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Digital Eclipse is back with a new mission: preserve classic games

Digital Eclipse is back with a new mission: preserve classic games

June 8, 2015 | By Alex Wawro

After being absorbed into Backbone Entertainment in 2003, game remake studio Digital Eclipse has been re-opened with a new focus on accurately preserving classic games in a playable state, starting with its first project: a Capcom-published Mega Man omnibus which includes the first six games in the series.

Game preservation has been a topic of concern in the industry for years, and archivists like Stanford's Henry Lowood and the Internet Archive's Jason Scott often speak publicly about the importance of saving video game history; in recent months, the EFF's fight with the ESA over making abandoned online games exempt from the DMCA and Konami's decision to delist P.T. from PSN have drawn fresh attention to the issue.

Now, Digital Eclipse has been resurrected in Emeryville by its original founder, Andrew Ayre, to focus on porting classic games to its cross-platform Eclipse engine with an eye towards keeping Eclipse updated so that its library of games can be played on both contemporary and future hardware.

As part of the Other Ocean Group of studios, the new Digital Eclipse is currently operating out of the Other Ocean Emeryville office and counts Other Ocean's Mike Mika and Frank Cifaldi (a former Gamasutra editor) among its founding team. Cifaldi is producing the studio's debut title, the Mega Man Legacy Collection, as Digital Eclipse's Head of Restoration, a title he himself notes may be an industry first.

Meanwhile, Mika will continue to oversee development at both Other Ocean and Digital Eclipse; a studio representative tells Gamasutra that Mika helped Other Ocean engineer Kevin Wilson develop the Eclipse engine as a branch of Other Ocean's Bakesale engine (which powers #IDARB) tweaked to serve as an easily portable virtual environment.

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