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Green Lining

Should I make my MMORPG opensource?

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Green Lining    100
Would it make business sense to offer an ONLINE MMORPG on sourceforge as an Open Source Initiative project? I was thinking I could charge fees and services this way but keep it opensourcce so moodders would have an easier time adding to the game as well as me getting new talent easier. Also, I want to use the Realm Forge Editor/Engine http://xeonxstudios.com/ and am thinking my game and this editor would interface better if the game was opensource as well. The trends in the industry do point to opensouce and quite frankly I’m finding software quality to be of better caliber and experience with opensource. What could this mean for the furute of the gaming industry? There are allot of OSI projects in the industry now. http://www.devmaster.net/

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Raduprv    997
Eternal Lands is an MMORPG with an Open Source client and closed source server. Besides for a few annyoances related to scripting, I am very happy I released the client source code, since alot of people contributed, and now I have more time to focus on the server.

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vanevery0    146
Nah. Don't bother. There's nothing wrong with having open source stuff as part of your business model. For instance, using and contributing to an open source 3D engine like The Nebula Device. But really there's no reason for you to give the whole thing away. You can make all sorts of parts of your product open source, whatever you think is enough to get a hobbyist community behind your offerings. Keep the rest closed.

One thing to realize about open source communities, is they're filled with hordes and hordes of people who have no financial stakes in anything. This creates a very different mentality about what kinds of tasks they'll take on, how much work they'll perform, when they'll complete it, and what they're even competent at.

For instance, my experience is the vast majority of open source developers are utterly incompetent at marketing and business issues. They're mostly techies looking to have a good time playing with code. They avoid money issues like the plague and that's why they band together on the net. Guys who are interested in money, spend most of their time focused on actually making the money.

It's tempting to look at open source as some kind of cornucopia of free productivity, but it ain't. Anything that resembles a serious financial stake for your company, you're going to have to do yourself. Nobody else is interested in doing 'grunt work' in a timeframe that matters to you as a business.

In open source land, I've learned that the proper business model is 'WYSIWYG'. If it's great today, great! Use it. If it sucks, avoid it. It ain't gonna improve in any timeframe that matters to you.

Your attitude towards open source sounds suspiciously like idealism. From a business standpoint, I'd recommend blowing off the idealism. Making your MMORPG open source 'because that's somehow idealistically The Right Thing To Do' is not a business model. A business model is something that keeps you solvent and provides tangible Value Add over some other way you might do it.

Money focuses people differently. Remember that.

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Green Lining    100
Taken from the Nevrax FAQ, creators of the new MMORPG "Saga of Ryzoom."
Quote:

How can you make money if you're writing Free Software ?

That's the catch. Free Software doesn't mean free content, or free service. While the software will be free, we retain property of our game data and game servers. Free Software and OnLine games are a perfect match, as these games are not really just code, but rather a service provided to subscribers which will pay a monthly fee to access our servers to play our game.

We believe that we have everything to gain, and nothing to lose by opening the source code.


http://www.nevrax.org/faq/
http://www.ryzom.com/?page=home

I think they are keeping there game closed source while the tools are open.

[Edited by - Green Lining on November 5, 2004 11:06:49 AM]

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