Home of the Underdogs, the most widely-recognized and enduring abandonware site on the net, is no more.
The bad news came in the form of a Twitter posted on February 9 by Underdogs founder Sarinee Achavanuntakul, who wrote, “Home of the Underdogs webhost went bankrupt T_T.” The end came four days later, when HotU finally went offline. As Flash of Steel notes, the site’s demise has been a long time coming; it was, perhaps a touch ironically, abandoned by Achavanuntakul, who last updated in 2006. But the game information, the reviews and the commentary all remained intact and it stayed a popular destination for people seeking out old and obscure games from days long ago.
Unlike conventional gaming sites, Home of the Underdogs was as much as museum as it was a download site, focusing exclusively on older and little-known games. Entries on the site typically included detailed information about the developer and publisher, system requirements, reviews, ratings and more, while various “how-tos” and links to old game manuals and related sites were also featured.
The site drew significant hits in its heyday, claiming more than 50,000 unique visitors daily and an average of over eight million page views per month. And although it was rescued from oblivion after briefly going offline in September 2008, that seems unlikely to happen again. Other abandonware sites will help ensure that the great history preserved by HotU remains accessible, but it’s nonetheless a sad loss for gamers with a love for the classics.