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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Should companies release server software once the MMO shuts down?

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78 posts found
  Mithrandolir

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/28/05
Posts: 1699

Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft' might win, by fearing to attempt

5/10/06 8:37:31 PM#21
I would so play E&B if someone had it up and running. I'd even pay 20 bucks a month to play it.
No... Eve is not the same for me :(

Not that Eve is bad... I just really liked E&B. Me and one other person I think :)


  Anofalye

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/03
Posts: 7442

The enemy is so dumb! They believe that WE are the enemy! - A famous orc commander.

5/10/06 8:38:49 PM#22
In short, the answer should be something like:  Yes, unless they see this as competition for further projects.

- "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - René Levesque about the denial NO on the poll to his dream, project and goal. (Free translation)

  Cillasi

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/02
Posts: 339

5/10/06 11:06:34 PM#23

Originally posted by Fireburst

One reason they don't sell is to protect the source code used within the engine. Even if a game is dead many parts of that source can and is used in other developments.

They don't want competitors seeing this code and they certainly don't want the community getting the code as any flaws found could be used for game hacks against other projects using similar code.


Exactly right, and that's why you only buy a LICENSE to use software; you don't OWN the program.  Therefore, you have no protectable right to fiddle with the source code, etc.

So, while a company may not sell the rights to a defunct game outright, they might be persuaded to license the game to a provider.  However, that would not give the provider the rights to enhance, change or improve the game, so I doubt you will see that happening very often either. 

The Realm Online is one game that has changed ownership about 3-4 times over its lifetime, but its code is so obsolete that nobody else would want it.  I don't see any owner of a "modern" game selling their game outright unless they are getting out of the business altogether and are just interested in the cut and run.

  Fireburst

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/03
Posts: 199

5/11/06 4:44:13 AM#24

Originally posted by Cillasi

Originally posted by Fireburst

One reason they don't sell is to protect the source code used within the engine. Even if a game is dead many parts of that source can and is used in other developments.

They don't want competitors seeing this code and they certainly don't want the community getting the code as any flaws found could be used for game hacks against other projects using similar code.


Exactly right, and that's why you only buy a LICENSE to use software; you don't OWN the program.  Therefore, you have no protectable right to fiddle with the source code, etc.

So, while a company may not sell the rights to a defunct game outright, they might be persuaded to license the game to a provider.  However, that would not give the provider the rights to enhance, change or improve the game, so I doubt you will see that happening very often either. 


This is the problem. Who would want to licence a game witout the ability to fix things. I can imagine the forum....

player: woot I am lvl 300 finally but my new uber move don't work. Fix it GM.. I didn't work my ass off for this crap.

GM: I am sorry you are having trouble but sadly we cannot fix game issues like this. This is why you only pay $4 a month. It is expected that you will face the odd issue which unfortunatly won't work. We are pretty sure that the new move you get at lvl 350 works ok so perservere and you will get your rewards :)

player: WHAT!!!! It took me months to get from lvl 250 to 300 and I get nothing for it. You steal my money u thief. You all SUX. I hope this game dies AGAIN and I will tell my friends to never touch a game you host again!!!!

GM: <sigh>


  Zeaus

Novice Member

Joined: 4/05/03
Posts: 222

When you have a shiny new hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

5/11/06 6:25:12 AM#25

If you want to release a game for free (any game not just MMOGs) then you do these simple steps.

1) Round up a lot of donations

2) Buy the IP and source code

3) Release it all to under the GPL, Public Domain or some other license

This is the only way you'd ever be able to "legally" do it. You could argue that its your right as a customer because now the software you bought doesn't work anymore (assuming you bought the game client) but there is probably some legal mumbo jumbo in the EULA that stops this and it'd only cost you court fees that could be better spent on making a deal for buying the game outright in the first place.

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  baff

Novice Member

Joined: 5/22/05
Posts: 9470

5/11/06 7:54:33 AM#26

Originally posted by Cillasi

Exactly right, and that's why you only buy a LICENSE to use software; you don't OWN the program.  Therefore, you have no protectable right to fiddle with the source code, etc.

So, while a company may not sell the rights to a defunct game outright, they might be persuaded to license the game to a provider.  However, that would not give the provider the rights to enhance, change or improve the game, so I doubt you will see that happening very often either. 

The Realm Online is one game that has changed ownership about 3-4 times over its lifetime, but its code is so obsolete that nobody else would want it.  I don't see any owner of a "modern" game selling their game outright unless they are getting out of the business altogether and are just interested in the cut and run.


Wrong.

This really is the oldest lamest boogeyman myth in gaming.

You do not buy a licesnse you buy the software, you own it.

In the US, the first sale doctrine, Softman v. Adobe  and Novell, inc. v. CPU Distrib., Inc. ruled that software sales are purchases, not licenses.

In the EU this is covered by the Unfair Contract Act.

Copywright Law still applies and reverse engineering the code for profit is not allowed without the copywright holders permission.

You are allowed to fiddle with the code, you are allowed to adapt it to suit your purposes or reverse engineer it to learn how it works.

You are not allowed to use it in another software without permission.


  exanimo

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/04
Posts: 1314

5/11/06 9:33:40 AM#27

i think its a good idea , it might be possible , but not right after the game dies.
there are tons of freewere games that once were not free.

like the classics : ( hope this are legal sites ::::07:: )

my first rpg ever : School Daze for ZXspectrum
http://www.mobygames.com/game/zx-spectrum/skool-daze/screenshots

and my first rpg for pc ...
Larry in the land of the lounge lizard , larry 1.
http://www.abandonia.com/games/en/120/LarryInLandofLoungeLizards.htm

this games can be found for free in many sites.

so i guess its possible they will set free ," mmo server sofware and database " for dead mmo games in the future , when the grafics are so ridiculus old like those are today.

anyway , this is one of the reasons im a screenshots maniac , at least i will have the screens to remember.

Join AOL - http://lightness.goodforum.net/

  sarbonn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/16/06
Posts: 108

5/11/06 10:12:06 AM#28

I always thought this would be a great last influx of cash option for companies AFTER the game finally died away. They could retool the game to make sure that the spawns existed as well as the game itself, and they could sell it as a final version of the game. For me, it would serve the nostalgia of the old game, and it would give me the opportunity to explore the places I never got to see the first time around.

But something seems to be forgotten. VERY few of the main games have actually shut down. They're still chugging along unless they were outright failures from the get-go, like AC2 or Shadowbane. Earth and Beyond was somewhat of a surprise, but while playing it, you could see it was going to fail because the universe was too limiting and there was NO attempt to expand it.

My blog:
http://www.littlesarbonn.com

  Copeland

Novice Member

Joined: 5/27/04
Posts: 1982

Love is where you give,
Happiness is relative.

5/11/06 10:23:28 AM#29

I don't believe a company should just give away its work. So i voted no. However, i would like to see them offer a limited non-profit license so people could set up a server with a viable population of around 1 or 2000 players and charge enough to cover the expense. I think that makes sense. I don't think they should charge a large amount for such a license either since there is no profit.

  Cowinspace

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/05
Posts: 668

There are no stupid questions. There are, however, a lot of inquisitive idiots.

5/11/06 11:35:17 AM#30
If the game is a few years old and dying (or completly dead), and if the company running is going the same way and/or  it no-longer uses the source for other titles then this could be possible. But the occasion wouldn't happen too often, and most will cling to the source 'just in case'.

  britoca

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/06/04
Posts: 1486

Time U enjoyed wasting was not wasted

 
OP  5/11/06 11:53:42 AM#31
Thanks for the posts everyone.

let me make it clear that in my question I refer to the following:

  1. a game or version of the game that has become extinct or obsolete
  2. the game company would SELL a copy of the required software, not give it away for free
  3. by being extinct or obsolete, the company has no custumer support/content providing obligations to the purchaser of the copy of the software other than basic functional documentation (something like /help)
  4. the purchaser should be aware of the limitations/problems of the software and the terms of release of resposibility of support on the company's behalf
  5. the purchaser would not be paying the company any monthly fees. There is nothing to pay for on a monthly basis. The purchaser only buys a copy, the means, the "tool" to convert his defunct mmo into a regular, user-hosted multiplayer game
However, this is the solution I am proposing, and maybe there are other, better solutions.  There's many people in this forum, and all that brain power must surely find good ideas.

I'm glad this is such an active post.  Obviously it is a problem common to many gamers and by keeping this thread alive companies WILL notice.
We are custumers, they are service providers.  We have a need, and it's not currently met. Those who meet our needs get our money.

The message is clear, keep pointing out the problems and shruging shoulders: u get no money.
Find us a solution: u get our money.

-virtual tourist
want your game back?

  exanimo

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/04
Posts: 1314

5/11/06 12:10:36 PM#32

the op is not asking for the code , so i dont see where people could learn to hack with a tool that provides server task

if you can hack a game with the input output info coming from a server , why cant you from a client ?

Join AOL - http://lightness.goodforum.net/

  Cowinspace

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/05
Posts: 668

There are no stupid questions. There are, however, a lot of inquisitive idiots.

5/11/06 2:24:15 PM#33

Originally posted by neoteo

the op is not asking for the code , so i dont see where people could learn to hack with a tool that provides server task

if you can hack a game with the input output info coming from a server , why cant you from a client ?


Maybe you haven't paid too much attention but he is.

If you want to run a server for an mmo you have to supply new content every so often, as well as bug fix content already there. To do this you need access to the source code.

Without it people will lose interest in the game fast, and therefore the server operators would lose players, making it harder to maintain the server (assumming they charge, If it was a free server you might not have as much of a problem as soon, but it would still happen).

  Fireburst

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/03
Posts: 199

5/11/06 2:54:32 PM#34



Wrong.

This really is the oldest lamest boogeyman myth in gaming.

You do not buy a licesnse you buy the software, you own it.

In the US, the first sale doctrine, Softman v. Adobe  and Novell, inc. v. CPU Distrib., Inc. ruled that software sales are purchases, not licenses.

In the EU this is covered by the Unfair Contract Act.

Copywright Law still applies and reverse engineering the code for profit is not allowed without the copywright holders permission.

You are allowed to fiddle with the code, you are allowed to adapt it to suit your purposes or reverse engineer it to learn how it works.

You are not allowed to use it in another software without permission.



When you sign a publishing licence with a developer to host a game, that is what you get, a publishing licence. We are not talking about purchasing a shrink wrapped piece of software for personal use.
  britoca

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/06/04
Posts: 1486

Time U enjoyed wasting was not wasted

 
OP  5/11/06 11:49:06 PM#35

Originally posted by neoteo

my first rpg ever : School Daze for ZXspectrum
http://www.mobygames.com/game/zx-spectrum/skool-daze/screenshots

and my first rpg for pc ...
Larry in the land of the lounge lizard , larry 1.
http://www.abandonia.com/games/en/120/LarryInLandofLoungeLizards.htm

this games can be found for free in many sites.



OMG!  You just reminded me of the Space Quest series!  I am so gonna get those games now! haha thanks!

-virtual tourist
want your game back?

  exanimo

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/04
Posts: 1314

5/12/06 12:01:43 AM#36


Originally posted by Cowinspace

Originally posted by neoteo
the op is not asking for the code , so i dont see where people could learn to hack with a tool that provides server task
if you can hack a game with the input output info coming from a server , why cant you from a client ?
Maybe you haven't paid too much attention but he is.If you want to run a server for an mmo you have to supply new content every so often, as well as bug fix content already there. To do this you need access to the source code.Without it people will lose interest in the game fast, and therefore the server operators would lose players, making it harder to maintain the server (assumming they charge, If it was a free server you might not have as much of a problem as soon, but it would still happen).

well seams like you are the one not paing attention

this is not for " people " , who cares if they will lose interest .. this is for veteran fans , that want to play the game even if its full of bugs , they love it , with the same content forever .

Join AOL - http://lightness.goodforum.net/

  britoca

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/06/04
Posts: 1486

Time U enjoyed wasting was not wasted

 
OP  5/12/06 8:30:12 PM#37

Originally posted by Cowinspace

Originally posted by neoteo

the op is not asking for the code , so i dont see where people could learn to hack with a tool that provides server task

if you can hack a game with the input output info coming from a server , why cant you from a client ?


Maybe you haven't paid too much attention but he is.

If you want to run a server for an mmo you have to supply new content every so often, as well as bug fix content already there. To do this you need access to the source code.

Without it people will lose interest in the game fast, and therefore the server operators would lose players, making it harder to maintain the server (assumming they charge, If it was a free server you might not have as much of a problem as soon, but it would still happen).

you know what? I just noticed that last part in parethesis in your post, so my reply kinda hits a mute point, but heck, I still wrote it, here it goes

Yeah, I see that, but the intent here is not to host public servers for any sort of fees or anything.  Not to say that that can't be arraged legally somehow.  But my original intent is to have a game that I can host and had a LAN party, or have my guild be able to connect.  I mean, howver far you want to take this concept is really up to the purchaser.  I was thinking of just playing it with my grilfriend and maybe some 5 or other 6 friends.  We'd just learn different professions/skills as we'd need them for gameplay.  So much for player driven economy with such low number of players, but oh well, hey, at least I'm logged in the game and can have part of my memories back.

Off course if u start promoting your server and throwing internet parties in your server.... that's ur choice and your extra bandwidth to pay/worry about.

-virtual tourist
want your game back?

  Beatnik59

Elite Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2222

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

5/14/06 2:06:03 PM#38

What reason should the developers allow the game to go on under someone else's banner?

Because the short lifespan of these games is a barrier to entry.  It was the biggest barrier for entry in my case.  I simply did not see the point in paying so much for a product and service, when my game can disappear for reasons wholly unrelated to my enjoyment.

I can control my purchasing power and my subscription.  What I cannot control is everyone else's subscription, and the financial stability of the service.  These are out of the subscriber's hands, but they make all the difference.

If the enjoyment of my apartment is dependent on paying my rent, then I am free to enjoy it for as long as I abide by my end.

But if the enjoyment of my apartment is dependent on whether or not everybody is paying their rent, then even if I pay it, I may not be able to enjoy it due to factors outside of my control.

Gamers want to play games.  They do not wish to play question marks.  Allowing post-publish legacy rights starts to make games less questionable to the skeptical consumer.

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  Zindaihas

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 5109

'If you put govt in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 yrs there'd be a shortage of sand'~M. Friedman

5/14/06 2:23:00 PM#39
I've always wished there was a way to keep a character alive long after the game dies, or after you stop playing it.  Maybe if the company developed a screen saver or something that you could load your character into so you would have something to remember your character by.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tK6YIAX1jg

  Toziel

Novice Member

Joined: 4/05/03
Posts: 27

5/14/06 3:29:42 PM#40
I am wondering about something.While people are discussing here about if the owner should release the servsoftware after they have shut down the server themself there still arises the question.Did anyone ever made and enquiry to the specific firms like Turbine for AC2 or whoever had the rights on E&B in the end(Westwood?EA?) if they are willing to give the server software and maybe the source code(limited or full acces) away for a fee?
Lets take E&B as example.The game is now offline for 3-4 years and so either a red number or a black number in the pocket of the firm.The firm might even think about this if someone made an request and i bet there are enough people out there who would donate some bucks for the revival of E&B.

"You can’t say civilization isn’t advancing: in every war they kill you in a new way." – Will Rogers
"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." - George Bernard Shaw

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