Preservation of the homebrew scene

Published by gnmmarechal on

I’m sure we’ve all seen the news – Yuzu is dead, the repositories are gone, and so are Citra’s. It is a terrible thing and something that further sours my perception of Nintendo, and I’m sure the same applies to a lot of the homebrew community.

I therefore decided to make this post for anyone who may come across it, as a reminder that nothing you upload online is owned by you. Not even the repositories “owned” by you, or any servers that might host your content. It all ultimately belongs to thousands, even millions of people, and time and time again we’ve seen GitHub take down repositories due to a DMCA takedown request. We’ve seen videos taken down from platforms such as YouTube. We’ve seen file hosting platforms simply drop dead – Megaupload died a very long time ago, Zippyshare recently. Even in situations that have nothing to do with legal matters, we’ve seen countless websites live and die, taking everything with them. You don’t own anything that isn’t personally yours – and really, as has been repeated over the years, if you don’t have competent backup systems, you don’t own even files on your own machines – you’re merely leasing them from fate.

And this brings me to my point: The same is true of the homebrew and emulation scene, and it’s sad how much content, how much work, how much knowledge has been lost over the years as platforms dwindle, as links break, as some long gone member just doesn’t renew the hosting plan or the domain, for whatever reason that may be. Even in cases where the platforms are just fine, sometimes people just pull their content down.

And it’s unfortunate. My first true realisation of this came with the PSP scene. Trying to relive the days when I downloaded all the homebrew games I could find, I happened upon the good old websites I’d originally downloaded so much content from. I specifically recall my disappointment when I opened QuickJump (, only to find the downloads to be broken. This is one example, but ask anyone in the scene, and they’ll be able to point you to instances of content being taken down, dying off, maybe just forgotten even, becoming increasingly more difficult to find. This is tragic, in my opinion, and we should strive to prevent it as much as possible.

Therefore, my message is simple – download all you can, source code, releases, documentation – mirror them. Of course, always credit the original release and creator. But do not let homebrew die. It is a beautiful scene full of amazing efforts, breathing new life into obsolete or otherwise abandoned systems.


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