If a publisher shuts down a game’s online bits, current US copyright law says, you’re technically not allowed to modify the game to use different servers or work offline. It’s gone, that’s it, bye-bye. That’s a bummer for players, not to mention folks trying to preserve our short but already fading history. American digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation have been trying to change this, and are currently arguing for an exception for abandoned online games letting folks revive and save them.
According to the Entertainment Software Association, a trade association representing mostly publishers, this would be a bad thing. Oh dear.