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Linux.com: Letting Go of Game Code

Mar 15, 2000, 22:42 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Michie)

"Open source is finally penetrating the minds of software executives. However, except for a few notable exceptions games have remained largely proprietary and closed. Is there a niche for open source games?"

"Even the staunchest free software advocate has a hard time making a convincing case that games should be open source. Indeed, games probably shouldn't be on the same level as underlying libraries and protocols. Most arguments revolve around making the code for the game's engine open, while charging for the artwork, music, and levels. This allows the gaming community to fix bugs, make ports, and maintain the code while letting the game company take a profit. The problem with this model, is many gaming companies also profit from licensing their gaming engines. Releasing their code could have a negative impact on their bottom line...."

"Whatever your opinions on open source games, you ought to demand that eventually the company releases some kind of source code. The market window for most games is tiny. If a game has a life of more than a couple of months, it is an exception. After a game has "expired," most companies stop supporting the product and no longer release bug fixes and enhancements. It doesn't take long until you can't even play the game you spent $60 on."

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