Preface: This is in no way considered legal advice or even condoning anyone else doing these things, merely an opinion of one gamer on the ludicrous nature of how legality plays into these things.
There’s something to be said for things that are technically considered illegal but… shouldn’t be?
Emulation to me makes sense for games that are no longer in production, but as far as I’m aware of there is a legal line there that’s crossed when you go for it. The problem is, some of the games I want to emulate I sure as hell own they just aren’t within arm’s reach right now and it makes it difficult to play the proper copy.
My biggest issue with the huffing about emulation is that most people who are going for emulation aren’t doing it for new games that are sitting on shelves in droves, but for games that don’t exist anymore or would cost a fortune from some private collector in which the dev’s would never see a penny for anyway.
Not to mention that, sometimes, filling the gaps you have had in a series will inspire you to pay money for new titles within that series coming out — such as me with the Tales games — and can sometimes inspire players who never got to futz with them before to fall in love with and end up building a collection of games and official merchandise around.
I do pay for games — and I really do, and have an active subscription at a rental service which also is fairly legal — but sometimes it’s impossible to find the games you want because of them being dated or the systems themselves being dated, and the idea that you don’t want people experiencing these masterpieces because you’re afraid you’ll miss out on some dough is ridiculous. The worst part being that most of the time it’s not even the developers causing these issues but the companies and resources they went through to get their game to the public.
That being said, if you do end up pulling some emulation out of your arse and end up enjoying it, do try to buy some merchandise or the game itself, for the sake of the company continuing to make games, and in the case of failed series/halted series or companies that no longer exist… write a review and let ’em know what they did do was appreciated. Even if it’s just a little something.
… I want more Suikoden games.