Underground Gamer (UG), a private BitTorrent tracker specialized in pre-2004 game releases, has shut down citing legal problems.
According to information from the site’s IRC chat the all non-essential data was wiped out and what remains was encrypted.
The drastic decision was presumably taken to protect the site’s users and staff.
UG’s Lenk explained in the site’s IRC channel that complaints were made by a copyright watchdog about some of the games that were distributed through UG, including FIFA 98.
According to Lenk the “threats” did not come from any of the game publishers directly.
“Companies don’t care about UG. Copyright watchdogs make it their job though,” Lenk writes.
Underground Gamer specializes in old and rare games across a wide range of platforms. As long as the game or platform is from before 2004 there is a very good chance you’ll find it available on the tracker
TorrentFreak talked to UG member Graham who praised the tracker for its extensive collection of old and rare games, and describes the UG community as the go-to place for retro gamers.
“The forums at UG are well used and a gold mine of information on just about anything to do with retro gaming,” he says.
We tried to get in contact with UG staff but so far without luck. It’s clear that the site has shut down for now, but it’s not the end.
“No, we are not gone,” UG notes.