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Examples of rescued Western Animation shows and live-action TV shows are on their own page, as are rescued Star Wars-related works (see here for those).

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The English-language version of The Mysterious Cities of Gold was believed to have been lost after the dubbing studio went bankrupt. However, DVD editions of the entire collection were finally released in 2008, and the whole show is currently streamed on Netflix instant.
  • It was announced that the Revolutionary Girl Utena series will be released by The Right Stuf International - through their Nozomi Entertainment label - across three DVD sets (using the show's remastered Region 2 DVD release as the video base), as well as the movie.
  • In Australia, Madman Entertainment successfully licensed the Digimon Adventure dub and put out a pair of box sets constituting the series' complete run. No word on whether they'll follow up on any of the other Digimon series currently lacking full dub releases, nor on any such thing for the rest of the world.
    • They're YTV's copies, featuring a logo on the openings. 'Sly', an executive at Madman, said this was the best quality one available to them. They don't seem to be missing any scenes, but what happened to the clean originals?
    • In late 2012, a remastered box set of all 54 episodes was released in Region 1 countries. Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers, and Digimon Frontier followed throughout 2013, with Digimon Data Squad coming the following year. Still no word on any of the movies, but we'll see...
    • And to solidify Adventure's rescue, both Adventure and Adventure 02 are on Netflix, in both English and Japanese.
    • As of May 2014, Tamers has been added as well.
  • For the longest time, only half of Samurai Pizza Cats was available on a hard-to-find DVD box set. This box set had a good 26 episodes (most series only run that long), but the second season had some of the funniest episodes of the series. There was also almost no merchandise in the US. Cue frustrated fanbase. Until Discotek announced the license of both the dub and original version in two complete box setsnote . Cue happy fanbase. (Even moreso after since the below Power Rangers announcement came the same day.)
  • The anime version of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo experienced this when it had a one-run on Toonami in 2005, and only two DVD sets were released in the states. The company that was distributing them went under rather quickly and without notice. But in 2012, S'more Entertainment officially released the anime in two box sets (divided into 38 episodes each) in the states. However with a catch,the japanese episodes of the series did not actually come with a subtitled track. Even though the box set says they are included, they most certainly are not. Years later, their license lapsed, and Discotek Media swooped in to rescue it, this time adding subtitles to the Japanese track and giving it the treatment it deserved from the beginning.
  • Danchi Tomoo has only 39 out of 78 episodes available on DVD in Japan, while the special Natsuyasumi no Shukudai wa Owatta no ka yo? Tomoo doesn't have a DVD release at all. However, in 2017 Bandai Channel began streaming the entire series and the special in Japan.
  • The uncut ADV Films releases of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman have become out of print, hard to find, and painfully expensive if you do find them. However, at Anime Boston 2013, Sentai Filmworks (the successor to ADV Films, appropriately) announced that they've acquired Gatchaman among other shows, with plans for a DVD and Blu-Ray release of both the TV show and the OVA. Thank you, Sentai Filmworks.
  • Bandai Entertainment announced on January 3, 2012, that they would be ceasing DVD production. Fortunately, however...
  • New Video Group, the same company who is currently responsible for rescuing and distributing the Digimon series, is now also rereleasing the Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic series on DVD, in both volumes and season sets.
  • Three anime that feature work by Yoshitoshi Abe (Serial Experiments Lain, Haibane Renmei, and Texhnolyze) fell into this trope for U.S. fans after Geneon stopped distributing the titles they'd licensed. All three series have been relicensed by Funimation and are now available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital services.
  • The first three Pokémon movies, all of which were distributed by Warner Bros. in territories outside Japan, have had their DVD and VHS releases long out of print. With the exception of occasional broadcasts on WGN America, Cartoon Network and television stations, as well as a brief triple feature DVD release in 2009, a long-standing legal dispute between Nintendo, Warner Bros., The Pokemon Company and Toho kept any further home media releases off the market. By the time The New '10s came around, the films became increasingly sought after, with the price for the first movie on DVD going as high as $116 on Amazon as of December 30, 2015. Fortunately, the dispute was officially settled in December 2015, and a Triple Feature Steelbook Blu-ray set of the movies was promptly announced by Viz Media and Warner Home Video for release in February 2016, along with DVD reissues. The catch? Only a 2.0 lossy Stereo track of the 4Kids English dub will be available, and the special features from the DVD releases are unlikely to be brought to the new set (which means no Pikachu shorts), but something is just better than nothing in this case. The Johto seasons of the anime, after being subjected to incomplete volume releases that soon went out of print and became incredibly expensive, became easily available again between November 2015 and October 2016.
  • Transformers Armada, the first part of the Unicron Trilogy, aired on Toonami back in the early 2000s and received several DVD releases from Rhino Home Video. Said releases have unfortunately gone out of print, but recently, Amazon has added a pre-order page for a DVD rerelease of the complete series. The distributor, according to a couple articles commenting on the subject, is Gaiams Americas, who provides most of the distribution for Shout! Factory, who currently handle most of the recent Transformers DVD releases. The second installment in the Unicron Trilogy, Transformers Energon is also set for a DVD rerelease from Shout! Factory. Much like its predecessor, it too was given a release by Rhino Home Video, which eventually went out of print. Hopefully, this means that the third and final installment, Transformers Cybertron, will get the rerelease treatment as well.
  • After over 10 years of the first four seasons being out of print and the final season not being licensed at all, Viz Media announced the rescue of the original Sailor Moon anime at Anime Central 2014, with plans for a DVD and Blu-Ray re-release featuring an all-new uncut English dub, and a streaming run on Neon Alley and Hulu. Madman Entertainment has picked up the Australia and New Zealand rights to this dub. The series was not streaming in Canada for over two years after it started streaming in the US, due to Hulu's nonavailability up north, until it finally showed up on Tubi TV in July of 2016, albeit in subtitled form only.
    • The manga also went out-of-print from Tokyopop before Kodansha USA picked up the rights in 2011. This marked the first time the original unedited and un-fliped manga was available in English. Tokyopop's old censored and flipped editions went for high prices for quite a while.
    • Code Name Sailor V was rare and hard to find in America, even online, for years until Kodansha finally picked it up and gave it a mainstream US release.
  • Geneon Entertainment released Sakura Wars: The Movie on DVD in September 2003 for North America. However, with Geneon's shut down in 2007, said release went out of print and was hard to find. Fortunately, Funimation picked up the distribution rights and released it on Blu-ray and DVD in October 2013.
  • The English dub of the Japanese puppet series Star Fleet (or X Bomber as it's known in Japan) for many years was only accessible from fan circulation. The entire Japanese dub had been released to laserdisc in the 90's and DVD in the early 2000's, the English version mostly disappeared after syndication ended in the late 80's/early 90's. The circulation mostly relied on tapes released in the 80's in the UK and US (where the show never even aired). All these tapes were cut up, losing much of its material to be made into hour-long episodes in the US or in the UK's case, the compilation films "The Thalian Space Wars" and "Space Quest for F-01"; which were greatly incoherent, cramming much of the series' story arc into a single hour and a half. The tapes in the US were usually the go to as they suffered less cuts, spanning the entire series, although with the 24 episode combined into 8 compilation tapes. In 2009, Fantastic Films released the first DVD release of the English series with all the episodes intact from their analog broadcast masters.
  • Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie has been released multiple times with different edits for censorship, with the uncut version being released by Manga Entertainment and streamed by Netflix. The DVD by the former has since went out of print, and Netflix no longer streams the movie. Recently, the movie, along with the infamous Street Fighter cartoon, has been licensed by Discotek Media for a rerelease on DVD and Blu-Ray.
  • For sixteen years, the easiest way to watch the first Nintama Rantarou movie was through VHS copies until it was finally released on DVD by Pony Canyon in Japan in November 2012.
  • The Azumanga Daioh anime went into the limbo for a few years after ADV Films went under. Time went on and the old ADV sets started increasing in price. However, Sentai Filmworks eventually got the license and gave it a DVD release in 2016. The manga, which was also under license by ADV, was eventually rescued by Yen Press and given an omnibus release with a new translation.
  • Four Fujiko Fujio anime series, Perman (1967 anime), Kaibutsu-kun (1968 anime), Umeboshi Denka, and Jungle Kurobe, were extremely rare after their initial airing for years due to a lack of reruns and home media releases. However, it wasn't until the 2010s when all four series were released on DVD box sets in Japan, finally making them available again. King Record released Kaibutsu-kun in October 2010 and Perman in November 2014, while Toei Video released Jungle Kurobe in December 2015 and Umeboshi Denka in January 2016. However, it's worth noting that the Perman and Umeboshi Denka DVD box sets aren't exactly complete due to a few episode's video track, audio track, or both elements being missing.
  • For the longest time the only way to watch the 2001 Cyborg 009 series was via bootlegs, torrent and internet uploads and the only complete versions were the original Japanese version, if you wanted to watch the entire series in any of the languages it was dubbed in that weren't Japanese, you were shit out of luck cuz even then they didn't even have all of the episodes, on top of this, only the first eight episodes of the entire 2001 anime were released on DVD in the US (the UK and Australia were a bit more fortunate and got the entire first half) and it was Screwed by the Network in the US, other countries that aired the series were fortunate enough to actually get the entire damn thing. However on 13 August 2017, Discotek Media announced that they've rescue licensed the series and that they'll be releasing all 52 episodes on DVD and SD Blu-ray marking the first time the entire series has ever been legally available in English.
  • Two Shin-Ei Animation series, Dororonpa! and Gatapishi, are available for streaming on Yahoo! GyaO and Amazon Video Japan. However, episodes 113-115 of Dororonpa! aren't available on both streaming services for some reason.
  • The 1987 anime Tales of Little Women was dubbed in 1989 for HBO and gained something of a cult following in the US. It never received a home media release outside of an out of print VHS, but was eventually picked up in reruns for Creator/TBN's "Smile of a Child" channel, until 2015 when it was taken of the air. In 2017, Amazon has since put it up on their streaming service, and episodes have been made available on file-sharing sites as well.
    • The Tom Sawyer anime was dubbed in 1988 for HBO, and was distributed on long-out of print VHS tapes by Celebrity Home Entertainment. In 2017, Amazon has put it up on their streaming service, and it's also streaming on Tubi TV.
  • For years, Mad Bull 34 never saw a DVD release in North America, since Manga Entertainment had lost the rights to it before DVDs came into the picture. Discotek Media now has Mad Bull and released it in 2013 with bilingual audio, even promoting it as "quite possibly the best bad anime ever made."
  • Monster Rancher suffered from this. Season 3 was dubbed but never aired in the US, and for years all we got were VHS releases of Season 1, and one DVD with 8 episodes. Discotek Media later rescued the series and released the entire English-dubbed series in 3 boxsets (including Season 3), and another boxset containing the entire Japanese series with English subtitles.
  • The first five volumes of the Lucky Star anime are pretty easy to find on the cheap, usually no more than 15 USD each. The sixth and final one? Good luck. Thankfully, the entire series was included with Funimation's initial Bandai rescue bundle, and the unreleased OVA was included as well (though sub-only). And the manga was reissued by Viz Media a few years back.
  • Robot Carnival. This old classic that was among the first exposures of anime to the West has only received a Region 2 DVD released a looooooong time ago. It was rights issues, as original US licensee Streamline Pictures went under. Fortunetly, Discotek Media has licensed it and will be released in DVD in Region 1.
  • Ranma ½'s DVD release was slowly going out of print (helps that it was an older DVD series with eight disks a set and initial prices being around $120 each).
    • No longer the case as Viz is re-releasing the series on DVD and Blu-ray.
    • Ditto for the manga, which was only available in old flipped editions for years before Viz finally picked it up again for an omnibus (and un-flipped) re-release.
  • Ringing Bell: A major factor with this movie being very obscure in the West is because the 1983 English Dub was only sold on VHS tapes (back when affording an actual VHS was expensive). The VHS tapes later went out of print making it difficult for Americans to watch the film. Once Discotek Media picked up the movie in 2013, it was able to get re-released on DVD which includes audios tracks for the English and Japanese versions and subtitles for both languages. The movie is also available to watch on Amazon Prime and Pluto TV in America.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei was literally this since its license pickup by Media Blasters in 2010, but dropped it in 2013. Not even releasing a single volume or boxset of it even. Until...Nozomi Entertainment has licensed rescued the series for a 2020 Blu-Ray release stateside.
  • Symphogear only had a release on Funimation's website in 2011, until their rights expired a few years later. In July 2019, Discotek Media announced a DVD and BluRay for the series. It is also currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
  • For almost 20 years, the English Dub for both of Sanrio's feature films adaptations of Osamu Tezuka's Unico series (The Fantastic Adventures of Unico and Unico in the Island of Magic) was only released on VHS which later went out of print in recent years. Once The New '10s rolled around, Discotek Media was able to re-release both Unico movies on DVD in the West (complete with an English and Japanese audio track). As a bonus, both Unico movies gained a special Blu-Ray boxset called "Unico Double Feature" which contains both movies on two separate discs. Fittingly, both movies were re-released the same year as the original manga series gained an official English translation (as a result of a successful kickstarter by a group of Western fans). Both movies are also available to watch on Amazon Prime.
  • After Geneon went defunct in 2007, Satoshi Kon's wildly ambitious and original Paranoia Agent, went out of print for years, with both the DVD box set and the individual volumes becoming very expensive on the second hand market. This was finally rectified in 2020, when FUNimation announced that they had rescued the license and released it on their streaming release, with Toonami also airing reruns of the show for the first time in over a decade.
  • In 2020, Discotek announced that they rescued Kodocha after being out of print for a decade note  and to further sweeten the deal, this time, we're getting all 102 episodes of the anime and all the music rights have been cleared note , thus finally freeing this show from the rights issues that plagued Funimation's release back in the mid-2000's. note 
  • The Medabots anime has had a spotty history. Back during its initial run, ADV Films did release the first two seasons in several volumes, which are now hard to find. Shout! Factory re-licensed the series years later and put out the first 26 episodes, but sales were so bad any further plans were canceled. However, Discotek Media aquired the license and put out the first two seasons on Blu-Ray. However, season three looked to be off the table because the dubbed masters had been lost... so they asked the fans for help. In December 2020, they announced masters had been found, and promised a release date in 2021.
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics only had a few long-out of print VHS releases during its Nick Jr. run in North America and a few DV Ds from Fox Kids Europe in the early to mid 2000s. The English and Japanese dubs were unavailable for years after Disney's rights lapsed, until Discotek Media announced a bilingual release in 2021.

    Asian Animation 
  • Akis is the first Nickelodeon cartoon to be produced in an Asian country (specifically Malaysia). After the show originally in 2012, the episodes became extremely hard if not impossible to find online until Nickelodeon Asia's official Facebook page uploaded all 12 episodes. Only the English dub was rescued this way, however, with the Malay dub not receiving the same treatment.
  • Hum Chik Bum, a Disney Channel India original series, at one point stopped rerunning and became hard to find after it ran its course. Come 2020, Disney+ Hotstar now has the series.
  • Disney Channel licensed an English dub of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, specifically the season Joys of Seasons, to air in certain parts of Asia. Once the dub stopped airing, it became extremely hard to find until iflix picked up the dub for streaming on their service... and even then, they're region-blocked outside of certain Asian countries and they only have 50 of the season's 100 episodes. In 2020, the official English YouTube channel for Pleasant Goat uploaded all 100 dubbed Joys of Seasons episodes.

    Comic Books 
  • The Marvel/Miracleman comic was long considered to be inextricably Screwed by the Lawyers, due to notoriously complex legal wrangling between multiple camps over the rights to the characters and stories. The rights were acquired by Marvel in 2009, but only for the original 1950s/1960s Marvelman stories, the scripts from the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman stories, and the rights to use the characters in new stories. While this meant that the Gaiman stories could be reprinted, Neil's run completed, and new Marvelman stories published, the Moore stories were still off-limits due to Marvel having to renegotiate with the artists, and a reprint without the Moore stories was considered infeasible since they were the ones that most people wanted to see. Marvel finally managed to come to an agreement with the artists and start releasing the Moore run, initially in serial comics form, in 2014. However, Moore refused to allow his name to be used on the comics, causing him to be credited only as 'The Original Writer'. According to Moore, this was because he had come to believe that the original Marvelman creator Mick Anglo had been cheated out of his rights, and that it had been wrong for Moore to write about the character.
  • Flex Mentallo was originally introduced in an issue of Doom Patrol as a parody of the well-known "Insult That Made a Man out of Mac" comic-strip bodybuilding ads by Charles Atlas. Later on, in 1996, he got a mini-series of his own, written by his creator Grant Morrison and drawn by Frank Quitely. Some time after the mini-series came out someone (reportedly a fan who thought they'd be flattered) informed the Charles Atlas company about Flex, and they promptly sued DC (the publisher of Doom Patrol and Flex Mentallo) for trademark infringement. Since Flex, as an obvious parody, was legally considered to be a case of Fair Use, the lawsuit was settled in favour of DC. However, even though the creative team of Morrison and Quitely later released some critically praised and popular series (All-Star Superman being the best known of them), DC took many years to collect the Flex Mentallo mini. The origin story of Flex (where the Charles Atlas connection is much more obvious than in the mini-series) was actually collected in a 2006 Doom Patrol trade paperback, so clearly there was no remaining legal obstacle, but it took until April 2012 for the mini-series to be collected.. Only 16 years after it originally came out. The legal problems over Flex are probably why it took until the mid-2000s for the Morrison Doom Patrol run itself to get a proper trade paperback series, despite its high reputation.
  • IDW has scored the reprint rights to the original Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and has begun putting out definitive collections: five-six hardcovers that collect the core "canon" of the series (the issues that Laird and Eastman did together) and a softcover line for the filler stories done by other creators in TMNT #15-18, 22-44).
  • In 2000, Marvel Comics finally released a volume of Essential Conan the Barbarian... which was never followed up, as Dark Horse Comics acquired the license soon after. Seven years later, Dark Horse started reprinting not only the original Conan ongoing, but also Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian, King Conan, and all the other Comic-Book Adaptation(s) of Robert E. Howard's works.
  • The 1980s Suicide Squad, a popular series which had super-villains being sent on black-ops missions in exchange for a full pardon for their crimes, remains uncollected, and plans for a black-and-white Showcase Presents reprint were scuttled by issues involving royalty rates for DC Comics published from 1976-96. These royalty rates also have screwed other Showcase titles such as Jonah Hex (Volume 2 can't be released because the issues that would be collected would contain issues published in this timeframe) and scuttled plans for Showcase volumes collecting "Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew" and "Who's Who in the DC Universe".
    • More specifically, DC royalty rates from this time period were for a fixed amount rather than a percentage of the cover price. Showcase Presents reprints a lot of issues at a low cover price, and the fixed amounts would make it unprofitable, so DC has to renegotiate everything.
    • While a color TPB ultimately did come out for the first nine issues, the second volume (effectively collecting everything in the aborted Showcase Presents volume) was cancelled a week before it was to come out and DC basically once again shelved the series.
    • The series has finally been completely re-released digitally. It's not a printed edition, but it's at last available.
    • And as of 2015, DC have been releasing print TPBs of the series.
  • An infamous case is Hellblazer, which had huge chunks of the series uncollected. Although original series writer Jamie Delano's work is finally in the process of being reissued in trade paperback (as of 2010 everything from Issue #1 through "The Family Man" is available), not one issue of Paul Jenkins' forty-issue run on the title has been collected, despite this including some of the series' pivotal events such as Constantine's encounter with God, rescue of Astra from Hell, and creation of his own demon-self. This was finally corrected in 2016, with the reissue of Jenkins' complete run.
  • When Fleetway went bankrupt, Rebellion snapped up the rights to 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Megazine, and Egmont took the rest, including Buster, Cor!!, Oink, Whizzer and Chips, Battle, Action, Lion, Valiant, New Eagle, Misty, Tammy, Jinty, and others. Egmont proceeded to sit on the rights for nearly 20 years until Rebellion bought out the rest of the archive in 2016 and established the Treasury of British Comics imprint to keep the classics in print.
  • Issues 13 to 36 of the Marvel Classics Comics series (comic re-imaginings of classic literature) were collected in an omnibus and released on September 2020. Issues 1 to 12 aren't included in the set because they are reprints of Pendulum Press Now Age Classics line, which aren't owned by Marvel.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Several studios, such as MGM, Universal and Warner Bros., have established "Archive Series" or "Vault Series" to release burn-on-demand DVD-Rs of older movies and television shows that aren't cost-effective to put out as regular releases but for which there is demand among old-film aficionados and fans of various actors, actresses and directors involved with said shows. Two examples: the 1979 Peter Sellers version of The Prisoner of Zenda and the 1977 Marty Feldman/Ann-Margret spoof The Last Remake of Beau Geste are available through Universal's "Vault Series". (These releases most often are on DVD-Rs which some drives may have problems with, but nowadays unless you have a cheaper brand dvd player you shouldn't have a problem.)
  • The delay of the DVD release of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is one of the strangest stories in the industry. Producer David Begelman made a shady career for himself as an executive at several major Hollywood studios, including Columbia Pictures and MGM. During this period, he was the target of multiple lawsuits and criminal prosecutions for embezzlement and fraud (including a notorious check-forging scandal that exploded after actor Cliff Robertson discovered that fake checks had been made out in his name, which eventually led to Begelman's being fired from Columbia), and successfully blackmailed Judy Garland with illicitly obtained medical photos. After being fired from those studios, he ran an independent company, Sherwood Productions, where he backed Buckaroo Banzai. Due to some legal chicanery, he ended up the sole owner of the rights to the film, and because of a falling-out with the writer and director over financial issues, refused to allow any further use of the property. This included blocking a planned television series, a sequel film, and the later DVD release. During this time, Laserdisc copies of the film were selling for well over $100. It took Begelman's bankruptcy and subsequent suicide for the rights to devolve to his largest creditor, Crédit Lyonnais bank, and then to Polygram Entertainment where executive Steve Gelber (a Banzai fan) pushed for a DVD release; it was finally released in 2002 under MGM's distribution. Begelman's obfuscatory and legally questionable bookkeeping practices continue to prevent any further development of the Banzai property — such as the long-awaited sequel, or a soundtrack album — as no one is really sure who owns the various rights involved.
  • TRON lapsed into this after its 20th anniversary DVD release went out of print around 2008. In 2010, when the sequel TRON: Legacy hit theaters, the film was reaching prices of up to $215 on Amazon, and even Netflix was having availability problems (the lack of re-release at such a propicious time was questioned, raised theories, and boosted piracy). But at least it got a re-release, on both DVD and Blu-Ray, when Legacy hit shelves in 2011.
  • Due to rights problems (including song copyrights), Hellzapoppin has never been released on VHS or DVD in America. It did get a UK DVD release in 2007, though.
  • For nearly 20 years, a copy of Johnny Got His Gun was fairly difficult to acquire. Why? Well, Metallica wanted to use footage from the movie for their video of "One" back in 1988, and found it simpler to just purchase the rights to the movie...and then do nothing with it. Only in 2009 did Shout! Factory snatch the rights for a DVD release.
  • The Frank Sinatra film Meet Danny Wilson has yet to be released on DVD in the United States, presumably for music rights issues. However, the movie was released on VHS in the mid-90's and isn't too difficult to find. It was given a DVD release, but only in the UK.
  • Nosferatu was like this for a long time due to claims from the Stoker Estate. Both are now in the public domain, ending the dispute. It's worth noting that because of the dispute, all copies of the film were ordered to be destroyed; were it not for those dedicated bootleggers, the film would not have survived at all. To those collectors and reprinters, wherever you may be — the fans and historians of the world salute you.
  • Moonwalker didn't get a Region 1 re-release for a long time, for obvious reasons. It was finally released internationally on Blu-Ray in 2010, albeit with some of the violence in the "Smooth Criminal" segment trimmed.
  • The underrated 1981 made-for-TV thriller Dark Night of the Scarecrow, having only been released on VHS in the mid-1980s, was finally released on DVD in September of 2010.
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein:
    • The movie versions of The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, Carousel, State Fair, South Pacific and The King and I debuted on DVD in 1999 and 2000, but Flower Drum Song did not receive a DVD release at this time. It ultimately did so in 2006, partly to celebrate the movie's 45th anniversary, and partly because Universal wanted to cash in on 20th Century Fox releasing remastered DVDs of seven R&H movies.
    • The widely panned 1962 remake of State Fair just barely beat Flower Drum Song to DVD. It did not receive a release until 2005, when its predecessor turned 60. Unfortunately, this went out of print some years later.
    • The Sound of Music went out of print in 2014, possibly even earlier than that. Past releases garnered rather hefty prices in the Amazon Marketplace. Fox put the movie back in print in 2015, in honor of its 50th anniversary.
  • The 1995 teen comedy Angus was a title demanded by fans to be released on DVD since the format's inception. It was finally released as a launch title for the Warner Archive in 2009.
  • The 1980 PBS made-for-TV adaption of The Lathe of Heaven was unavailable after the rights expired in 1988. A DVD was finally released in 2000, albeit with a cover version of The Beatles song used in the original.
  • The Legend of Billie Jean spent years in release limbo with no shot of ever getting a DVD release, despite massive fan demand. It was finally released in November 2011 through Sony Classics On Demand with an audio commentary.
  • Static, the first feature-length film by One Hour Photo writer/director Mark Romanek, saw its theatrical debut in 1985. Was not made available on DVD despite a fairly strong cult following; and the existence of VHS and Laserdisc versions; both becoming increasingly difficult to find in good condition. Word of God was that, while Romanek didn't view it as an Old Shame, he considered it an inferior sophomore effort (if he acknowledged it at all), and therefore not worth re-releasing. Romanek eventually relented, and it was officially released on DVD by Telavista in 2007.
  • The 1927 classic Wings, the first film to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture, was announced for release in 2011 on DVD and Blu-Ray by Paramount. Before this announcement, it had been the only film that has won Best Picture at the Oscars that hadn't been released on DVD. It doesn't help that the movie is one of the very few silent movies still under copyright, which made public domain releases impossible.
  • The original widescreen version of West Side Story inexplicably disappeared from DVD shelves in the mid-2000s. All the DVDs produced during the remainder of the decade presented the movie in Pan and Scan, although movie boxsets contained the uncropped version. Widescreen DVDs finally became available again in 2011, in honor of the movie's 50th anniversary.
  • The African Queen only got a DVD release in 2010, as both the rights to the film jumped from hand to hand and the original negatives for restoration were hard to find.
  • ET The Extraterrestrial came to DVD in 2002 with the 20th Anniversary Edition included on Disc One, and the original version included on Disc Two. A while later, Universal stopped selling this DVD with the second disc, making the original ET a rarity. In 2012, Universal started selling the original ET again, on Blu-Ray and DVD. Interestingly, this release does not include the 20th Anniversary Edition (the two scenes added to the 20th Anniversary Edition are included as bonus features, though the alternate gun/walkie-talkie shots are not), turning it into a rarity. (Although no one seems to mind as much.)
  • F.W. Murnau's silent arthouse classic Sunrise (which won Best Picture, back when there were two Best Picture categories) was only available on DVD through mail-order in the United States for many years. On top of that, it was only available if you collected other titles in a set of classic 20th Century Fox films and mailed proof of purchases to the company. That release eventually went out of print and it commanded a pretty penny on eBay and Amazon, both for the solid restoration of the film and the DVD's impressive extras. After that, the only places that it was in print were in two box sets (one is a box set of early Oscar winners from Fox Studios which despite costing under $30 is still pretty hard to come by. The second is a handsome set of films by Murnau and Frank Borzage...which commands a price of over $200), or by importing a 2009 British, region-free Blu-Ray from Eureka Entertainment (part of their 'Masters Of Cinema' line). Fans had to wait until 2014 for the first wide-release home video version of Sunrise in the United States, and it was well worth it: The film got an acclaimed Blu-Ray/DVD combo set that made Sunrise one of the first silent films to ever be released in a high definition restoration.
  • The 1984 cult classic Electric Dreams, starring Lenny Von Dolen, Virginia Madsen, and Bud Cort. It's a love triangle between a man, a woman, and a computer. Sadly, VHS copies of this film run for pretty much the same price as the computer featured in the movie. There's only one discernable reason given why this movie remained out of print until 2009 (but even then only released in Region 2): they thought nobody would buy it. (Well, we didn't say it was a bad reason.)
  • For 28 years, the only way that you could see Samuel Fuller's White Dog was through the occasional repertory screening or a bootleg copy taken from the few television airings of the film. In 2010 The Criterion Collection came to the rescue and released a DVD.
  • The 1977 nuclear-war thriller Twilight's Last Gleaming was in DVD release limbo for years after numerous announcements followed by cancellations from former rights holder Warner Bros. In 2012, Olive Films released it on DVD and Blu-ray, making a legal DVD copy now possible.
  • Alfred Hitchcock pulled Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much (the remake), The Trouble with Harry, Rear Window, and Rope (the five films he completely controlled the rights to) from legal circulation in the 1970s for reasons that were never made clearnote . Fans turned to the black market to watch them — unless Hitchcock's estate managed to destroy the distributor's print. Rear Window and Vertigo became especially valuable. After Hitchcock died, Universal bought distribution rights to these movies, and then gave each a long-awaited theatrical re-release in the early 1980s. They've since received official home video releases on several formats, and Vertigo in particular saw its reputation go way up once people were able to see it again.
  • The Vanilla Ice starring camp classic Cool as Ice was given a DVD release in 2011 after much fan demand, along with people wanting to see if it was that bad.
  • The Poughkeepsie Tapes, for the longest time, could only be seen as a bootleg due to MGM shelving the film a month before it was set to open (due to their financial issues). As a result, trailers and posters were all over theatres in 2008 for a film that was never released. However, strong reactions from the bootleg (taken from a festival version of the film) got the directors two studio films since the film was shelved (Quarantine and Devil). It was first made available legally...through Blockbuster Online. It was then finally released on Blu-ray and DVD through Scream Factory on October 10, 2017.
  • The Iron Petticoat, a 1950s film featuring the only on-screen performance of Bob Hope with Katharine Hepburn, was suppressed by Hope shortly after its original theatrical release, as he had bad memories of the making of the film, including fights between him and writer Ben Hecht (Hope insisted on having him and his gag writers write schtick for the movie, and Hecht resisted.) Hope had ended up with all rights to the movie, and sat on it for the rest of his life. It was only in 2012 that his estate relented and allowed the film to be released on Blu-Ray and for TV broadcast.
  • At Long Last Love is a legendarily awful 1975 musical starring Burt Reynolds and Cybill Shepherd. The movie was so hated that director Peter Bogdanovich took out ads in several newspapers throughout the country, apologizing for the film and saw to it that the movie was never released on video in any format. Bootlegs were hard to find but did exist, and those who saw them couldn't seem to agree if the flick was So Bad, It's Good or just unwatchably awful. (There was no lip-synching — the actors had to sing while filming. And these actors weren't known for their singing.) This film is of historical interest regardless; aside from the star power, Bogdanovich was one of the great auteur directors (he did The Last Picture Show). Eventually it surfaced legally on Fox Movie Channel from time to time, then appeared on Netflix Instant for a while, and finally got a Blu-Ray release in 2013 — along with some positive critical reevaluation.
  • After its original theatrical release, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World had its Intermission (which had its own soundtrack of police radio coverage of the various parties' progress!) dropped and was cut to 159 minutes for worldwide distribution, with the edited footage discarded. Some of the discarded film was eventually found in an abandoned warehouse, and roughly 20 minutes of footage were re-edited back into place for the VHS release. The movie couldn't be digitally converted with the extra footage — which was still in 70mm format — so DVD releases used only the general release 159-minute cut, at most using some of the cut scenes as bonus features. But in 2014, The Criterion Collection brought out a set with both the general release version and a 197-minute version that incorporates the surviving cut material.
  • Every Godzilla film from the Showa era has received a DVD release or two. Some of the movies, such as those released by Classic Media, are still available and easy to acquire, but several have fallen out of print. Fortunately, to coincide with the 2014 remake of the original Gojira, a company called Kraken Releasing has acquired the rights from Toho to rerelease Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, and Godzilla vs. Gigan on Blu-Ray.
    • When the original Classic Media DVD copies of the Showa era movies eventually went out of print, The Criterion Collection came to the rescue in 2019 with a commemorative box set that had all 15 films bundled together for the first time. The downside though is that, aside from Godzilla (1954) and King Kong vs. Godzilla, none of the American cuts were included in the set, still making them valuable. On a positive note, the Japanese cut of King Kong vs. Godzilla was finally made available to American viewers after so many years.
    • The Return of Godzilla was, for the longest time, the only Godzilla film not available on DVD or Blu-ray in the states due to rights issues concerning its initial U.S. distributor, New World Pictures, who reedited the film a la the original Godzilla: King of the Monsters! and released it theatrically as Godzilla 1985. When New World Pictures folded in the late 90's, the only way to obtain the film in any form on home media would be a VHS copy containing the Godzilla 1985 cut, and even that eventually went out of print. Fast forward to May of 2016, when Kraken Releasing announced that they had managed to acquire the rights to The Return of Godzilla and would finally be releasing the original japanese cut on DVD and Blu-ray (the release also includes an international English dub that is standard for Godzilla movies, though the Godzilla 1985 cut won't be included due to the aforementioned rights issues).
  • The films of Alejandro Jodorowsky were unavailable for many years due to a bad partnership Jodorowsky had with manager and producer Allen Klein. For years fans had to circulate bootlegs. This changed in 2007, when El Topo and The Holy Mountain became widely available for the first time on DVD.
  • Considered to be a forefront for the Disaster Movie genre, The High and the Mighty, starring John Wayne, was in this trope for a couple of decades. After a decade-long string of television repeats, it was stricken off the airwaves in 1985 due to multiple royalty issues and a constantly delayed restoration due to years sitting in the vault surviving water damage and having one copy of the movie lost, making a near pristine restoration of the film nearly impossible. After a year of remastering and an extra three months to correct audio issues, the fully restored and remastered film finally made a rebroadcast on AMC on July 2005, 20 years since its most recent showing on television, and a DVD release followed just a month later.
  • The infamous North was withheld from a DVD release for almost two decades because of how notoriously awful it was, especially to nearly everyone who worked on it, with the notable exception of director Rob Reiner. Columbia Pictures finally released the film on DVD-R as part of the burn-on-demand Sony Pictures Choice Collection in 2012. Before that, all you had to rely on were the VHS release and television broadcasts.
  • Howard Hughes tried everything to ensure The Conqueror would never, ever, ever be seen again. He went as far as buying every print to the movie from RKO to keep it out of circulation. It remained off television for decades, and it's rumored that he had watched the film constantly to remind himself of his Old Shame toward the movie in the final years of his lifenote . It took several years after his death for Universal to purchase the rights to the movie and return the film to circulation, getting VHS and DVD releases in decades that followed. The film became sort of a Cult Classic because of how awful the film really was.
  • Parodied with Dude Bro Party Massacre 3, which claims that after its first airing at midnight in the late 80s, DBPM3 was banned by executive order of President Ronald Reagan, with this copy only existing because a teenager stayed up to record the broadcast on his VCR.
  • Orson Welles's classic Shakespeare film Chimes at Midnight finally received a proper DVD release via the Criterion Collection in The New '10s.
  • While The Children's Hour has been readily available on DVD, the earlier These Three was unavailable on video from 1997 onwards until a 2016 DVD-R from the Warner Archives was released.
  • 1492: Conquest of Paradise: Despite being helmed by Ridley Scott, scored by Vangelis and starring a very well-rounded cast (including Gérard Depardieu, Sigourney Weaver and Frank Langella), it's still unclear why this 1992 film was out-of-print in the U.S. for years, while official DVD versions were readily available in France (along with scores of unofficial bootlegs that come from Asia). Rumors suggest that there was a planned "Special Edition" release back in 2004, but those plans were apparently scuttled at the last minute. There have been several reasons bandied about for the delay: that the film is Old Shame for Scott, the film's failure at the U.S. box office, claims of misrepresentation about Columbus' chronicled actions when he landed at the New World and the claim that a special 3-hour director's cut is being worked on. Things finally changed in August 2016 when it was announced that the film would make its long-awaited DVD and Blu-ray debut from Kino Lorber, which it eventually did in June 2017.
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol is widely available, its most recent release being a Blu-Ray in 2012. But most home video releases don't include the deleted "When Love Is Gone" song. It was removed from the theatrical cut to director Brian Henson's strong objections, but restored for the 1993 VHS and laserdisc. The DVDs from 2002, 2005, and 2012 include the full-length cut, but it was not in widescreen — only the theatrical cut was. The aforementioned Blu-Ray, and the Digital HD version, don't have the song at all. Thankfully, the "When Love Is Gone" sequence would eventually make its HD debut as an extra on the movie's iTunes and Disney+ releases.
    • And then Henson announced in 2020 that a pristine version of "When Love Is Gone" had been discovered and would be reinstated in a forthcoming 4K re-release.
  • Richard Linklater's SubUrbia was unavailable on any digital physical format until a DVD-R from Warner Archive was released in 2018. Up until that point, you could only find a digital copy on Amazon Instant.
  • Sorcerer was unavailable on VHS and Laserdisc until 1990, the first DVD issue in 1998 (transferred from the Laserdisc) was a very rare item, and rights issues kept even repertoire theaters from screening it. Once director William Friedkin took matters at his own hands, suing studios Paramount (who financed production) and Universal (who was a co-distributor) for the rights, he manage to settle things, and Friedkin supervised a restoration financed by Warner Bros. (who would then hold the home media and streaming distribution, with Paramount for theatrical and Universal on TV), used as the basis for the first Sorcerer Blu-Ray on 2014.
  • When Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson wrote a book on the best So Bad, It's Good films, one of them was the infamous 1973 musical adaptation of Lost Horizon, which he noted had never been released on home video in the US and was only available "trying to find it on eBay, or watching it on some all-night/all-movie cable channel with very low standards". Wilson was kind of wrong in that the film did receive a laserdisc release in the early-90s, but in scarce quantities. Eventually it got a DVD and Blu-Ray on 2011, even restoring a "fertility dance" sequence that hadn't been seen since the original theatrical release.
  • Speaking of the Razzies, two of their Worst Pictures that had only been available on VHS got Blu-Ray releases in 2017, The Lonely Lady and Ghosts Can't Do It (the latter, a double feature with fellow Bo Derek "winner" Bolero, which did get a DVD back in the day).
  • The 1952 Red Scare film My Son John starring Robert Walker, who tragically died while making this film, as the title character, was very hard to find and only managed to get a home video release in 2010. This is in large part due to the embarrassment on the part of Paramount for making this film, which is infamous not just for Walker's death but for its very, very questionable messages, one of which is that open-mindedness is the gateway to Communism. (!)
  • Where the Buffalo Roam a film starring Bill Murray as writer Hunter S. Thompson (made many years before Johnny Depp would take the role) was always available on DVD. But if you wanted to hear the original Neil Young soundtrack, you had to track down an old VHS copy. Anchor Bay replaced the music with generic 80's synth on the DVD due to music licensing issues. Fortunately, Shout Factory later re-released the film on Blu-Ray with all of the original music in tact.
  • That Night, a little-seen but acclaimed 1993 comedy with Juliette Lewis, C. Thomas Howell and a young Eliza Dushku (in her film debut) about a girl's romance told from the point of view of her neighbor, a 10 year-old wanting to know what love is. The film was released on VHS but is out-of-print. Warner Bros. never released it on DVD; whether this might change now that said studio's rights to the film has expired is anyone's guess. 20th Century Fox has released it digitally via Movies Anywhere. As of January 2019, the film is also available on the American Netflix.
  • The Big Fix was only available as an edited VHS cassette for many years, until Twilight Time released it on Blu-ray in 2019. Even the VHS release didn't happen until January 1986 due to the same music issues that would result in the aforementioned gap between releases.
  • Titicut Follies, a 1967 documentary about the mistreatment of patients at Bridgewater State Hospital, was infamously banned by the state of Massachussets for supposedly infringing on the privacy of the patients. Following an appeal by director-producer Frederick Wiseman, the film was allowed to be shown to doctors, lawyers, judges, heath care professionnals, social workers and students in those and related fields in 1969, but could still not be distributed to the general public. The ban was lifted in 1991, but outside of one broadcast on PBS in 1992, the film remained out of circulation until 2007 when it was released on DVD.
  • Boom! — a poorly-received big-screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and directed by Joseph Losey — was "buried" in a VHS release by Universal just as DVD was becoming the dominant home-video format. Shout Select (Shout Factory's upscale imprint) finally released a Blu-Ray in May 2019, featuring an audio commentary by fan John Waters among other things.
  • Mosquito from 1995 was out of print for a long time. Copies went for $200+ on Amazon. Luckily, with the 20th Anniversary re-release, this movie is now easy to get. Now we can watch Leatherface cut up some big-ass mosquitoes with his chainsaw.
  • The Oscar, a campy melodrama from 1966 co-written by Harlan Ellison and featuring the only acting performance of Tony Bennett, had a VHS release in the mid-1980s...and that was it for three decades. TCM plays the film occasionally, but is forced to use an older pan-and-scan master (unusual for the network). This is very telling of the film's current demand, because for a time, it was included in many "Worst Films of All Time" lists as well as the Medved brothers' Golden Turkey Awards, but appears to have been overshadowed by more recent films that are a lot worse and more infamous. Ultimately, Kino Lorber released the film on Blu-Ray in February 2020, with a new 4K remaster, and two audio commentaries, with one of them featuring (of all people) Patton Oswalt as a participant.
  • RAD was one of the only films from Talia Shire's production company Taliafilm not to receive a digital media release for many years, even though it did pretty well on VHS and has a passionate fan base. Despite a petition to get a DVD release it wasn't until 2020 that its day came: It was restored in 4K from the original camera negatives, coming to home video courtesy of cult film label Vinegar Syndrome, who partnered with Utopia Distribution (a film label owned by Shire’s son - and Jason’s brother - Robert Schwartzman) for a strictly limited 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray release. Utopia was originally going to premiere the restoration at South By Southwest, but the COVID outbreak led to that festival’s cancellation. Happily, the Blu-Ray release still went forward that May, and the A.V. Club even did a feature on it, explaining why it took so long.
    • Taliafilm also produced the drama Lionheart (not the Van Damme one), which was buried in a limited theatrical release in 1987, and was released on VHS in 1990. For many years the film was unavailable aside from the occasional cable airing until 2009 when it became one of the first DVD releases from the Warner Archive Collection.
  • David Cronenberg's feature film debut, Shivers (aka They Came From Within) saw only scant and OOP video release over the years despite Cronenberg's godlike status among horror fans and the general good success of his films (like The Fly (1986), Scanners, and A History of Violence). It's odd that Anchor Bay released a special edition VHS, but didn't re-release it on DVD. Strange and infuriating. But British cult film label Arrow Films released a new Blu-Ray of the film in the fall of 2014, and Lionsgate has announced a Region 1 Blu-Ray for the back half of 2020 (for those who can't wait, it's also available on the free-with-ads streaming service Tubi).
  • Despite having critical acclaim, an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in Richard Farnsworth and directed by David Lynch, The Straight Story has been not seen a Blu-Ray release in the U.S. and Europe, though Japan got a Blu-Ray release by Paramount and Comstock and later a German bluray in 2019, as the U.S. DVD is out-of-print (though since the film was so little seen, it was still easy to find copies for cheap). However, it is available on Vudu, Amazon Prime, Google Play, and the iTunes Store in the U.S., though the latter service offers it only for rental; and was later rebroadcast on Showtime in 2017 in preparation for Twin Peaks third season. It is also on Disney+ in the U.S. as of May 2020.
  • For the longest time, you could only find Little Darlings on VHS, as music licensing issues prevented the film from being released on DVD or Blu-Ray. Paramount eventually ironed those rights out, and by 2019, the film was made available for digital download.
  • The 1982 horror/slasher spoof Pandemonium, despite its cult status, was stuck on VHS until 2020, when Vinegar Syndrome brought out a 2K restoration on Blu-Ray.
  • The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, a George Pal superproduction that was one of only two non-documentary films shot in the specialty Cinerama formatnote , has never had a DVD release; Turner Classic Movies occasionally airs it but only in a letterbox format which distorts the wraparound imagery. While it was believed the original negative was too water-damaged to restore without prohibitive expense for a niche title, this proved not to be the case. A Warner Archive release of a 4K restoration is tentatively slated for 2021.
  • Dennis Hopper's The Last Movie became such an infamous Follow-Up Failure that after a VHS release it remained hard to find for decades, even as it got some critical reappraisal. While it got a DVD release in Europe, the one that Hopper planned once he got the rights back in 2006 did not happen by the time he died four years later. Eventually Arbelos Films picked up the project, and did a 4K restoration of The Last Movie that in 2018 got released on Blu-ray, preceded by a special screening in Hollywood.
  • David Bowie's second leading man effort, and subsequent Old Shame, Just a Gigolo (1978) only had a Region 2 DVD release in Germany until June 2021, when Shout! Factory dug it up for Region 1. For bonus points, unlike the late 1980s VHS release of the 98-minute American cut from 1981, this is the 105-minute U.K. version.
  • Warner Bros. never wanted to issue The Devils, a very blasphemous piece of controversy, on DVD - across the Pond, the British Film Institute released a 2-disc DVD that managed to get the uncut 111 minute theatrical version (all the VHS versions cut up to 7 minutes) - and even on digital distribution it's been a hard path: the movie was available for only 3 days on the iTunes store, and both FilmStruck and its successor The Criterion Channel had it included and then removed. Still, The Devils entered the AMC streaming service Shudder in 2017 and is still in its catalogue.

  • For a long time Sir Terry Pratchett's first novel, The Carpet People, was out of print and almost impossible to find second hand due to a tiny original print run. However, eventually his publishers got so fed up of having to tell people there was no demand for it that it was reissued. Technically, it was reissued as a new Author's Cut, since Pratchett wanted to fix a lot about the novel. So you can read the special edition, but good luck finding the original.
  • Probably one of the oldest and most obscure examples is the story of Michael Servetus's heretical text Christianismi Restitutio (Latin for "The Restoration of Christianity"). Since Servetus was more radical than even most Protestants of the time (for example, he rejected both the Trinity and infant baptism), Catholics and Protestants alike denounced and suppressed him and his works. John Calvin led a huge effort to destroy all copies of Servetus's books and eventually had Servetus burned at the stake on a pile of copies of ''Christianismi Restitutio'', with the last known copy of the book bound to his leg. Only three first-edition copies still exist; for nearly half a millennium, these copies have passed from person to person through Europe. But there are many later copies, and the book is still in print (you can find it on
  • Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute has previously not been released in the States because of issues with the publishers. But as of 2012 it is scheduled to be released sometime in 2013.
  • The Myth-O-Mania books went out of print in the mid-2000s, but re-appeared in 2011 with a different publisher, updated covers, and even some new stories.
  • While many English versions of Jules Verne's more obscure books are only available in their original century-old prints, one such book, Sans dessus dessous (literally "Topsy-Turvy") was retranslated and republished in 2012 as The Earth Turned Upside Down. As an added bonus, the new translation is much better than the original English one, which, as with other English versions of Verne's books from the time, was reviled by scholars and the knowledgable public for its low quality.
  • After several small scale releases that did nothing to alleviate the books incredible rarity, in 2015, there was finally a proper public paperback release of Thomas Ligotti's "Songs of a Dead Dreamer".
  • For over a century, James Scarth Gale's account as a missionary in early 20th century Korea, The Vanguard: A Tale of Korea, was only available in its original 1900s printing. But in 2013, a Korean publisher created a modernized and bilingual (Korean and English) edition for sale in Christian bookstores, making this almost forgotten and historically important work available for purchase again.
  • Villains by Necessity a 1995 fantasy book by Eve Forward, where a group of left-over villains have to save the world from the forces of Good, was out of print for some time, and still is in hardcover and softcover forms, but it has been released on Kindle and Audible formats. That being said, there is a work with the same name by Sara Woods, which is more of a crime story - make sure to get the right one when ordering.
  • Westwind, an early techno thriller by Rebus author Ian Rankin, slipped out more-or-less unnoticed in 1991 and was soon out of print — and due to its combination of Early Installment Weirdness (Rankin hadn't quite found his style at the time), Genre Adultery and Executive Meddling (it noticeably lacks Rankin's usual dark humour because his editors insisted on him taking all the jokes out), it became something of an Old Shame for the author. Eventually he dropped it from his official bibliography altogether. He finally came round to it after a fan enthused about it on Twitter, and it was reissued with minor revisions in 2019.
  • Michael Rosen owes his status as a YouTube Poop star due to averting this trope. His book The Hypnotiser contains some of his best-known and well-loved stories, but it went out of print, and copies became extremely difficult to kind secondhand. Unable to get it reprinted, Michael decided to film himself reading its stories to better preserve them, and the rest is history.

  • Fans of hardcore act All Else Failed might be surprised to know that they had an animated music video for their song "In Time" from their 2001 album "Archetype." It aired four times on MTV's 120 Minutes and was seemingly forgot to time. Music archivist hate5six caught wind the existence of a music video and took to social media to see if he could get any leads on the video, and sure enough the mother of Steve from All Else Failed had a VHS recording and sent it to hate5six. It can be viewed here, along with some words from Pat Shannon from All Else Failed about how the music video came to be.
  • Bob Dylan once performed a rather...famous concert at the Royal Albert Hall in the UK. For many years, a near-perfect recording of that concert circulated in one form or another, until it was officially released as part of the "bootleg" series of CDs.
  • Cult band The Enid's first two albums In the Region of the Summer Stars and Aerie Faerie Nonsense (1976-7) had to be be remixed and partly re-recorded in 1984 when the original record company wouldn't return the 2-track masters to the band. Because of this the original mixes were only available on vinyl until 2010 (and only given an official release because somebody had bootlegged the vinyl versions).
  • For years, Garth Brooks' TV concert specials were either hard or impossible to find. "This Is Garth Brooks" (1992) and "Garth Live From Central Park" (1997) were released on VHS in 1992 & 1998 respectively, but both went out-of-print relatively quick, while "This Is Garth Brooks II" (1994) saw its planned VHS release canceled, and "Garth Brooks Ireland & Back" (1998) was long forgotten after its initial NBC airing (save for a rare CMT rerun in 2002). All four specials were finally released on DVD in a box set in 2006, albeit with several edits made to all of them (and "Ireland & Back" being retitled "Garth Brooks Live From Dublin")
  • Negativland's single U2, where both tracks were essentially Voice Clip Songs featuring Casey Kasem having obscene temper tantrums between takes of an episode of American Top 40 set to instrumental covers of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". It was quickly pulled from record stores due to a lawsuit by Island Records (both for unlicensed samples and the fact that the cover misleadingly had "U2" in much bigger letters than the band name). It then continued to stay out-of-print due to Kasem himself, who understandably was embarrassed by his ranting. Averted in that the band themselves put both sides of the single up for free download on their website, and later started distributing a bootleg album containing 11 different versions of the song, which is surprisingly still available.
  • In December 1987, Prince asked Warner (Bros.) Records, his label at the time, to scrap the release of The Black Album a week before its release date. However, by this time over 500k were pressed on vinyl & CD and preview copies had gone out. Most copies were destroyed, with the few remaining being the source for "the most bootlegged album of all time". In 1991, Warner planned a greatest hits package which would have included the album as a bonus disc. However, it was scrapped when Prince delivered Diamonds and Pearls to the company. Finally in 1994, during Prince's feud with the same label, the album was legitimately released; Prince was paid around $1 million for it. Ironically, it's now out of print.
  • For the longest time, a Jeff Buckley documentary titled Amazing Grace was completely unavailable to fans. The documentary had won numerous awards and was one of the most accurate documentaries about Buckley's life. Due to copyrights issues rumors of it being released on a DVD spiked up and then soon fizzled out. Then, in 2009, it was officially released on a special edition of Grace Around The World. However, these special editions are quickly running out and odds are the documentary will fade back into this trope.
  • David Bowie examples:
    • His much-bootlegged Oct. 20, 1972 show in Los Angeles, California was given an official release in 2008 as Live Santa Monica '72 after a grey market disc circulated in record shops for over a decade.
    • A 1976 concert that was recorded and broadcast on radio's The King Biscuit Flower Hour was another popular bootleg. Two tracks were officially released on the 1991 Rykodisc reissue of Station to Station, but it wasn't until 2010 that an EMI special edition of the album included the whole show (Live Nassau Coliseum '76), save for a chunk of the lengthy instrumental jam on "Panic in Detroit". However, the complete version of that was made available as a digital download bonus track.
    • At the Turn of the Millennium, region-free DVDs editing together material from the two VHS tapes covering two of the Sydney, Australia shows from 1987's Glass Spider tour could be found at even legitimate retailers. Virgin/EMI finally released an official version of this in 2007, and the special edition release even added 2 CDs of a concert from earlier in the tour. This CD would later be reissued by Parlophone Records as part of the Loving the Alien [1983-1988] Boxed Set in 2018 and individually in February 2019.
  • Jean-Michel Jarre's pre-Oxygène works were once only available as rare first-edition singles and albums from times before he became famous. These have been selling for outrageous prices for decades now. Some of them became part of the Rarities bootleg LP series, but these are sought-after rarities themselves today. However, the Les Granges Brûlées soundtrack was remastered and re-released as a whole on CD in 2003, and the 2011 Greatest Hits Album Essentials & Rarities contains one CD with super-rare stuff like "La Cage", "Erosmachine", several Deserted Palace tracks, and even Jarre's very first recording, "Happiness Is A Sad Song".
  • For a while, The Smashing Pumpkins fans were surprised to hear that Siamese Dream actually had a lyric sheet. The lyrics were hand-written on a series of family photo-style pictures which comprised the insert artwork. The first pressing gave each song/picture its own page in a thick booklet, however this was changed to a small foldout which the pictures were scattered all over, rendering the lyrics almost entirely illegible and forcing the listener to go to this new-fangled Internet thingy to know what they were. It wasn't until 1999 that Virgin finally re-issued the album with its original booklet insert, readable lyrics and all.
  • For years, Paul McCartney released the Thrillington album under the pseudonym Percy "Thrills" Thrillington only on vinyl. It's an orchestral version of his Ram album. It hasn't gotten an official CD release until 2012 as part of a deluxe edition box set reissue of the Ram album.
    • The following year, the Wings concert film Rockshow, which was considerably harder to find than Wings Over America, the live album for that tour, was officially remastered and re-released (alongside Wings Over America) on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Microdisney's B Sides "Harmony Time" and "Money for the Trams" finally appeared on CD in 2013, after 28 years being only available on vinyl and cassette (and rips). The master tapes were said to be lost, hence why they weren't on the 90s CD issues, which were rare and long out of print anyway. For the 2013 reissues, the technology had improved so that they were able to use very clean vinyl rips which they fixed up digitally.
  • The Dead Milkmen albums Soul Rotation and Not Richard, But Dick both were out of print for years - these were the only two albums the band themselves didn't own the rights to, and Hollywood Records let them fall out of print, presumably because they weren't among the label's higher selling acts. In 2013, Hollywood Records re-released the two albums as digital downloads on itunes and As far as physical copies go, your options are used copies on cd or cassette, which are pretty reasonably priced, or unopened "new" ones, which are decidedly less so.
  • Country Music singer T. Graham Brown's debut single "Drowning in Memories" was never put onto an album for many years, and was thus extremely hard to find. However, in 2007, he reacquired the rights to all of his material for Capitol Records (1985-1991) and put every one of his singles for the label on the album Deja Vu All Over Again: The Best of T. Graham Brown — including "Drowning in Memories".
  • Before they founded Big & Rich, both Big Kenny and John Rich had recorded solo albums in 1999 that were never released: Live a Little from the former, and Underneath the Same Moon from the latter. After Big & Rich became popular in the mid-2000s, both solo albums were released from the vaults. However, John Rich still has another pre-Big & Rich release, the single "Forever Loving You", which does not appear to circulate anywhere.
  • A subversion of this occurred with an LP when it was later reissued on CD. System, a Yes / Emerson, Lake & Palmer soundalike band released Realm Time Tales as a very limited-issue LP in 1983. In 1988, when it was first pressed on CD, the band name had been changed to Vail (after the trio's keyboardist/composer Steve Vail) and the title was shortened to Time Tales, with the original name living on as System Records. The new-name album (CD and download) are available, but the original band name/title LP remains a collector's item.
  • After decades of The Beatles' music videos being out of print, Apple Corps. is releasing a compilation of Beatles music videos remastered in HD.
  • For a long time, the legendary Tear Jerker of a music video for the Dixie Chicks' "Top Of the World" was next to impossible to find owing not only to its radio unfriendly length of 6 minutes, but also the controversy surrounding them at the time. However, in December of 2015, it was finally reuploaded to YouTube.
  • The debut album of Christian Rock recording artist Benny Hester; 1972's ''Benny", saw only a handful of copies survive a fire that broke out shortly before it was scheduled to be released that destroyed the masters; resulting in the few surviving copies selling for quite a few pretty pennies. However, in February 2016; Hester announced that album would be released in a digitally remastered form taken from Hester's own promotional copy
  • For years, the vinyl editions of Red House Painters albums fetched extremely high prices even when in terrible condition. However, Beggars Records, the new owners of the 4AD Records back catalog, re-released all of the RHP albums from Down Colorful Hill through Ocean Beach. Songs for a Blue Guitar has been reprinted more times than can be counted on vinyl and it appears that Sub Pop has even reprinted Old Ramon. To make things even better, the 4AD-era vinyls were lovingly reconstructed with all the original artwork intact and with the same exact paper used for the original pressings. Fans were amazed. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for most of Sun Kil Moon's discography or Kozelek's solo work.
  • Dionne Farris' "I Know" was a massive hit single in 1995 (#4 on Hot 100, #1 on Pop radio), but the song was never released on iTunes or any other digital download/streaming service until the final quarter of 2017 - and by extension, nor was the remainder of its parent album, Wild Seed — Wild Flower, making the whole tracklist nearly impossible to obtain up until that point. As an added bonus, much of the album's music videos were added to Vevo, including "I Know".
  • Neil Young's first "Ditch Trilogy" album, Time Fades Away, was released on vinyl and was for the longest time his only album that was never reprinted, due to poor mixing and Young's dislike for the album. His second "Ditch" album On the Beach was also out of print for a while, but that was re-released three decades later. He finally reissued Time Fades Away in the mid-2010s: First exclusively through his Pono music service, and then a full fledged vinyl reissue.
  • The Dixie Dregs were an acclaimed Southern Rock and Jazz Fusion outfit from Florida founded by legendary guitarist Steve Morse. They released six studio albums between 1977 and 1982, and then disbanded. While their first three albums have been re-released on CD by Capricorn Records, their other three, done with Arista Records, hadn't seen print for a long time since the 1980s until 2015, when BGO in the UK reissued a 2 CD set of the Arista albums in one set.
  • In 1977, Paul McCartney released the unusual album Thrillington under the psudeonym Percy "Thrills" Thrillington. It was an orchestral and jazz reworking of his entire 1972 RAM album, and it became a collector's item due to its unusualness and the relatively small printing of the LP relase. It wasn't legally available in CD form until the 2012 Deluxe Edition Box Set of RAM album.
  • EBM artist/band Interface put together a maxi single of "Mirror Mirror" from The Perfect World, featuring the non-album B-Side "Energy", in 2014, but his record label didn't release it for whatever reason. In 2018, the master tapes were rediscovered and it got a release on Bandcamp.
  • The 1982 slow Eurodisco song "Starlight" by Dutch group Risqué was expensive to get, especially the extended versions, due to acclaim and demand. The rest of Risqué's songs can be cheap to acquire. In December 2018, "Starlight" was reissued on vinyl by Miss you.
  • Drake's 2019 compilation "Care Package" is an album full of songs that either never had an official album release or were once too expensive to re-release due to sample rights. These include tracks like "Girls Love Beyonce" (uses a sample from Destiny's Child's "Say My Name"), "5 AM in Toronto", "I Get Lonely" (a B-side from an unreleased mixtape) and more. In the interim, unofficial versions floated around Youtube and second-hand sources.
  • Yuuhei Satellite:
    • They tend to make Compilation Re-releases of old singles and albums, and as of 2018, their albums have been released digitally.
    • Some of their limited singles have been rescued by a digital release and/or an appearance on an album that was digitally released.
  • Akatsuki Records has rescued some of its event-exclusive CDs by putting their content on compilations. However, it's a temporary measure — once those go out of print, the tracks fall back into Keep Circulating the Tapes status.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest has a ton of music that didn't get released on its first OST, but most of it was eventually made available on the free Additional Soundtrack via Band Camp, including the much sought after "Swallow's Nest", "Thornfelt Swamp Ram Battle", "Misty Woods Cleared", "Lava Fields", and "Mount Horu Puzzle Rooms" tracks.
  • Power Glove's "Hunters", featured in both Hobo with a Shotgun and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, was not commercially released until October 2019, when it appeared on their Throwback EP.
  • Information Society's 1985 debut album Creatures of Influence was only issued on vinyl, and remained out of print for over two decades. In 2008, their label HAKATAK International remastered and re-released it in digital format, as well as on CD as part of the rarities compilation Apocryphon, which also includes the songs from the InSoc EP.
  • Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo released a trilogy of CDs called the Alone series that compiled demos over the course of the band's career while they were signed to Geffen. While the first two albums were widely released by Geffen, the third installment was only included with the very rare and self-published Pinkerton Diaries book. Thankfully, Rivers would continue the Alone series on his website and would include demos originally from Alone III on future installments.
  • Disco Inferno released a series of 5 EPs in the early 90s that are popularly referred to (and bootlegged as) a set, but for years seemed unlikely to see an official re-release due to them being released on different labels. This was finally rectified in 2011 when One Little Indian issued a lovingly-crafted compilation entitled The 5 EPs.
  • Kristine W.'s 1994 debut album Perfect Beat was out of print until the late 2010's, when it was finally digitally reissued via Bandcamp, Amazon Music, et al.
  • The Foo Fighters celebrated their 25th anniversary with the Foo Files, a series of E Ps that made many B-sides from the band's first five albums available at large, after years only on singles, album special editions, and limited run works.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Some of the Peanuts comic strips were this for quite a while, especially the ones from the early 50'snote . That is, until 2004, when Fantagraphics started to publish The Complete Peanuts, a collection of every Peanuts comic from 1950 to 2000note  which Fantagraphics finished publishing in 2016. About 2000 of the 17,897 Peanuts comics never saw the light of day in printed form until The Complete Peanuts came around. Schulz's other work, Li'l Folks, also counted as this until the entire comic's run was collected in the 1999-2000 volume of The Complete Peanuts.
  • Fantagraphics has begun three attempts to collect the complete Pogo (1948–75) by Walt Kelly. The latest effort has four (of twelve) volumes so far, covering the first eight years.

    Tabletop Games 
  • TORG was out of print for several years, with only about a quarter of the line available in PDF - and of those books, only one had been added since 2005. In 2014, the game's current owners, Ulisses Spiele, made most of TORG's back catalog available online through DriveThruRPG, aside from the original boxed set.
  • SPI's board game adaptation of the George A. Romero film Dawn of the Dead (1978) fell out of print and rare to find. However, fans of Romero's Living Dead films who run Homepage of the Dead scanned in the materials from the game, including the manual, cardboard game pieces and the board to allow for fans to download and print out the game to play. One fan named WitchMaster Creations did a graphical remake of the original game's board to improve the graphics, making it possible to play the game on the original board or the improved board without any changes to the game's play.

  • Fans of juggling and acrobatics loved The Goodman Theater's production of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors with the Flying Karamazov Brothers and Avner the Eccentric. It aired once live from Lincoln Center on PBS in 1987 but was never made available for purchase to the public - even the parties involved say not even they have a copy. Thankfully fans kept circulating the tapes and now it's up on YouTube. Here's act one, and act two.

    Theme Parks 
  • The Rock-afire Explosion examples:
    • Most of the rare Show Selector mixes of some CyberStar-era songs (notably those of "Drive My Car" and "Venus") only existed via low quality recordings of Rock-afire shows performing selections of the Show Selector tapes. In the mid-2010s, a fan would release higher-quality versions ripped from the original showtapes, several of which were uploaded by Rock-afire fan coolcrawford.
    • The rare Yogi Bear test showtape was considered lost media for several years, until showtape writer Steve White tracked down his copy and allowed (a well-known Chuck E. Cheese / Rock-afire fan website) to upload it onto YouTube. The full showtape is now available online as a result.

    Video Games 
  • "Greatest Hits"-type releases are made to combat this phenomenon. However; these were actually based on how well the game sold initially, regardless of critical and/or fan reception. There are exceptions; such as Final Fantasy Tactics which was re-released due to fan demand.
  • Virtual Console (for the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U), Xbox Live Arcade, and Play Station Network have sections for games from previous systems. Games that sell for ridiculously high prices on eBay and Amazon are available for far less on these services, such as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII, and games that are very hard to find in retail (like Persona 3) can easily be found here.
    • Virtual Console (Consoles): Games for the NES, SNES, and Nintendo 64 for both the Wii and Wii U; and additionally games for the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), TurboGrafx-16 (PC Engine), and even a few arcade games in the case of the Wii. (The Wii U, thanks to native backward compatibility with the Wii, is also able to download and play games on the Wii Virtual Console).
      • Three noteworthy titles available on this service are Alien Soldier, Golden Axe III, and Pulseman for the Sega Genesis. These are particularly valuable for U.S. players, as these games were previously available in America only on the short-lived Sega Channel service.
    • Virtual Console (Handhelds): Games from Game Boy systems, the Game Gear, TurboGrafx-16, and NES for the Nintendo 3DS. The New Nintendo 3DS is also able to play SNES games as well.
    • Xbox Live Arcade: Games for the original Xbox in the case of the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
    • PlayStation Network: Games for the original PlayStation in the case of the PSP, PS3, and Vita, and additionally PlayStation 2 in the case of the PS3.
    • For PC gaming, Steam and offer some old games that are either abandonware or will have compatibility issues if people try to run from the original.
  • Alisia Dragoon never sold well in any territory, making copies of this Cult Classic Genesis game somewhat rare. It finally saw a re-release in 2019 after being included on the Sega Genesis Mini.
  • Battle Garegga received an arcade-to-console port on the Sega Saturn, but only in Japan and prices for it began to spike after it went out of print. Thankfully, Battle Garegga Rev.2016 was released on PS4 and Xbox One to alleviate this, both in Japan and in the West.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • The majority of Harvest Moon games before Friends of Mineral Town are difficult to find used copies of, especially the Game Boy and Color ones. However, the ones on Nintendo systems received Virtual Console releases while Back to Nature for the PlayStation received both a PlayStation Portable port and a PlayStation Network release of the original version.
    • Harvest Moon 64 took such a long time to see a rerelease that said rerelease came out on the Wii U in 2017, the year that system was discontinued. It is a Cult Classic and considered the best Harvest Moon game by many, but it never received a Wii 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 ended up having a Virtual Console release on the Wii, and the same game's Wii U Virtual Console release came when the system was still in production. Interviews with Natsume executives reported that technical problems concerning the source code made the notion of any possible remake or port impossible; despite the fact that this game was supposedly one of the first games they planned for a Virtual Console release. But to everyone's surprise, it was finally announced for a Wii U Virtual Console release—not only for North America, but for Europe as well, even though the game was never originally released there.
    • The GBC version of the original Harvest Moon GB was released on the 3DS Virtual Console in the summer of 2013, which was followed by Virtual Console releases of the second and third 8-bit Game Boy games. The Game Boy Color version of Legend of The River King, an obscure fishing-themed game that shares Harvest Moon's developers and publishers, was also re-released on the 3DS VC (on the same day as Harvest Moon GB no less), with its sequel later getting the same treatment.
  • Star Control II is long out of print, and was unlikely to ever see rerelease as the sequel (which did not involve the series creators) proved to be a Franchise Killer. Fortunately, SC's creators were nice enough to make the game Open Source in 2002, and a lovingly made fan version called The Ur-Quan Masters (the title "Star Control" is still under trademark) is freely downloadable.
    • And then Atari re-released it on along with the original.
  • The Wii compilation Data East Arcade Classics was a bit of a surprise, since Data East had been defunct for almost a decade by the time of its release. (Most of Data East's assets are handled by a company called G-Mode, who pretty much solely exist to archive their old game library. However, the rights to a few Data East games, including Karnov, are held by a different company.)
  • Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together: The SNES version of this classic game never made it to the West due to it being released around the same time the PlayStation came into existence, and the PS1 re-release (which did get localized) was super-rare even at launch, not to mention being a notoriously shoddy port (and for English-speaking gamers, a notoriously even-worse translation). Sixteen years later, Square Enix released an enhanced remake of the game, overjoying fans and enraging speculators the world over.
  • Sierra released Vanilla Edition Compilation Rereleases of Space Quest, King's Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry in 2006. The Quest for Glory series, on the other hand, wouldn't see daylight until it was finally released on GOG. The compilations themselves are lacking, though. Besides lacking the original versions of their first games (using just their remakes):
    • King's Quest: Mask of Eternity (which did eventually get on GOG) wasn't in the compilation, perhaps owing to the game's dubious standing among the series fans, making it a case of Canon Discontinuity.
    • Leisure Suit Larry: Since the collection shipped on just one CD, they had to use the floppy version of Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out instead of the talkie CD version, and Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail is missing entirely, so as far as Al Lowe is concerned, the definitive Leisure Suit Larry compilation is still the Ultimate Pleasure Pack, which includes the talkie version of Larry 6, as well as Love for Sail and Larry's Casino.
      •'s version of the collection eventually included talkie version of Larry 6 (after initially claiming that they couldn't make it run well enough on modern computers), and at the same time as that, they released Larry 7 as a separate purchase (after a claim from Codemasters that they didn't own the rights to it).
  • For the longest time, late-entering fans of the Pikmin series had an extremely tough time getting ahold of it. The Nintendo GameCube version went out of print, and the game is so well-loved used copies would almost never pop up anywhere. They were eventually granted a Wii re-release of the game with enhanced controls in 2009.
    • The sequel, Pikmin 2 was hit harder, as those lucky to find that game at a local GameStop would have to fork out $40, while Amazon had a minimum asking price for $60 used. A enhanced Wii version was also made, and was released shortly after the Wii version first game in 2009... but only for European and Japanese markets. It took until 2012 for the Wii version to be released in America under the Nintendo Selects label, for a much more reasonable price of $20. In both cases, the fandom rejoiced.
  • ICO and Shadow of the Colossus sold poorly on the PS2, and are some of the rarest games on the console. But then in Fall 2011, Sony released a compilation pack for the PS3 containing both games on one disc, with loads of bonus features, and the UK release of ICO instead of the American release (which had easier and altered puzzles than the UK/JPN versions). This pleased both those who had played the games before, and those who never got to play them due to their rarity.
  • Remember the old BIONICLE games on the LEGO website? Remember how cool they were? Now remember how sad you were when they were taken down? Cry no more, Bionicle fans, the Bionicle Online Game Archive has full working versions of every Bionicle game released online by LEGO, ever. The Bionicle creators and LEGO have turned a blind eye to the website, so no links to it here, but rest assured Google is a very helpful friend.
    • LEGO has a reputation to take games off their web pages, but leave the SWF files buried in the FTP. As such, once they're removed, they still have a chance of being recovered. In most cases the Wayback Machine will do the trick, but an interesting case was the LEGO Island Comic Adventures. While they were somewhat functional on the Wayback Machine, they usually froze on some minigames. They were thought to be lost forever, until a fan from BZPower finally found the sources and put them up for download.
  • The Living Books series was thought to have gone past its prime, gradually disappearing from store shelves when they weren't agreeing with modern operating systems well. Also, somewhere along the way, a few of the licenses expired during the shelf lives, such as The Berenstain Bears and Sheila Rae, the Brave, and their prices soon shot way up. Enter 2012, when Wanderful Storybooks was formed to rescue all the games to put them on modern tablets and computers, as well as finally breaking No Export for You and making all the foreign translations purchasable worldwide. They have also rescued the Berenstain Bears, Little Monster, and Arthur games, though there is still yet to be a word on the other expired licenses.
  • The original Macintosh releases of the Marathon trilogy would have fallen into obscurity since retail copies are hard to come by, however, Bungie has released the source code of the Marathon 2 engine and later the games themselves before being acquired by Microsoft, effectively making them freeware. Fans have since created an open-source continuation of the Marathon 2 engine with Aleph One, porting the game to Windows and Linux with many modern improvements and modding support. Marathon 2: Durandal also saw a re-release on Xbox LIVE Arcade for the Xbox 360 in 2009 and an ISO of the Windows 95 version with an official serial key generator has been distributed by Bungie themselves.
  • System Shock 2 was for the longest time almost impossible to find on any modern PC digital distribution method. However, finally the game has seen a full re-release through, which along with being configured to work effortlessly on modern machines, includes tons of extra stuff to boot. The first game eventually followed suit in mid 2015 with System Shock: Enhanced Edition which allows the game to be played natively on modern Windows operating systems with some extra enhancements such as widescreen and mouse-looking.
  • In a strange — though brief — case of circulating the tapes, Rare's original Donkey Kong Country trilogy were mysteriously delisted from the Wii Virtual Console in November 2012, with Nintendo giving no reason as to why. Nintendo owns all the rights to the games (in contrast to the majority of Nintendo games developed by Rare), new Donkey Kong (Country) games continue to be produced for their platforms, and Rare's Game Boy Donkey Kong Land trilogy was re-released on the 3DS Virtual Console, so the removal of the games was certainly not because of licensing issues. Thankfully Nintendo re-released the DKC trilogy on the Wii U Virtual Console throughout late 2014/early 2015 (it was even re-listed on the Wii Virtual Console as well!), but it's still odd that one of Nintendo's biggest franchises could see their games fall under such a situation (despite the time period of their lack of legal availability being nowhere near as severe as other entries in this list).
  • Donkey Kong 64 was absent from the Virtual Console for years, for whatever reason. The most popular theory due to its absence were the inclusions of Jetpac and Donkey Kong as playable mandatory mini-games within the game (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)—Jetpac as it's owned by Rare themselves, and Donkey Kong as the version Rare ported to DK64 is the original arcade version, to which Nintendo doesn't own the rights. An alternative theory was Rareware's N64 games need a certain code to run on Virtual Console that Rare may have access to, but Nintendo may not—which was evident when people have tried to inject Wii Virtual Console files with ROMs of Rare'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.
  • Ironically enough, Pokémon's debut games Pokémon Red and Blue used to suffer from this in the Nintendo 3DS era due to the Game Boy Advance and DS/DS Lite being discontinued, ruling out the remakes (FireRed and LeafGreen on the GBA), and the original games not being released on 3DS Virtual Console (likely because trading, which is a major, nearly mandatory part of the game, can't be done without a Link Cable, a peripheral exclusive to the Game Boy [Color]). With the Johto and Hoenn gap being closed on remakes playable on the Nintendo 3DS, they were the only Pokémon games not playable on it in either original or remade form. However, they were released on 3DS Virtual Console (with trading and multiplayer battling intact, now done through local wireless connections as opposed to Link Cables) for their 20th anniversary on February 27, 2016. Yellow also suffered from this problem even worse, as almost none of its differences were implemented into the remakes, but it too was re-released. The following year, the original forms of Pokémon Gold and Silver were released on the eShop in September 2017, once again being able to trade and battle wirelessly (the former also being possible with Red, Blue, and Yellow once the Time Capsule is unlocked), as well as retaining the ability to use Mystery Gift via the system's built-in infrared port (a feature the 3DS shares with the Game Boy Color, as the Game Boy Advance dropped the infrared port). Then, Pokémon Crystal was announced for a Virtual Console release on the 3DS eShop in January 2018.
  • After its unfortunate initial performance in 1995, EarthBound saw no re-release in America for nearly two decades, not even on the Virtual Console. Its Masterpiece demo in the Japanese version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and its appearance in a Nintendo Direct press release regarding the Wii U Virtual Console (losing its position to — of all games — Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream), were even explicitly removed from international versions! Rumors abound as to why this was this was the case, the most common ones involving legal issues over its music, but nothing was ever confirmed by Nintendo and plenty of arguments against those theories surfaced too. note  At any rate, it became very rare to find someone who actually played the game on a console rather than just emulating it. Being a very famous game, during the years where it was difficult to find, it was selling for anywhere between $80 and $200, making it a true standout. Finally, after plenty of patience and plenty of waiting, Nintendo at last announced its release for the Wii U Virtual Console, later making good on their promise in July 2013. There is still no word on its sequel, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
  • Shantae, a very late release (2001!) Game Boy Color game by WayForward Technologies. It sold less than 100k copies during its release (only about 77k, if numbers are to be believed), but word of mouth (and reviews) spread stories of the game's excellent quality. Copies routinely go for over $100 on eBay, and people who attempted to play the game through slightly cheaper methods were out of luck, as the most common Game Boy Color emulator did not even run it correctly. Its rarity was even lampshaded by WFT themselves on official Risky's Revenge soundtrack release video. Come 2013, when WFT announced that they were working on a port of the game for the Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console, and eventually released said port in July that year. Another enhanced port of the game was later for the Nintendo Switch in 2021.
  • For nearly two decades, Super Mario Sunshine didn't see any kind of re-release, so the original release was the only way to legally play it. In 2020, it finally got re-released as a part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
  • The Red Star had been this for the longest time, until a recent PSN re-release.
  • Radiant Silvergun was notorious for running for at least $150 USD after the game went out of print. It was finally re-released on Xbox LIVE Arcade for the low low price of $10 USD.
  • Recca was not only Japan-only, it wasn't even a consumer title—it was only available at special events, hence the full title of Summer Carnival '92 Recca. However, it was finally officially released for the consumer market in the form of a Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console title in December 2012 for Japan and September 2013 for North America.
  • Space Harrier received a Master System port, and its sequel received a Genesis port, and that was it. As years passed, the series got many references in other video games, such as Bayonetta (which has a whole segment that plays like Space Harrier, complete with a pop remix of the main theme) and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (which has a remix of the main theme in the final race track), but no sign of a port or remake. Because of these references and homages, fans constantly demanded some kind of re-release of the series, and so Sega finally listened and released a 3DS port of the first game in late 2013.
  • Chu-Teng, a sequel to the similarly obscure Eastern Mind from the same creator as LSD, was for a long time considered the most obscure game ever and a lost video game. A massive investigation began in 2013 to find it, but Osamu Sato himself told them he didn't own a copy and the only collector known to have it refused to upload the content. Eventually someone revealed that they had a copy in their attic and uploaded the game.
  • LucasArts, Double Fine, Sony, and have recently embarked on a quest to rescue largely popular games in the former's library that have been stuck in circulation limbo. To wit:
    • Up until 2015, Grim Fandango was known for being notoriously hard to obtain, as there had been exactly zero re-releases up until that point, and the game suffered from extremely low sales (it was released during the same time as the more anticipated titles of '98). Thankfully Double Fine released a remastered version of the game was released in February 2015 for Sony systems (PS4 and PS Vita) and personal computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux).
    • Day of the Tentacle goes for notoriously high prices, hardly ever going below $50 in the US. There was a DVD re-release in Europe, but it too has gone out of print, though it's somewhat cheaper ($30 onward). Frustratingly, this almost wasn't the case — some sources report that an HD remake was 80% done before it was shelved, never to be greenlit. Like Grim Fandango, a remaster for the PS4, PS Vita, and PC was released by Double Fine in March 2016.
    • Sam & Max Hit the Road. Outside of its CD-ROM re-release in 1995, the game did not receive another re-release (except in Europe) due to LucasArts dropping the license for Sam and Max games. Not even on Steam or Good Old Games (GOG chose to put the Telltale series on their service instead). The only way to play it was to buy a used copy, or to illegally download it...until October 2014, when, thanks to a fresh new deal with Disney (who owns the entire LucasArts catalog per their ownership of Lucasfilm), made the game available yet again.
    • Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders was, for the longest time, only ever released on floppy - with the exception of a super-rare Japan-only FM-TOWNS VGA port. This was until March 2015, when it was finally released on GOG - and the best part is, it includes not only the DOS version, but the FM-TOWNS port as well!
  • Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii originally went out of print in record time thanks to its really good word-of-mouth advertising and hilariously tiny print size, among other reasons. Due to its popularity, it eventually received a exclusive port to the 3DS's hardware revision (New Nintendo 3DS) and a subsequent Wii U Virtual Console re-release, opening it up to the audience that couldn't get it in time. This is followed by a remake on Nintendo Switch that overhauled the graphics and added new content.
  • Metroid Prime Trilogy: When Nintendo and Retro Studios hawked this compilation of all three Prime games as a "Limited Edition release", for once, they weren't kidding. It's cheap enough (and easy, due to the Wii's backward compatibility, but... not for those with a Wii U, as Trilogy is the only way to play the first two Prime games on that system, or play them in widescreen on either) to get all three games by themselves, but those looking for this triple-pack including all three games on one disk with Wii Remote controls and bonus features were left searching for pre-owned copies that could run up to $100 for the disk alone. Fortunately, in January 2015, Nintendo announced that Trilogy would become available to download from the Wii U eShop by the end of the month for $20 (initially available for $10 during the first week of its release).
  • Before branching out into indie games and movies, originally existed for this purpose, as if the original "Good Old Games" wasn't obvious enough.
  • After a while, Kirby's Return to Dream Land became surprisingly expensive to acquire, with copies running up to $80/£50. However, it eventually got re-released on the Wii U eShop.
  • The original version of Conker's Bad Fur Day. Given its Mature rating in a cutesy setting and barely any promotion (it was released the same year the GameCube would debut and was generally ignored by Nintendo), it was hard to get then, and it sure as hell is even harder to get now. Rare did indeed fully remake the game for Xbox under the title Conker: Live & Reloaded but this remake received a massive backlash from fans of the original because it censored a great deal of content from the original. However, at E3 2015 Microsoft announced Rare Replay, a massive Compilation Re-release for Xbox One that includes not only the original, uncensored version of Conker, but 29 other classic Rare games, many of which will also be rescued from limbo. (That said, this also had the side effect of putting the Live & Reloaded version into limbo — like the 20th Anniversary Edition of E.T. — though not many are complaining.)
    • As of April 14,2018 Live and Reloaded was finally re-released through the Xbox One's Original Xbox backwards compatability.
  • After years of being insanely hard to attain out of Japan, the Touhou Project finally broke through in May of 2015 with Playism's digital release of Double Dealing Character, plus a couple of fangames. Whether other games in the series will follow suit remains to be seen.
  • Melty Blood: Actress Again Current Code is an interesting case: the game was never released on its own like its predecessors (the original, Re-ACT, and Act Cadenza Ver.B) but instead was shipped with the third season Blu-ray of Carnival Phantasm. The Blu-ray set however became sought-after item simply for the game alone and it eventually ran out of print with the Blu-ray set going for as much as $150 used, almost twice that for a brand-new copy, and it wasn't put through any digital distribution services such as DLsite. The game was eventually released overseas through Steam by Arc System Works in 2016 along with a PC port of Under Night In-Birth.
  • The Game Boy Advance title Napoleon was one of the very few RTS games for the system and received a limited release in only France and Japan. Because of this, copies are hard to come by and are expensive for Game Boy Advance titles. However, the game was recently released for the Wii U in 2015.
  • For the longest time, Suikoden II was one of the rarest games for the PS1 owing to its very limited print and low initial sales, much to the chagrin of fans as it is often cited as one of the greatest JRPGs ever. Thankfully in late 2014, it was finally uploaded to the PSN, to the joy of fans worldwide.
  • The retail copy Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri was fairly expensive to obtain. Its expansion pack, Alien Crossfire, cost a pretty penny and was rather difficult to find due to the game being by far the least selling of any in the civilization series. However, its release on several digital distributors such as has averted this trope.
  • Both Marvel Ultimate Alliance games had DLC on the Xbox Live Marketplace that was delisted due to licensing issues. The first game at least had a gold edition that included the DLC, but it commanded a high price on the used market; there was no such option for the second game, and the regular versions of both were already expensive used anyways. Both games were released digitally in late 2015, and included the DLC in the download.
  • A similar situation to Chu-Teng happened to another obscure japanese game: Garage: Bad Dream Adventure by the developer Kinotrope. While the other two games by Kinotrope, Alice on the Borderlines and Sarara's Little Shop, which are equally as obscure, can at least be found on the internet if you search hard enough (with the latter even receiving a non-translated release in the American PSN), Garage was thought to be a legitimate piece of lost media... Until a copy of the game was put up on Yahoo Actions Japan, and a user on the Hardcore Gaming 101 forums bought it and subsequently ripped it for the world to enjoy, along with various scans and photographs of the manual, box and other included feelies.
  • For years, Sim City 3000 was the only game of the series not to have any sort of legitimate digital release after going out of print. This wasn't because of poor reception or sales, but because it couldn't run on DOSBox like its predecessors (and couldn't run natively on modern Windows like Sim City 4 can). After many years of remaining a conspicuous gap in the series, EA and finally teamed up to bring it back in mid-2016, and this time it's compatible up to and including Windows 10.
  • Judgement Silversword was one of the most sought after WonderSwan games, being developed as a homebrew title during the WonderWitch contest in 2004 and gained a cult following in the shoot 'em up crowd. Due to its obscurity and limited print run, the game could go for upwards of hundreds of dollars at auction. Its gaiden game, Cardinal Sins, was released as freeware for the WonderSwan, but not in a form playable on emulators. These games however did see a re-release on the Xbox 360 bundled with their spiritual successor, ESCHATOS, albeit was a Japan-only region-free import title, but it was later ported overseas to PC via Steam for a much more wallet-friendly price of $5 USD.
  • For a time, Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven was pulled off Steam due to undisclosed reasons, but was eventually re-released in October 2017 on GOG, albeit without the licensed soundtrack due to issues with the songs.
  • Despite being considered one of the greatest and most important videogames of all time and becoming a best-seller for the platform, Shenmue was only available on the Dreamcast for nearly 20 years after its first release—arguably due to the game failing to recoup its high development costs, which also added to Sega's financial debt that ultimately led them to bow out of the industry as a console maker. Its equally well-regarded sequel, Shenmue II, underperformed in salesnote ; the only place to obtain the game outside of the Dreamcast release is the subsequent Xbox port. And even those two releases have their own issues of No Export for You: only Europe received both versions of the game; with the Dreamcast release skipping America and the Xbox release skipping Japan. Years later, however, series creator Yu Suzuki (who left Sega to create his own studio, Ys Net) got the license from Sega and enough funding to start production on a long-awaited third entry; re-igniting hope from fans that the first two games can finally see a modern re-release someday. These hopes eventually came to fruition in 2018, when Sega announced a High Definition Compilation Re-release of the first 2 Shemmue games for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  • For a long time, the only way to experience Metal Wolf Chaos — a Japan-only Xbox game by FromSoftware about the 47th President of the United States taking on a military coup armed lead by his running man armed with a mini-mecha and red-hot American justice that was deemed "too American to be released in America"note  — was to import a copy of the game, which became one of the most sought after original Xbox games with prices drastically increasing over time, reaching upwards of hundreds of dollars on auction and online retailers, and buy a Japanese Xbox to play it (or soft-mod a North American one). In 2016, Devolver Digital had expressed interest in localizing the game overseas thanks to popular demand generated from various Let's Plays of the game (especially from Super Best Friends), and in 2018, this came to pass as they, along with General Arcade, released a remastered version of the game through digital distribution for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam and for $24.99.
  • Until 2018, The Curse of Monkey Island and Escape from Monkey Island were the only Monkey Island games not to be re-released on modern platforms. Escape isn't very severe, but Curse commonly goes for almost $20-$30 for something that should only cost about $10 at the most. In March 2018, Curse was released on Steam and GOG, and Escape was released on GOG in June, and later Steam as well.
  • Possibly due to copyright issues with the magazine of the same name, as well as the use of the likeness of real-life mercenary John F. Mullins, neither of the classic Soldier of Fortune games (Payback doesn't count) were reissued on Steam, GOG, or other digital storefronts for quite some time. That changed in October 2018, when both games made a surprise appearance on GOG as part of the service's 10th anniversary celebration.
  • The English version of the first arcade Puyo Puyo, so obscure that it used to be "Common Knowledge" that it was an unlicensed bootleg, is included in the 2019 Nintendo Switch "SEGA Ages" version of the first Puyo Puyo. The closest this version has come to being ported elsewhere is the hidden translation in the Game Gear version (that never left Japan) some 25 years prior.
    • Despite the rights to Puyo Puyo and parent series Madou Monogatari being divorced following Sega's receipt of the Puyo series, the vast majority of the Madou Monogatari games have been released on PC throughout The New '10s thanks to D4 Enterprise (who owns the rights to the Madou Monogatari games themselves) working with Sega.
  • The only rerelease of Crystalis used to be the 2000 port to the Game Boy Color. This was one of the few games SNK originally created for the Nintendo Entertainment System rather than for arcades, and their Virtual Console support was usually limited to Neo Geo games. (SNK's pre-Neo Geo arcade games, however, are well represented on the Play Station Network.) This changed with the 2018 release of SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, which includes the NES version of Crystalis.
  • Keen Dreams was often referred to as the "lost chapter" in the Commander Keen 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. It was later released on the Nintendo Switch eShop in early 2019.
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines had to deal with a complete lack of ports and rereleases compared to other console Castlevania games of its time for 25 years, until 2019 when SEGA announced the SEGA Genesis Mini, with Bloodlines being one of the first games to be announced for the collection and then releasing it as part of Castlevania Anniversary Collection for those who didn't want to wait for the Genesis Mini to be released.
  • Too Human is a particularly surprising case - due to losing a lawsuit with Epic Games in 2013 over the use of the the latter's game engine Unreal 3, Silicon Knights was order to recall and destroy all unsold copies of games they had created using the engine; those being Too Human and X-Men: Destiny. Silicon Knights, being a skeleton crew by this point, didn't have the resources to actually pull this off and thus simply delisted the game from the Xbox storefront. In 2019, however, to everyone's surprise, the game was added to the Xbox One's backwards compatibility list and relisted on the Xbox store - for free, to boot. When Major Nelson was announcing the addition, he even stated that it was "One I bet you never thought would happen." (X-Men: Destiny, which was wrapped up in the same lawsuit, will likely remain MIA due to the X-Men license.)
  • 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 "64" in the title has never left the Nintendo 64, and to make things worse, came out around time when Turok and GoldenEye 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, and numerous fans have made remakes that are compatible with Doom source ports. However, in September 2019, Nintendo and Bethesda announced that a remastered port of the original game would be coming to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, courtesy of Nightdive Studios, and included as a pre-order bonus of DOOM Eternal as an apology for the delaying the game from its original Q4 2019 release.
  • The entire RAY Series, especially RayCrisis, were lost in time a few past-generation console or limited PC releases, with RayStorm HD being only available on Xbox 360 outside of Japan as a downloadable title, however, they've been brought back to iOS and Android systems based on their arcade counterparts.
  • The arcade version of Double Dragon was rereleased on Xbox Live Arcade for a while, until Empire Interactive went bankrupt, also erasing hopes of a rerelease of the second game. Luckily, all three arcade games were rescued in the Steam Compilation Re-release Double Dragon Trilogy.
  • Around August 8, 2019, DuckTales: Remastered was removed from digital distribution via Xbox LIVE, Wii U eShop, PlayStation Network followed by the game being removed on Steam days later, leaving many to either hunt down a copy of the console versions or get their hands dirty to play on PC. On March 3, 2020, however, Capcom was able to get the game back to digital storefronts.
  • Over 6 years after its sudden disappearance, Ubisoft announced the re-release of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game on September 10th, 2020, albeit on digital-only fronts outside of the Limited Run physical editions.
  • Just Dance Summer Party is a compilation of all the DLC and Best Buy-exclusive tracks that were released for the game at that point; this was a wise move, as at the time the series was still a Wii exclusive, and the aforementioned DLC was rendered inaccessible due to the shutdown of the Wii Shop Channel in 2019. Despite being a "limited edition", it is still pretty easy to find at reasonable prices.
  • Before Diablo I and Warcraft I and II were added to GOG in March 2019, any Blizzard Entertainment games older than the original Starcraft (1998) were largely inaccessible. The Lost Vikings, Blackthorne and Rock n' Roll Racing were available for free for a time on Blizzard's official website, but the download links have since been removed and there was no way to legally acquire digital copies until 2021, when all three games were rereleased as the Blizzard Arcade Collection.
  • Mega Man: The Wily Wars was only released in the U.S. and Canada for a brief time on the Sega Channel and had no physical release in those regions whereas the Japanese and European versions were released physically. After the Sega Channel service ended at the end of the Sega Genesis' lifespan, there was no legal way to obtain the game unless you imported and either put up with playing the game in Japanese if you couldn't read the language or playing the game at 5/6 of the original speed. The game would later get another release as one of the games included in the Sega Genesis Mini in 2019 and later as a limited edition reprint by an official partnership with Retro-Bit in 2021 with a few framerate issues ironed out.

    Web Animation 
  • The Homestar Runner shorts "Marshmallow's Last Stand" and "A Jumping Jack Contest" were removed from the site for unknown reasons (though an interview reveals that they "had to" remove them for undisclosed personal reasons and want to put them back), but they have been recovered on numerous other websites, and on the Homestar Runner: Everything Else Vol. 2 DVD.

    Web Videos 
  • Investigative journalism YouTube channels What You Haven't Seen and Real World Police have managed to recover the full accident videos for, among others, the explosion of Space Shuttle Challenger, the CH-46 Sea Knight crash on USNS Pecos, the Hurst house explosion, and the December 11, 2013 Makani Kai Air crash.
  • That Dude in the Suede's AMV The Advent Children Picture Show (Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children And Don't Dream It, Be It) was originally uploaded to YouTube, and was taken down by Square Enix, with no file to download out of its Anime Music Videos page. Suede showed a clip as an inbetweener on his Top 11 Anime Villains list. It was finally rereleased, used as Padding on his review of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children to make the video reach a full half hour. It's the only way of watching this AMV.
  • All of the four episodes FCCD Sponge Bob Square Pants have been made private, alongside all of Fried Chilli Cheese Dogs' videos, and despite what was said, they are still private, thankfully, various Youtubers have reuploaded each episode, alongside almost all of FCCD's video library.


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