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LinuxWorld: Linux Game Exemplifies New Kind of 'Free' Software

Jun 14, 2003, 01:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)

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I discovered a third kind of free software recently. We've all heard of 'free as in beer' software. It doesn't cost any money, and it may or may not be free according to the Free Software Foundation's definition. The FSF definition is for the 'free as in speech' variety, which may or may not cost you money. The new kind of free software is 'free as in crack.' It doesn't cost any money, but it's deadly addicting. The first example of this new kind of free software that I've found in the wild is Enemy Territory (ET), developed by Splash Damage, published by Activision, and produced by Id Software.

"How addictive is it, you ask? Well, consider this. The final version of ET was released at the end of May, and according to GameSpy.com statistics, it is already the second most popular on-line game out there. It trails Half Life, but has more on-line players than such well-known first-person-shooter titles as Battlefield: 1942, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Unreal Tournament 2003, Quake 3: Arena, America's Army, and Neverwinter Nights.

"Some people say that ET is a mod of Return to Castle Wolfenstein (RTCW) that has somehow morphed its way into becoming a standalone game. Others say that it is still just a mod of RTCW, but a full conversion mod. I don't know enough about it to argue one way or the other, but here is what I do know. ET is based on RTCW. The game play is very similar. However, you don't need RTCW to play ET, and as noted above, you can download the full version for free..."

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