Open Game Business Models

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By Strypey:

"As with Avaneya, anyone planning such a project will be faced with one of the frequent questions asked about games who release their engines and art under libre licenses. As with music and movies, "who pays the piper?" The Humble Indie Bundle project has successfully raised millions of dollars for independent game developers, some of which were already using libre licenses. Crowdfunding sites like KickStarter and IndieGoGo have also been used to raise funds for libre projects. The emerging answer seems to be why not go straight to the public who would be likely to buy the product, and get them to fund development directly, rather than trying to fund development after the fact by selling products.

Another strategy for free software game developers could be to develop mutually beneficial relationships with organic growers, who can support them directly with food and other plant-derived products, rather than cash. There is currently a lot of interest in developing games which teach permaculture principles, and other aspects of sustainable design and production. A simple example is the Shockwave game Permaculture Elements. More elaborate "PermaGames", like the PermaSim project on SourceForge, could be built on top of the free game engines and toolkits listed below, meaning that work done on improving those codebases could earn goodwill and vegetables from growers who see value in games as a teaching tool, especially for the "digital natives" of the generation born since the Internet went mainstream." (

Games As a Service


"Where are the dedicated game servers for downloads and network play on libre games? Avaneya has one planned, but they won't be the first.

Peers Community are currently running servers for five games:

  • Minetest: MineCraft clone
  • Red Eclipse (Cube Engine (2) fork): first-person shooter
  • Sauerbraten: (Cube Engine (2) fork) another first-person shooter
  • Tesseract: (Cube Engine (2)/ Sauerbrauten fork) yet another first-person shooter
  • Xonotic: still yet another first-person shooter


  • Wildfire Games maintain a multiplayer lobby for their game 0AD.
  • Various people run FreeCiv servers, and you can also play FreeCiv in your browser as an HTML5 game.
  • The Meridian 59 community maintain Server 105 for MMORPG gameplay, and other Meridian servers exist.