After 32-bit purge, GameClub raises $2.5M to bring back classic iOS games


Vlambeer's <em>Super Crate Box</em> is among the well-remembered iOS titles being brought back thanks to GameClub.

Enlarge / Vlambeer’s Super Crate Box is among the well-remembered iOS titles being brought back thanks to GameClub.

Apple’s 2017 shift from 32-bit to a 64-bit code base for iOS has shut the door on countless games and apps designed during the platform’s early days. Now, a startup called GameClub has attracted $2.5 million dollars in investment to help fix that problem, working with the original developers to update well-remembered premium mobile games for newer devices.

Games originally coded for older, 32-bit iOS devices can be recompiled for newer versions of the operating system. But that requires access to the original source code, which is often held by companies that don’t have the interest or ability to try to find a new market for an old, “defunct” game on their own.

“There’s a surprising amount of detective work involved in identifying who owns the rights and who has the source code,” GameClub cofounder and CEO Dan Sherman told VentureBeat recently. “Sometimes those rights are in two different places or were part of a studio or publisher that is now defunct or in the process of winding down, as the original owners move on to other ventures, jobs, or leave the industry entirely. In some situations, the games were effectively forgotten, or the rights were at risk of disappearing into legal abyss, leaving them one step away from the source code being lost forever.”

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