Home of the Underdogs

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Home of the Underdogs
Website logo
Abandonware / digital archiving
languages English
operator Sarinee Achavanuntakul
Registration no / optional
On-line September 1998 (currently online)

Home of the Underdogs (HotU) is one of the largest abandonware websites in the Internet . The website was founded in September 1998 by Sarinee Achavanuntakul and initially hosted on free web space, but later switched to its own server.


The website offers reviews of over 5,300 computer games as well as downloads and manuals for many games that are no longer sold by the manufacturer. Most of the games available are for PCs ( DOS and Microsoft Windows ), but there is also an area dedicated to games on other platforms, which are usually in formats that can be played with emulators . There are also 33 scanned game book series , many of which are complete.

The website mainly focuses on " underdogs " ; H. Games that, for whatever reason, have been less commercially successful. The following ratings are given for games:

  • With Top Dog excellent games are called, but their success z. B. failed due to bad marketing.
  • A very small number of games are listed in the Hall of Belated Fame (HoBF, = subsequent hall of fame ), which in the eyes of the HotU operators would have deserved many awards and good reviews. All HoBF games are automatically Top Dogs too .
  • With Real Dog the games are called, which rightly commercially failed were (mostly due to poor playability) but added a fan to the database of Home of the Underdogs on request.

The site claims to be not a download site, but rather a kind of museum for games that are now considered "great" but received little attention when they were released (the " Underdogs " in the name also refers to this the website). HotU endeavors to meet the wishes of the authors: If a game can be bought again, or if the owner of the rights to the game so wishes, the files will be removed and, if possible, replaced by a link to the manufacturer's website. From a legal point of view, however, copyright violations are committed.

All content is made available to visitors free of charge. In order to cover the running costs, the operators are dependent on donations. Since this alone is not enough, advertising banners and pop-ups are also placed .

There is a community around the website with its own forum and IRC channel . For the future it is planned to operate the entire website on the basis of a wiki .

Technical difficulties

The website initially had the theunderdogs.org domain . In 2002 this domain was not renewed in time and was then occupied by a cybersquatter . The archive then moved to the the-underdogs.org domain .

Since March 21, 2006 the address the-underdogs.org has been inaccessible due to problems with the .org domain . Allegedly, difficulties with a credit card hampered the recovery of the domain name. As a result, the-underdogs.info was registered and the website moved there. Since April 23, 2006 the website was fully functional again. But there were no more updates.

The website could not be reached for several days in September 2008, the reason is not yet known. The website reappeared at the end of September 2008, but with no screenshots or downloads.

From February to the end of March 2009 the website could no longer be reached. According to a message from the owner, this was due to the bankruptcy of the web host.

Since March 24, 2009 the website has been available under a new domain.

Since 2009 users in the "Home of the Underdogs Revival Project" have been trying to revive the website. Around this time, a partnership was also formed with DRM- free digital distributor GOG.com to promote some of the classics available through gog.com.


Shortly after the temporary demise of HotU, a group came together online, which, with the support of the original owner, Sarinee Achavanuntakul, is trying to relaunch the website. Dan Pinchbeck of the Advanced Games Research Group at the University of Portsmouth, who is already helping to archive computer game history and keep it accessible as part of the EU-funded KEEP Emulator project, is playing a leading role. The plan is to rebuild the comprehensive archive of Home of the Underdogs and make it accessible, as well as to constantly expand the archive with further historical games and user reviews.

Meaning and reception

Some game developers offered their games directly to "Home of the Underdogs", such as Chris Crawford , who thanked Achavanuntakul for helping to make his work known to new players. Developers such as Derek Yu and Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw said Home of the Underdogs sparked their interest in video game development. The website has also been described as significant for its use in the digital archiving of computer games; especially since the game publishers themselves often did not archive as soon as a game was no longer published.

Web links


Individual evidence

  1. Marc Saltzman: Flashbacks For Free: The Skinny On Abandonware ( English ) gamespot.com. 2002. Archived from the original on December 14, 2005. Retrieved on December 29, 2012: “ By day, 28-year-old Sarinee Achavanuntakul is an investment banker in Hong Kong, but by night, she runs the infamous Home of the Underdogs, a website she founded three and a half years ago, and receives an average of more than 30,000 unique visitors per day. According to Achavanuntakul, the purpose of starting Home of the Underdogs was simple: to preserve out-of-print games that publishers no longer support, to keep them from falling into oblivion, and to honor other underrated games, including freeware games and recent commercial titles that might have been poor sellers. "
  2. http://twitter.com/Fringer/statuses/1194153273
  3. Underdogs, Ho . In: Rock, Paper, Shotgun . March 12, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  4. http://www.homeoftheunderdogs.net/
  5. a b c d Alex Walker: The Story Behind The Home Of Forgotten Video Games . In: Kotaku . September 11, 2017. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  6. ^ Underdogfight: Home Of The Underdogs Returns . In: Rock, Paper, Shotgun . June 15, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  7. Home of the Underdogs is back! . In: The Escapist Magazine . June 11, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  8. http://www.fringer.org/?p=416
  9. http://groups.google.com/group/hotu-revival
  10. http://cordis.europa.eu/fetch?CALLER=DE_FP7_NEWS&ACTION=D&DOC=7&CAT=NEWS&QUERY=011fc3898e99:0614:5251064a&RCN=30459
  11. "Nostalgia Keeps Games Afloat" Article about HotU on Wired News by Daniel Terdiman (April 08, 2004)