Blood Stone'', [[VideoGame/GoldenEyeWii the 2010 remake of]] ''[[VideoGame/GoldenEye1997 GoldenEye 007]]'' (which is quite amusing, as the remake was made specifically because of the original game's lack of availability-see the Nintendo folder below) and the then-recently released ''[[VideoGame/DoubleOhSevenLegends 007 Legends]]'', as well as several briefly-sold (and now nigh-impossible to find) pieces of DownloadableContent for the latter.
** In December 2013, most Marvel Comics games were purged from all distribution services by Disney, forcing Activision to remove various titles. This included all of their ''X-Men'' products (including ''X-Men Origins: Wolverine'' and ''VideoGame/XMenDestiny'', which was ''already'' struck down with this trope by Creator/EpicGames before Disney came knocking - see the Creator/SiliconKnights entry below), the non-[[Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan movie-based]] ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' games (''VideoGame/SpiderManShatteredDimensions'', ''VideoGame/SpiderManEdgeOfTime'', ''Spider-Man: Friend or Foe'' and ''Spider-Man: Web of Shadows''), and Creator/{{Capcom}}'s ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series and DLC (including content that only concerns Capcom [=IPs=]). The move was so surprising that a Steam Community Choice poll during its Christmas 2013 sale had to be hastily switched when ''VideoGame/{{Deadpool}}'' was pulled.
** ''VideoGame/StarTrekStarfleetCommand III''. Shortly after its release, Activision filed a lawsuit against Viacom claiming that the studio had allowed the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' franchise to "stagnate And decay", and that this had negatively affected Activision's stocks. The debacle ended with Activision splitting, and production of the ''Starfleet Command III'' discs (as well as the other ''Star Trek'' titles made by Activision) halted, just a short time after the game's release. In fact, there are so few copies of ''Starfleet Command III'' that they generally sell online for anything from $85 to $144! Activision should have just held off until [[Film/StarTrek the 11th movie]]...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Electronic Arts]]
* ''VideoGame/TheNeverhood'' has been MIA since the mid-Nineties and copies are quite scarce. [[http://www.facebook.com/NeverhoodMobile This statement]] has mentioned that a rerelease on mobile platforms is in the works... if ElectronicArts (the current rights holder) collaborates, which has not been the case. EA apparently doesn't recognize the profits of releasing the CultClassic on {{Steam}} either.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LucasArts]]
* Creator/LucasArts's old AdventureGames suffered from this for quite a bit. The fact that the company was sold to and closed down by the hands of Disney didn't seem to help matters. However, in October 2014, Disney signed on with GOG.com, and thus this list is steadily shrinking.
** ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'' and ''VideoGame/EscapeFromMonkeyIsland'' have both never been re-released. ''Escape'' isn't very severe right now, but ''Curse'' commonly goes for almost $20-$30 for something that should only cost about $10 at the most.
** ''VideoGame/FullThrottle'' also still has yet to see any re-release.
** ''Labyrinth'', [=LucasArts=]' first adventure game, is so rare that many did not know of its existence until it became possible to look it up online, although this game is more of a text adventure with graphics.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Nintendo]]
* The only rerelease of ''VideoGame/{{Crystalis}}'' was the 2000 port to the GameBoyColor. This was one of the few games Creator/{{SNK}} originally created for the NintendoEntertainmentSystem rather than for arcades, and their Virtual Console support seems to be limited to NeoGeo games. (SNK's pre-Neo Geo arcade games, however, are well represented on the PSN.)
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Doom}} Doom 64]]''. An original entry to the classic ''Doom'' series that was unfortunately mistaken as just another port of the original ''Doom'' due to the [[SuperTitle64Advance 64 title]] has never left the Nintendo 64, and to make things worse, came out around time when ''Turok'' and ''Golden Eye 007'' were considered state-of-the-art for their time. Thankfully some copies of the original Nintendo 64 cartridges are floating around for a reasonable price on Amazon and [=eBay=].
* While ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' was rescued from its stint in limbo with its Virtual Console re-release in 2013 [[note]]The reason it took so long for it to receive a Virtual Console release was not because of rights/legal issues like what fans believed, it was actually because of the game's strong use of flickering and flashing effects[[/note]], its sequel ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'' still hasn't ever been released internationally. As time passes, it's quickly slipping the same way as ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' did, with prices for it hiking ever further up.
** ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 1}}'' unfortunately suffers the same fate as ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}''. But unlike ''MOTHER 3'', this game was fully translated but was shelved before its release. Luckily, the prototype appeared on eBay one day and someone bought it and dumped it into a ROM under the name ''[[FanNickname EarthBound Zero]]'', which is a minor hack of the prototype that adds "Zero" to the title screen to reduce confusion with the SNES game and removes copy protection features (everything else is as Nintendo of America left it, via translator Phil Sandhop confirming that the game's text is his own work).
* Due to a lack of advertising and low sales from the get-go, the cult hit ''VideoGame/GotchaForce'' was pulled from the shelves rather quickly and is now one of the hardest [[NintendoGameCube GameCube]] games to find. This may change soon, though, as emulations of the game exist, a re-release is in the works, and Japanese fans are clamoring for a sequel. This is all ironic in hindsight because Capcom stated that this was one of their favorite games.
* ''HarvestMoon64'' is this as of now. It is a CultClassic and considered the best Harvest Moon game by many. However, it has yet to have a Virtual Console release, an enhanced remake (a la the PS1 games to GBA), or a port release (like the PS1 games). Only the original SNES game has had a Virtual Console release. [[http://www.destructoid.com/harvest-moon-64-not-coming-to-the-virtual-console-181459.phtml An interview with a Natsume executive]] reveals that problems with the source code have prevented any possible remake or port, even sadder by the fact that this game was supposedly one of the first they planned for a Virtual Console release. That statement makes no sense, as the VC is simply an emulator, so they'd just need a game ROM.
** All ''Videogame/HarvestMoon'' games before ''Friends of Mineral Town'' generally count as this, especially the ''Game Boy'' and ''Color'' ones.
** The GBC version of the original ''Harvest Moon GB'' was released on the 3DS virtual console in the summer of 2013, and hopefully the others are not too far behind. On another note, the Game Boy Color version of ''The Legend of the River King'', an obscure fishing-themed game that shares Harvest Moon's developers and publishers, has finally been re-released on the 3DS VC as well (on the same day as Harvest Moon GB no less).
* ''VideoGame/{{Killer7}}'' is one of the most sought-after games on the Gamecube, thanks to positive word-of-mouth from the very few who had played it, and thanks to [=SUDA51=]'s later games. However, Capcom and [=SUDA51=] seem to have no plans on re-releasing it anytime soon.
* ''VideoGame/KuruKuruKururin''. The first game was the only one to be released outside of Japan, but only for Europe. America hasn't gotten a single game from this series, so needless to say, most Americans were confused when they saw the main character's vehicle appearing as an assist trophy in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosBrawl''.
* The DSiWare port of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords'' was a free download that was only available for a limited amount of time on two occasions. Now that the game has been taken down, the only way to get it is to buy a used [=DSi=] or [=3DS=] that has the game downloaded to it or has it in its purchase history.
* ''VideoGame/LittleSamson'' was released late in the NES's lifespan, and is one of the rarest cartridges for the system. It has never been rereleased.
* The first ''VideoGame/MarioParty'' will likely never be re-released, even on the Virtual Console, due to its infamous control stick-spinning minigames and their tendency to mutilate palms.
* The VHS promotional tapes given out to Magazine/NintendoPower subscribers in the mid-1990s. The tapes promoted the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and games like ''Donkey Kong Country'', ''Star Fox 64'', ''Diddy Kong Racing'', ''Banjo-Kazooie'', and early ''Pokémon'' games, as well as gave interesting behind-the-scenes looks at the making of these games. With the advent of DVD, the practice simply stopped after one release advertising the GameCube, and the tapes are now highly valued by collectors and traders. The content on the tapes have even been uploaded to various video sharing sites such as YouTube. However, the tapes had a sort of successor in the form of bonus discs released with early copies of games such as ''Mario Kart: Double Dash!!'' and ''Metroid Prime''. ''The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition'' disc also included a demo of ''The Wind Waker'' alongside full versions of all previous console Zelda games (except for ''A Link to the Past'', which was already playable on the GCN via the GBA port and the Game Boy Player).
* Every ''VideoGame/PanelDePon'' game has been released outside of Japan in some form, but Nintendo continues to show heavy reluctance towards exposing international audiences to the [[{{Kawaisa}} original fairy characters]], and so continue to release the games with the characters replaced by those from [[VideoGame/YoshisIsland other]] [[Anime/{{Pokemon}} franchises]] or even cut outright. Fans of the original fairy characters [[ReplacementScrappy who dislike their replacements]] will have importing - in the case of the original and ''Nintendo Puzzle Collection'' games this would require, barring modification cartridges/discs of dubious legality, [[CrackIsCheaper spending hundreds on a Super Famicom or Japanese GameCube]] as well as tracking down the relevant cartridge/game disc, both of which are now OOP - or emulation as their only options. What's more, the low sales of ''Planet Puzzle League'' ([[ScrewedByTheNetwork due in large part to Nintendo of Japan's decision to drop the mascot characters almost entirely]]) mean that no games starring Lip or Furil and friends are queued up for the foreseeable future.
* Past-generation ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' titles. Finding used copies isn't difficult at all, given ''Pokémon''[='=]s [[CashCowFranchise status]], but Nintendo has unusually never shown any inclination to rerelease any past game. Instead, [[VideoGameRemake remakes]] ensued.
** The straightest examples in ''Pokémon'' are ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Pokémon Yellow]]'' (unlike Crystal, none of Yellow's differences were incorporated into [=FireRed/LeafGreen=]; original copies are also strangely fragile due to rushed production to meet the demand at the height of the series' popularity) and quite a few of the spinoffs, most noticeably ''VideoGame/HeyYouPikachu'' and the ''VideoGame/PokemonStadium'' games, the former of which uses a peripheral exclusive to the Nintendo64 and the latter of which have both that problem as well as the gameplay of both games highly depend on connectivity with GameBoy and GameBoyColor games. This led to a bizarre situation in which Yellow's most famous feature, Pikachu following the player, was added into [[VideoGame/PokemonHeartGoldAndSoulSilver HeartGold and SoulSilver]], along with Crystal's additions to the game's plot. It was expanded - now any Pokémon could follow the player, not just Pikachu.
* ''VideoGame/ProWrestling'' actually received an ESRB rating for the Virtual Console, which it then somehow failed to appear on.
* Much of {{Rare}}'s classic game library was produced for Nintendo consoles, but since they were bought out by Microsoft none of them can appear on the VirtualConsole, except for the ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' series (and it's handheld ''Donkey Kong Land'' series), whose characters were always owned by Nintendo. A few of these, including ''VideoGame/{{Banjo-Kazooie}}'' and ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'', have been remade for the XboxLiveArcade, but even this appears unlikely for their NES-era games like ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}'', due to unresolved questions of what rights were held by publishers like Creator/{{Acclaim}}, Milton-Bradley and Tradewest.
** The original version of ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay''. Given its mature rating in a cutesy setting and ''barely'' any promotion (it was released the same year the GameCube would debut), it was hard to get then, and it sure as hell is even harder to get now (except for the Xbox remake ''Live and Reloaded'', which is extremely easy to find). Conversely, Microsoft has not released ''Conker's Bad Fur Day'' or ''Live and Reloaded'' on XBLA for some reason. Rare cited that they didn't want to re-release it because re-releasing it three times would be too much (though that doesn't explain games like ''Blast Corps'' that don't have other rights issues or acknowledge that ''Live and Reloaded'' was vastly inferior to the original). Plus, ''Live and Reloaded'' can be played on a backwards-compatible 360 as it is.
** For a long time, ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64'' was also absent from the VirtualConsole, for [[http://web.archive.org/web/20100210103051/http://www.rareware.com/extras/scribes/18sep09/index.html whatever]] [[https://twitter.com/RareLtd/status/25013528136 reason]]. The inclusions of ''VideoGame/{{Jetpac}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Donkey Kong}}'' as playable mandatory mini-games (you have to play them if you want to fight the final boss and complete the game, so removing them isn't an option unless they were to heavily alter the game's code) are the most likely reason-''Jetpac'' as it's owned by Rare themselves, and ''Donkey Kong'' as the version Rare ported to ''DK64'' is the original arcade version, of which Nintendo doesn't own the rights. Alternatively, it could be because Rareware's N64 games need a certain code to run on Virtual Console that Rareware may have access to, but Nintendo may not. This is evident when people have tried to inject Virtual Console files with [=ROMs=] of Rareware's N64 games to no or very little success. Fortunately, the situation was eventually remedied when ''Donkey Kong 64'' was released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in April 2015.
** ''VideoGame/{{GoldenEye|1997}}'', due to the unique situation of negotiating royalties between Nintendo (original publisher), Microsoft (Rare's parent company), ''and'' Activision (then-owners of the Film/JamesBond game license at the time). It's especially painful considering that a XBLA port was made and finished, but because of the aforementioned legal issue debacle, the port never saw the light of day. Understandably enough, Activision [[VideoGame/GoldenEyeWii decided to simply remake the original game]] (which, [[{{Irony}} ironically enough]], is now unavailable through legal means as well, see the Activision folder above).
* An extreme case is anything that distributed via the SuperFamicom's {{Satellaview}} broadcast system. Even if you manage to track down [[UsefulNotes/ReadOnlyMemory ROM]]s of the broadcasted games, they're almost certainly incomplete - the streamed audio and voice acting was not saved with the rest of the game, so a very sizable portion of the games' contents are quite possibly LostForever. To date, the only Satallaview games which have been officially remade or rereleased in any form are the ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' ones, remade and included as bonus missions in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia New Mystery of the Emblem]]''.
* Virtually every ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendaryStarfy Starfy]]'' game except for the fifth one (known as ''The Legendary Starfy'' outside of Japan) - none of these games have been released in Europe or the U.S.
* Apparently, Nintendo ran into problems emulating the SNES's Super FX chip on {{Wii}} VirtualConsole releases, which would explain the lack of several high-profile games released around that time (including ''VideoGame/YoshisIsland'' and the original ''VideoGame/StarFox''). The matter of Nintendo letting the rights to the Super FX chip lapse also prevents the games from showing up on the {{Wii U}} Virtual Console even if Nintendo ''did'' get the emulation right. However, the former's GameBoyAdvance UpdatedRerelease got a Nintendo3DS VirtualConsole release to early adopters and a WiiU VirtualConsole release for the general public; and the latter's ContinuityReboot ''is'' available both in its original form on the Wii and in remastered form on the Nintendo3DS.
* Various Nintendo games that use the ''Tetris'' branding but aren't actually ''Tetris'' games (such as ''Tetris Attack''), due to the stricter trademark licensing from The Tetris Company, because so far the only Nintendo game with "''Tetris''" in the title to be released on the Virtual Console service is the GameBoy installment (and for some reason, unlike ''LinksAwakening'', it's the original version and not the ''DX'' release for the GameBoyColor), released on the Nintendo3DS. It got this treatment when the Wii was very late in its life, and there never was a VC release for ''Tetris Attack''. (Note that the Japanese release does not have this issue; the Japanese release doesn't hide the series it's in and calls it ''Yoshi's Panepon''.) Fortunately, in the case of the ''Tetris Attack''/''[[VideoGame/PanelDePon Puzzle League]]'' series, sequels dropped the ''Tetris'' branding and ''Pokémon Puzzle League'' did not have this problem and got a VC release, which means there wouldn't be a problem doing the same with the portable ''Pokémon''-based game in the series, ''Pokémon Puzzle Challenge''.
* Nintendo seems to have no interest in recreating their Zapper games on the VirtualConsole or any other platform. Only ''VideoGame/DuckHunt'' was made an exception for the Wii U's Virtual Console because the titular characters in the game were made playable characters in the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS installment of ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''.
* Only two weeks (sometimes even two days) after they were released, certain Amiibo figures had already been discontinued. Wanted to train a [[VideoGame/AnimalCrossing Villager]] or [[VideoGame/WiiFit Wii Fit Trainer]] Amiibo for VideoGame/SuperSmashBros for Wii U?, you'll have to go to Amazon.com and pay double or triple their retail price. Ditto the four store exclusives; Shulk, Rosalina, Lucario, and Meta-Knight, which sold out on pre-order in some areas and were never stocked at all in others. If you wanted [[VideoGame/FireEmblem Marth]]...be prepared to pay much more. That said, Nintendo has declared they will produce more of these Amiibos, albeit in limited demand. Time will tell as for how long they will be available...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Sega]]
* The SegaSaturn in general is notorious for games released on it being hit with this, as in most cases the original source code to games on that system has been long lost to time. The console itself is also known for having an terribly short lifespan due it's unpopularity in the West, and for being extremely difficult to develop for (which in turn partially explains why the source code for many of these games easily become LostForever). The only notable exception to the rule is ''VideoGame/NIGHTSIntoDreams'', which got a PS2 port as well as PSN/XBLA port.
** ''VideoGame/BurningRangers''. Yet another game supposedly barred from re-release due to the source code being lost. The game was also released toward the very end of the Sega Saturn's lifespan in America and Europe. Japanese copies can be found for cheap (usually $20-30), but American and European copies.........not so much (they usually sell for $75-80 at the least).
** The first ''VideoGame/HouseOfTheDead'' is a victim of lost source code, so it's only available on the original Saturn release and the PC port of said release.
** The ''VideoGame/{{Mega Man|Classic}}'' games on the Sega Saturn aren't a walk-in-the-park to find. They can race anywhere from $40 to $80 at minimum, if you manage to find them.
** ''VideoGame/PanzerDragoon Saga''. Aside from the original source code being lost, the game was released in limited quantities during its short life on the SegaSaturn, and developer Team Andromeda merged with Smilebit (who is now defunct).
** ''VideoGame/ShiningForceIII''. The source code for this game is supposedly lost. It doesn't help that what was ''Shining Force III'' in the West was actually the first part of a trilogy - the remaining two parts [[NoExportForYou never seeing release outside Japan]].
** The original ''VideoGame/Sonic3DFlickiesIsland'' (or ''Sonic 3D Blast'' as known by in North America) for the Sega Genesis isn't difficult to find, thanks to the VirtualConsole and Steam releases and being included in later ''Sonic'' compilations such as ''Sonic Mega Collection''. It's UpdatedRerelease (complete with updated graphics, a new soundtrack, and a new special stage)...on the Sega Saturn, however, only saw a long-out-of-print PC port released one year later (which lacks the fog visual effects of the Saturn version but has a save function and the Saturn's special stage that uses the Genesis version's 2D sprites instead of the Saturn's 3D model).
* The 2010 console port of ''[[VideoGame/AfterBurner After Burner Climax]]'' was delisted by Sega on Dec. 17th 2014. As it was only available as a digital release through [=PSN=] and [=XBLA=], the only way people will be able to play it is through obtaining a used Xbox 360 or [=PS3=] that already has the game downloaded to the console or have an [=XBL=] or [=PSN=] account that has the game in it's download history (similar to the ''Zelda: Four Swords'' situation above). Otherwise, one will have to scout for a cabinet of the original arcade game. (The most likely reason for the game's removal are licensing issues-the rights to use real-life aircraft in the game may have run their course and Sega wasn't bothered to renew them.)
* ''VideoGame/InfiniteSpace''. Due to Sega's treatment of Platinum Games, they shipped it out to stores without ''any'' announcement beforehand, and non-existent advertising. Because of this, the Nintendo DS game's sales were awful, it was pulled from circulation, and now the cartridge alone goes for $40 on eBay.
* A fair amount of the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' games from the "Classic" era fall under this.
** ''VideoGame/KnucklesChaotix'', which is available only on the obscure Sega 32X add-on for the Sega Genesis, save for one short-lived re-release on the online video game service [=GameTap=].
** ''VideoGame/SegaSonicTheHedgehog'' (A.K.A. ''Sonic Arcade'') has never received a home port nor an official release [[NoExportForYou outside of Japan]]; according to an interview with Yuji Naka, problems emulating the trackball controls prevented it from appearing on ''Sonic Gems Collection''.
** The original version of ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD Sonic CD]]''. Being released on the unpopular Sega CD add-on for the SegaGenesis is the reason for it's obscure status in the first place, compared to the main Genesis Sonic titles. It later received a (long-out-of-print) PC port, which not only made a fair share of changes to have the game run properly (this is noticeable in how the debug menu works, and the water in Tidal Tempest being clear; [=PCs=] of the era had issues emulating the water effects, so it was scrapped), but due to being incompatible with later technology was also rendered unplayable for computers running Windows XP and later. A planned inclusion of the game on ''Sonic Mega Collection'' was nixed due to emulation problems (I.E. tossing out the original schematics and design documents for the Mega CD/Sega CD as well as somehow losing the original game's source code), subsequently resulting in the version on ''Sonic Gems Collection'' being a hack of the PC port, made to run on consoles under a PC emulator. The 2011 re-release was completely recoded from scratch, but is otherwise ''extremely'' faithful to the original game.
** ''VideoGame/SonicShuffle'' for the SegaDreamcast is one the few Sonic games to never be re-released. Especially odd as the only other [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure the other]] [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 two Sonic]] games on the Dreamcast received their fair share of ports.
** ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'' was widely considered to be the worst Sonic game by many. This eventually led to new copies being pulled from stores in 2010, which probably means that there won't be a re-release of the game anytime soon. Used copies are pretty easy to come by, however.
* A fangame of ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRage'' wound up with this fate, courtesy of being ScrewedByTheLawyers. When Bomber Games released ''Streets of Rage [[FanRemake Remake]]'', a non-profit modernized compilation of all three original games with several extra features, they were hit with a C&D order that forced them to stop developing it at version 5. But that was too late: the game is already entirely functional, and though Bomber Games doesn't distribute it on their site anymore, there are many other places that host both v5 and previous versions.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Multiple/Other]]
* ''Albion'' is a good example of this as well, given that copies show up on Ebay only rarely and in small numbers. When they do appear, they fetch prices of $100, at the very least.
* ''VideoGame/AlisiaDragoon'' has never been rereleased, and copies are somewhat rare nowadays because it didn't receive much distribution in any territory.
* ''VideoGame/BattleHigh'' Team-Up, the initial (now non-canon) installment of the ''Battle High'' series, has been lost by the original creators. It's on YoYoGames' website, but it's no longer available to download, and the browser plug-in's many updates have rendered in-browser play non-functional. One of the members of Battle High 2 *did* get a copy to work, but only on older computers (Windows XP, specifically), and none of the game's source code remains at all.
* ''VideoGame/BubbleBobble'''s original arcade version suffers from lost source code, rendering a true re-release nearly impossible. Most subsequent rehashes were done from the designer's memory and very few were particularly faithful (the Master System version was generally reckoned to be the closest). {{MAME}} relied on a bootlegged ROM for a long time, until they were able to track down an original board, pour some liquid nitrogen on it, and stick it under an electron microscope.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines'' has not seen a rerelease or even remake since its debut on the Sega Genesis / Megadrive in 1994. This is despite [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI every]] [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest other]] [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse non-rehash]] ''[[VideoGame/SuperCastlevaniaIV Castlevania]]'' [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood game]] up to the fourth generation of video game consoles hitting VirtualConsole.
* ''Chu-Teng'' is a very obscure sequel to the already-obscure ''VideoGame/EasternMindTheLostSoulsOfTongNou'' from Osamu Sato, the creator of ''VideoGame/LSDDreamEmulator''. When [[ImageBoards 4chan]] intervened and made a collective effort to find a copy of ''Chu-Teng'' on the Internet, it was so insanely hard that they actually had to enter in touch with Osamu Sato himself--and ''he said he didn't had a copy either''. Practically ''nothing'' was known about ''Chu-Teng'' aside from the fact that it existed, until, at last, one copy was found, just because some guy who had it around his attic happened to be browsing /v/ at the right time!
* The entire library of indie dev CC & SH from the mid-2000's. They were all available for free from the official website, until the webhost threw on traffic and upload restrictions. Then, some of the most popular titles were put on a CD-ROM on Cafepress - which sold horribly. And then Cafepress removed CD printing from their options. They're getting some of the games re-released for free, for play in browsers and on the Amazon.com Android app store, but most of them are still unavailable.
* Two of the ''VideoGame/CommanderKeen'' games are still unavailable to buy, despite the rest of the series being available to purchase digitally:
** ''Keen Dreams'' is often referred to as the "lost chapter" in the series, and follows Billy having a dream where he has to fight a potato king in a vegetable kingdom. It has a confusing rights history - developed by Softdisk Publishing and published by id Software, with the rights to the game being owned by Flat Rock Software from 2005-2014. The game was considered freeware for quite some time (although this wasn't the case), and copies passed freely between collectors. In 2013, an Android port was made available, but the original game still hasn't been officially released. Instead, the source code was bought by a crowdfunding campaign, and there is an attempt to get the game ported to Steam through its Greenlight program.
** The full version of ''VideoGame/CommanderKeen 6'', likely because the copy protection quiz (which happens whenever you start up the game) can't be removed. Like ''Dreams'', it's rights history is a mess - id Software still owns the rights to the game, and it's only releases (besides the pulled Steam version) are the original floppies (impossible to find) and a CD collection which is out-of-print and very expensive.
* Pretty much the entire Commodore 64 software library falls into this category. Other than a handful of games released for various virtual consoles, the entire rest of the catalog is available almost exclusively on the internet as disk images that can be played using a C64 emulator. Thankfully, rights holders are either nonexistent, having disappeared decades ago, or simply don't care that the images are available, so they're very easy to find.
* After Creator/DataEast went bankrupt in 2003, their back catalog of games was divided up between several companies; while some of their old games were rereleased on ''Data East Arcade Classics'' and various download services, others, including ''Midnight Resistance'', ''Karnov'' and ''Vapor Trail'', are currently unavailable, as are all of Data East's games for the TurboGrafx16[=/=]PC-Engine, which were pulled from the VirtualConsole in March 2012. The situation is worse for games like ''Night Slashers'', ''The Great Ragtime Show'' and ''Thunder Zone'' (aka ''Desert Assault'', the spiritual successor to ''Bloody Wolf'') that weren't ported to consoles either, so they can only be played through illegal emulation.
* The Good Old Games rerelease of ''VideoGame/{{Descent}} II'' does not include the ''Vertigo Series'' {{expansion pack}} or its additional Redbook music tracks, so the only way to obtain that is to pay out the nose for a hard copy of ''Descent II: The Infinite Abyss'' or ''Descent I and II: The Definitive Collection'', or illegally torrent it.
* The arcade version of ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' was rereleased on XboxLiveArcade for a while, until Empire Interactive went bankrupt, also erasing hopes of a rerelease of the second game. Good luck finding the arcade machines, or you can illegally play them on MAME. Similarly, all of Midway's XBLA rereleases were delisted when they folded and were purchased by Warner Bros.
* Want to play the ''Eyewitness'' series of educational video games from the '90s and early '00s? Well, you can't go to the store and buy it. You can order them from places like Amazon and eBay, or find a torrent. Otherwise, you're doomed.
* The ''very'' obscure MS-DOS version of ''[[VideoGame/{{Genocide}} Genocide 2: Master of the Dark Communion]]'' was released only in Korea and is next to impossible to find legitimately. Someone did manage to track it down and circulate it through the Internet, so it's only a matter of finding the download for the game and setting up DOSBox to run it.
* ''TheGreatGianaSisters'', a Super Mario Brothers knockoff for the Commodore 64. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyYFrgPHgcw Nintendo actually pulled it from store shelves]]. It retained a large cult following, the fans even went so far as to make a sequel of their own. Eventually the series was revived and, rather ironically, published on Nintendo consoles. But the original game still hasn't been re-released.
* ''VideoGame/TheGuardianLegend'' is a CultClassic, but it has never been rereleased or remade, no doubt in part to its ownership being split between Creator/{{Compile}} and Creator/{{Irem}}. Compile no longer exists, but its successors seem interested in distributing its games; Irem, however, has been going through financial difficulties and pulled many of its games from the PlayStationNetwork in 2011 and the Nintendo Wii VirtualConsole in early 2012.
* The first ''Gubble'' game has seen a few re-releases, but looking for the second game? Good luck.
* The 1995 CD-Rom game ''VideoGame/LegendsAndMyths''. It was released by a rather obscure company, and is nearly ''impossible'' to find now. The best chance is searching Ebay and hoping for the best of luck. Though there is good news - it runs just fine on a Windows XP at least.
* Almost all the {{LEGO}} PC titles of the 90s and early 2000s, such as ''VideoGame/LEGOIsland'' and ''VideoGame/LEGORacers'', have gone out of print and never been re-released, despite it being theoretically possible (as LEGO still owns the rights to all of them). They're not hard to find copies of on [=eBay=] or Amazon, but even if you can, there's still several that refuse to run on modern computers.
* The ''{{Lunar}}'' games and remakes. The first two games were released on the SegaCD, which made them tough to come by in the first place. ''VideoGame/LunarSilverStarStory'', is actually not too difficult to find, but ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'' certainly is (it doesn't help that ''Eternal Blue'' had low sales). The remake of ''Eternal Blue'' is also a hard find because it was released during the twilight of the PlayStation era. All remakes of ''Silver Star Story'' are not hard to acquire, though.
** It helps that the first game has more games/remarks in addition to the PSX one: Lunar Legend on the GBA, The PSP remake. It should be noted that Working Designs' games were made with small production runs.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends 2'' is a cult classic among the fanbase. The first game isn't ''too'' difficult to find - a good near-mint copy will usually run in the $10-30 range on Ebay. This includes the disc, instruction manual, and jewel case in immaculate condition. The same quality for a copy of Legends 2 will run you no less than $50, with most copies being over $100. Ebay is pretty much the best hope of finding the game at this point.
* Emulators and clones of Dani Bunten's classic edutainment game ''{{VideoGame/MULE}}'' have always been around, but the original game itself was out-of-print for thirty years, before finally being resurrected by Blue Systems and the Bunten estate as a free online multiplayer version called ''[[http://www.planetmule.com/ Planet MULE]]''. Additionally, an app version has been released under the name ''[[http://mulereturns.com/ M.U.L.E. Returns]]''
* ''VideoGame/NoOneLivesForever'' and its sequel, mainly because, as explained [[http://kotaku.com/the-sad-story-behind-a-dead-pc-game-that-cant-come-back-1688358811 here]], nobody quite knows just who owns the rights to the game, and the three companies that can sort it out -- Activision, Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox, and Creator/WarnerBros -- aren't that interested in going through all the legal battles to find out. A small company called Night Dive Studios (which specializes in rereleasing classic games) applied for a trademark on the games in May 2014 with the intention of rereleasing them, but they eventually ran into a brick wall from the aforementioned three companies and gave up.
* The ''OgreBattle'' games ''The Knight of Lodis'' and ''Legend of the Zenobia Prince'' for GameBoy Advance and Neo Geo Pocket Color can't be had on current consoles.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'' duology has experienced its own twisted version. When the two games came out on the original Playstation, only the ''second'' game made it out of Japan. Eventually a fan translation of the first game started making the rounds (and even people at Atlus complimented its quality). Finally the games got remade for the PSP... except only the ''first'' remake has made it out of Japan. The original version of the second game is now available on the [=PlayStation=] Network, but downloads and emulation still seem rather more common, out of habit as much as anything else.
* Would you believe ''{{Raiden}} II'', the face of arcade {{Shoot Em Up}}s, as well as GaidenGame ''Raiden DX'' fall under this? There's a CompilationRerelease that includes ''II'' and a port of ''DX'' both on [=PS1=], as well as a PC port of ''II'', but they are long out of print, and the PC port is rather inaccurate. Breakthroughs in 2014 finally brought both games to a mostly-functional state in MAME; however, as neither game has an in-print release, they remain under this trope.
* While ''VideoGame/{{Ray|Series}}Storm'' and ''[=RayForce=]'' have been resurrected on [=iOS=], and the former having an HD port on XBLA and PSN, ''[=RayCrisis=]'' has been collecting the most dust in the ''RAY'' series. It was only re-released on the [=PlayStation=] with ''[=RayStorm=]'' by [=D3=], and on PC by [=CyberFront=] by itself and bundled with ''G-Darius''. It was never brought back in ''Taito Legends 2'' or ported to [=iOS=] like its predecessors did. The PC ports of these games also remains lost in copyrights Limbo and second-hand copies are hard to track down.
* The leaked 0.05 release of the fangame ''VideoGame/Rockman4MinusInfinity'' (containing the BonusBoss fight with [[spoiler:Shadow Man]]) was taken down at the request of [=PureSabe=], dooming it to this fate.
* 'RuneFactory Frontier'' games stopped being produced in America after a year or so, so this is the only way to obtain any of the early titles.
* The entire ''ShadowHearts'' series. You can probably find ''From the New World'', and maybe ''Covenant'' somewhere in a used game store, but the first ''Shadow Hearts'' game, as well as ''Koudelka''? Good luck!
* Creator/SiliconKnights was ordered to cease production of ''VideoGame/TooHuman'' and ''VideoGame/XMenDestiny'' and destroy their game code (under the ruling in the Silicon Knights vs. Creator/EpicGames lawsuit that the former's use of the Unreal Engine was unauthorized). ''Too Human'' was removed from Games on Demand though both used and new copies of both games are extremely common and cheap online. This same lawsuit lead to three cancelled games, [[WhatCouldHaveBeen including the long awaited]] ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' sequel. (Funnily enough, considering the aforementionned Marvel purge of December 2013, ''X-Men: Destiny'' would now likely have to pass through both Epic Games ''and'' Disney/Marvel ''for completely different and unrelated reasons'' if it were to clear a rerelease.)
** Silicon Knights did not have the power to seize and destroy unsold copies of the games (SK was pretty much defunct at the time of the ruling; Dennis Dyack was more or less the only employee left) so ultimately it was left to the stores to decide what to do with them.
** ''Eternal Darkness'' and ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid: Twin Snakes'' can also be crossed off the list too, as SK is now defunct, thus there will be no re-release, and both games did not sell very well, so finding physical copies under $30 is a challenge. Not to mention the fact that there are some rights issues regarding ''Twin Snakes'', since Konami, SK, and Nintendo all participated in its development, and even if there wasn't, Konami always preferred to rerelease the original PS1 game anyways.
* In an extreme case, the [[VideoGame/ScottPilgrim Scott Pilgrim vs. The World]] tie-in game was taken off of both PSN and XBLA on December 30th, 2014 without explanation, and the game codes stopped working as well. We're talking about a download-only console-exclusive game here, not to mention a movie tie-in game that [[Main/NoProblemWithLicensedGames doesn't suck]].
* Hideo Kojima [[http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3176763 half-admitted]] that the reason why any version of ''VisualNovel/{{Snatcher}}'' hasn't been released on digital distribution services yet (even though stuff like ''VideoGame/MetalGear2'' and ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' had been released already) is due to the fact that the game's imagery and its numerous visual nods to ''Film/BladeRunner'' and ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' almost border on copyright infringement, making it hard to re-release without heavy alterations. It's not much of an issue in Japan, where the [[TurboGrafx16 PC-Engine]] version is common to find on the second-hand market, but English-speaking players who want to experience the game have no choice but to pay ridiculously-high prices for the game on [=eBay=] or illegally download it off the internet.
* The ''{{Suikoden}}'' series falls under this. The first game isn't ''too'' hard to find if you want the actual disk, and can even be uploaded to the PS3 pretty easily. The second game in the series is a different story altogether, as even a used copy will go upwards from $100+ dollars at ''minimum'', and it's better to not even think about the price for a brand new copy since the game is long out of print at this point. This is a real shame considering that the second Suikoden game is usually regarded as the MagnumOpus of the series.
* The fan game ''SuperMarioBrosX'' thanks to creator Redigit getting a cease and desist from Nintendo, a story which many are pretty sure is fabricated because Redigit [[ArtistDisillusionment "didn't like the community"]].
* ''SystemShock''. Considered one of the very best PC games ever created, regularly topping halls of fame. Had mouselook modded in as a ''fan project'' in 2009. Not on Steam. Not on Good Old Games. Not for sale anywhere save second-hand copies on [=eBay=] if you're rich and lucky. "Portable" abandonware versions drift across the internet; somewhere, a rightsholder is being clueless.
** ''SystemShock2'' was in the same situation until it was finally rereleased on Steam and GOG in 2013. Still no word on the original, though...
* This may have happened to ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 3''. While the first two Tekken games are available as [=PSone=] Classics on the Playstation Store, 3 is noticeably absent. It is very likely that the inclusion of GuestFighter Manga/{{Gon}} is the culprit; Namco has cited licensing issues as an explanation for why he hasn't reappeared in the series, plus producer Katsuhiro Harada mentioned non-technical difficulties as the reason for its absence. The arcade version is playable as a bonus in the PS2 version of ''Tekken 5'', but it lacks the extra features of the Playstation port (including Gon, Dr. Boskonovitch, and the two minigame modes). Thankfully, used copies of both 3 and 5 are plentiful and cheap.
* Don't expect to see any ports of the ''TetrisTheGrandMaster'' series, ever. Games carrying the ''Tetris'' name are required to adhere to the [[http://tetrisconcept.net/wiki/Tetris_Guideline Tetris Guideline]], a series of stringent rules for ''Tetris'' games. The TGM series clearly violates many of these guidelines, so barring emulation and clones, the series is stuck in arcades for as long as the TTC holds the rights to ''Tetris''.[[note]]The first two TGM games get a pass because they were released before any serious efforts to standardize ''Tetris'' games. ''Tetris: The Grand Master 3'' got by despite the Guideline being in place, but when it was released in 2005, the only requirement was that it have the official ''Tetris'' rotation system, which was put alongside the TGM rotation system instead of replacing it, so no big loss there. ''Tetris: The Grand Master ACE'' was released on 360 twisted so much for the sake of complying with the Guideline that [[GaidenGame most players do not consider it a proper TGM game]].[[/note]] The only way to legally play TGM, especially [[NoExportForYou outside of Japan]], is to purchase the actual arcade hardware, which is difficult to find especially if you don't know how to navigate Japanese auction sites, and expensive (see the arcade example near the top of the page). Arika vice president and TGM designer Ichiro Mihara doesn't seem to understand nor care, as he still asserts a "no piracy, no clones" stance over his games, a stance that [[https://twitter.com/miharasan/statuses/460852633209561088 he has stated in English]] [[TakeThatAudience to Westerners]].
* Most of {{Toaplan}}'s games are hard to find nowadays, because what happened to the rights to their back catalog after they went bankrupt is a total mystery. This is why ''VideoGame/ZeroWing'' didn't get a rerelease or sequel after the intro became a famous MemeticMutation.
* ''VideoGame/TheTombOfTheTaskMaker'', a 1998 sequel to the Macintosh RPG ''VideoGame/TaskMaker''. Although it appeared on a ''MacAddict'' disc, the game was rush-released in a somewhat compromised format by a small software company that went under almost immediately afterward. One of the game's authors put a slightly updated version out on his website in July 2008, but the original is still unavailable.
* ''TransportTycoon'' and its [[TransportTycoonDeluxe Deluxe]] version. Designer Chris Sawyer doesn't own the rights. Original publisher Microprose sold the rights to Atari, and they claim not to own the rights and they don't feel like trying to resolve the issue. Chris Sawyer eventually released a spiritual sequel, ''Locomotion'', which didn't do very well. Fortunately, the fan community has rallied around the open-source ''OpenTTD'' - until recently a copy of ''Transport Tycoon Deluxe'' was required to play ''OpenTTD''. As of Version 1.0.0, open-source replacement graphics/sound sets are supported.
* ''VideoGame/WhiteDayALabyrinthNamedSchool'', a Korean horror game from 2001 that has been often compared to games such as ''VideoGame/{{Amnesia|TheDarkDescent}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'', narrowly escaped from fading into complete obscurity thanks to torrent and file-sharing sites. [[NoExportForYou It was never released outside of Korea]], and while an English release was planned by 4AM Entertainment, that never came to pass, so many people never heard of this game up until now. Sonnori, the developers of the game, also went under, with their webpage being completely barren and the status of distribution likely ceased. Nowadays people go seeking the file downloads for the game and Unnamed's FanTranslation to play this game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wolfenstein 2009}}'' (the sequel to ''VideoGame/ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'') was pulled from distribution not long after its release, largely due to underwhelming sales and employees from Raven Studios being laid off. New copies of the game (and Steam gifts) still command inordinately-high prices, and there are few means of getting a copy for less than $50 as of late. Surprisingly, the game is still considered canon, as its events and the reappearance of one of 09's characters ([[spoiler:Caroline]]) factors heavily into ''VideoGame/WolfensteinTheNewOrder''.
* Even after Chu-Teng was rescued from this state, many of the games by Creator/OsamuSato were left in this state. A notorious offender are the Rolypolys games, which are almost unheard of, despite being as lost as Chu-Teng once was. Recently, people are attempting to find the game, if [[http://easternmindtongnou.tumblr.com/post/102374719079 this]] is any evidence to it.
* Any older game (read: any game before ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'', though ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' and ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' have been rescued as ports) in the ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'' translated or not, if you live in North America. Particularly bad in ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfEternia Tales Of Eternia's]]'' case, as the PSP remake was only released in Europe.
* Most Namco-produced RPGs suffer from this. While you can find Xenosaga Episodes 1 and 2 pretty easily, Episode 3 will cost you more. [[note]]Thankfully, an HD port is planned[[/note]]. The Baten Kaitos series still has not had a re-release, with Origins suffering the most as it came out near the end of the Gamecube's life span. And don't get us started on .hack...
[[/folder]]
----