Before Steam and Nexumods, there was GameFront. Founded as FileLeech in 1999, you could download mods, demos, patches, tools, maps, skins, and add-ons for PC games. Even those dating all the way back to the mid-1990s. It's one of the oldest and largest sites for classic and current PC mods. Though this might change. GameFront announced it will be shutting down on April 30.
"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," wrote GameFront's Ron Whitaker. "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."
What this means is PC gaming could lose 20 years worth of history in two weeks. Saving these files is not just important from an archival standpoint but will be useful to those looking for content related to older games whose companies no longer exist.
This won't be the first time the site faced closure. In 2009 it urged users to download files before March 30. However thanks to last-minute efforts of its founder Derek Labian and other staffers, its entire database was backed up and the site was bought from the then flailing Ziff Davis group.
The current predicament of GameFront has resulted in Mod DB - another game mod hosting side, to ask users to back up and share GameFront-hosted files.
"We must unite as a community and preserve the mods that GameFront hosts which might otherwise be lost forever," a post on Mod DB reads. "We are very worried that many amazing mods and add ons shared only on GameFront will be lost in two weeks time after the closure. So we are calling on our entire community to help us preserve these files and make them available forever. If you have downloaded a mod, add-on or know of files on GameFront that are not currently hosted on Mod DB, please share them."