Pleasuredome ROM and emulation site goes down after 15 years of play * TorrentFreak
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Pleasuredome, one of the world’s most enduring ROM and emulation sites, suddenly closed its doors after more than 15 years online. The torrent site first appeared in 2004 as the headquarters of the MameFTP group, but over the weekend it suddenly went offline, leaving thousands of users in the dark. Sources close to the site say there is “no drama” and that quitting “while waiting” was the best option.
In 2004, a new site appeared hoping to provide better service to fans of the growing video emulation scene. Acting as both the source and index for lossless compressed ROM and CHD files (for the MAME emulator), Pleasuredome has made emulation resources more accessible, supported by a growing community.
From the start, Pleasuredome was touted as the home of the MameFTPGroup, a reference to the most popular emulator of the time and FTP, the then preferred format for file transfers. Pleasuredome has listed numerous FTP resources on its platform from all over the world, from the United States and Canada to Europe and Australia. The graph below shows how low bandwidth these servers were.
In order to alleviate the pressure on these servers, Pleasuredome users were first encouraged to go out into the real world to get content on physical media to begin with.
Full sets – which can take several weeks to download from the site – can be obtained from what’s called ‘burners‘, volunteers who were willing to give of their time and electricity to burn their collections of ROM binaries onto CD-ROMs. This service was free for those who requested it.
Over 15 years ago, the internet was clearly a different place in terms of bandwidth, and ROM copyright issues were also almost unheard of. Nonetheless, even in its early days, Pleasuredome warned users that since it did not know its users, it was unable to assess a user’s legal rights to use downloaded ROMs. However, the site felt it could reassure people that (unlike today) copyright owners didn’t care about emulation.
“[T]The original copyright owners are usually not too concerned about distributing these ROMs for free as they have long since stopped making money for them, burners have provided sets of ROMs to software vendors and manufacturers arcade in the past, ”a May 2004 statement noted.
“For privacy reasons we will not disclose these companies, but it goes without saying that at least two of them currently play significant roles in the software industry, and one of them is a arcade maker. “
BitTorrent made itself useful
In an effort to reduce the considerable bandwidth costs that could not be transferred to the “on fire” community, at one point, Pleasuredome implemented a BitTorrent tracker, later preferring the Gazelle platform. This meant that content could be shared among site members using their bandwidth, rather than servers with a centralized bill. Considering that a complete Mameset with all CHDs can weigh in the hundreds of gigabytes, the savings would have been enormous.
Pleasuredome has strict sharing rules in place and anyone who does not play ball has been banned from the site. At one point, however, the site itself had to change the way it operated by excluding some content as well. The tracker had a policy of only offering game ROMs that were not officially available for purchase. So when the gaming giants including Nintendo started suing ROM portals, Pleasuredome started banning its games from the site.
After more than 15 years online (and not a limited period before that under any other domain), Pleasuredome threw in the towel this weekend. On Sunday, the site shut down before posting a brief “Game Over” shutdown message on Pleasuredome.org.uk, the former domain of the torrent site. No warning was given and no explanation offered for the closure.
However, the site did provide a link to a Reddit post that also contains a chat box. Someone claiming to be on the site’s moderation team provided a bit more information about the site, stating that “all good things come to an end.”
“We decided that PD had come to an end, it’s that simple, no drama, no problems. By simply ending the tracker, it was fine as long as it lasted. It’s dead for good, ”advised the poster.
“The emulation will continue… your hobby will continue. PD has transformed but the scene is still as active and lively as ever.
When a site goes down, talk automatically switches to see if there might be some kind of resurrection. Reading between the lines which is not totally excluded but as far as Pleasuredome is concerned at least, the end is reached.
“There is no way the site will return to its old form. We had a good race and decided it was the best time to finish. To stop while we are early, ”said a statement.
“There is no valid legal way to transfer the site. PD was a great site and the time has come for it to end in a meaningful way. Believe me, we will miss the community too, but that was the right time for all good things to come to an end.
But while the site has now eclipsed itself to join thousands of others in the file-sharing graveyard, the team provided a link on this page, which might prove useful to some.