You probably haven’t heard about Bleem in a hot minute, but it seems the notorious 1990s emulator is making a comeback – as a retro gaming storefront.
Retro games publisher Piko Interactive has announced that it has acquired Bleem, a 90s emulator that once went face to face with Sony over the legal rights of emulation.
Bleem is something of a legend within the video game industry. It first emerged on the scene in 1999 as a commercial way to play PlayStation games on your PC, as well as on the Dreamcast.
Now Bleem is to be reincarnated by Piko Interactive, a company which licences old games for today’s market. Bleem will used as a storefront for legally emulating retro classics.
While emulation has always been somewhat of a grey area, Bleem was actually the company responsible for winning a lawsuit against Sony. The win meant that emulating software you already own on different hardware could be defined as fair use.
Piko Interactive has been licensing long forgotten titles for a while now, some of which have been released physically on systems like the Retrocade. Now it seems like the company wants to expand its horizons, becoming a one-stop-shop for games that publishers have long since abandoned.
The Bleem storefront itself seems to follow a similar principle to the Evercade, in that it intends to be an all-in-one solution for purchasing and emulating games. Customers will be able to download a wide selection of titles originating on different consoles like the NES, SNES, Megadrive and PlayStation. They’ll then be able to instantly launch and play.
Piko Interactive also intends to licence out the Bleem software to any company that can make use of it. This means we could see classic titles that will run without the need for a specific emulator appear on the likes of Steam and GOG.
Again, bundling the specific software with the game instead of leaving it to the user sounds like it’ll work on a similar level to the Evercade, which does so with cartridges.
The Bleem storefront can currently be found right here. At the time of writing, it appears to be under construction. It does proudly display its psychedelic 90s colour scheme though, so kudos.
Are you looking forward to the return of Bleem, and do you think you’ll be making use of this storefront when it lands?
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Featured Image Credit: Bleem