FOSS Video Games

Danny Piccirillo danny.piccirillo at
Thu Jul 24 19:03:44 BST 2008

Well i see how FOSS games can be good, but i guess what i'm looking for is
why a company like EA, Ubisoft, Valve, etc. would want to make FOSS games.
How could they change their business model to profit from making FOSS games?
Games have become really advanced despite requiring a heavy investment in
coding and it seems the proprietary software model has worked very well for
games. Assuming games stay the way they do (install it and play it off your
computer) not any alternative that is online and played at conventions, how
could FOSS games be a successful business? Free software can be sold, but
most people will get the games for free, right?

On Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 4:39 AM, Martin Owens <doctormo at> wrote:

> A few answers:
> The Ideal: The value of any work is in the work being done; people
> must learn to pay for people to do things. To invest in action. Once
> your actions are paid for by investment you can create anything
> without needing to licence it under a restrictive license. People will
> not want to invest in untrustworthy sources so reputation is
> important. Creating a portfolio of work for free can build that
> reputation.
> The Code: The source code to a game, the engine; is often a part which
> uses very similar ideas and methods to most other games. Almost all
> source code to any game should be made free software simple to
> increase efficiency and sell he game on it's main points: Game Play
> and Content. Having existing code to make games allows content
> creators to make games without a large investment in software coding.
> The Media: There is going to be look and feel as well as graphics, ui,
> texture maps, models, icons, stories, concepts, game mechanics which
> are all a part of the game play. To make any of these free software
> they either must be individual insignificant parts (such as a tree or
> a bunny) or they must be released on a game genera restrictive license
> (you can reuse and derive so long as the result is not in the same
> genera)
> The Alternative: Creating a game which accesses a service (such as an
> online version) or a game which is hosted at GameCons, or an
> advertising model are all ways in which game investment helps other
> industries. those industries could themselves invest the money in
> creating free software games which would in turn benefit their own
> business.
> If the business and financial industries would allow people to invest
> into content projects we would have much more successful media
> industry. Companies and individuals that created good content would be
> rewarded. Those that seek to earn massive amounts of money for no work
> would not be able to earn a living.
> Best Regards, Martin Owens
> 2008/7/24 Danny Piccirillo <danny.piccirillo at>:
> > There is one thing i can't really understand worth being free software:
> > video games. I can see why it would be good for anything else up to the
> > consoles games run on but i don't see the benefit of making games
> themselves
> > open source. Can someone who believes in total software freedom explain
> that
> > to me?
> >
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