A big part of PC gaming history will be lost
GameFront, a huge directory and hosting site for all kinds of mods and patches, is shutting down this month.
No reasons were given why the site was closing, however it was confirmed that any mods that had not been downloaded and backed up by April 30 will be gone forever:
We are sorry to announce that GameFront will be closing its doors permanently as of April 30, 2016. Since our founding as FileLeech almost 20 years ago, we have always strived to offer the best file hosting alongside quality gaming content. To all of our fans who have supported us throughout the years, we thank you for making us your destination for gaming files. Despite name changes, ownership changes, and staff changes, you have always made our jobs rewarding and fun.
If you have files that you would like to save from the site, you will need to make sure that you have downloaded them prior to April 30. Any files not downloaded by that time will no longer be accessible.
This is really worrying for a couple of reasons. Primarily, modding is a huge part of PC gaming, and a not insignificant chunk of that history is going to be lost when the site shuts down. This is like when PT died, just on a smaller scale.
Secondly, the site hosts patches for plenty of older games not found on digital distributors. I’m sure there are other people like me who like to grab old PC games from charity shops and car boot sales every once in a while, so not having the patches available through GameFront anymore will make that a bigger risk than it already is.
Fortunately, preservation work is already underway. Fellow mod site ModDB has announced a campaign to save as many of the mods as possible and get them moved over to their site where, at least for the moment, they will be safe.
Farewell, GameFront. You shall be missed.