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The Lunch Break Blog

For those of us who would rather be leveling right now.

Author: cmagoun

Note to Devs: kthxbye... Can We Have Your Stuff?

Posted by cmagoun Monday July 6 2009 at 12:05PM
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Imagine that your favorite MMO turns off its servers -- there simply isn't enough support to justify keeping the thing running. The MMO-space is littered with the corpses of decent games (and crappy ones) that for whatever reason, their company decided to shut down. More often than not, these dead games leave behind a small core of dedicated fans. I know folks who loved Auto Assault and were sad to see it go. Others are hoping that Aeria picks up Shadowbane (me included), and even 5 years later, I would love to see Earth and Beyond revived.

Normally, your only recourse would be to start a forum post, or a hopeless petition. Good luck with that. My guess is you are stuck finding another game, but what if that weren't the case? Instead of closing up shop and leaving the game to rot, what if the developer/publisher of a dead game made the code open source?

Now making the code of your favorite, dead MMO would not guarantee that you could resume playing. Someone (and more likely a group) would have to have the time and resources to compile the source code and host a server. Performance would probably be pretty bad, support non-existant and updates would be done when they got done... keeping in mind that everyone involved has a day job.

Still, the computing world is filled with very successful open source projects and so I could envision a case where the right project crossed roads with the right dev team and a just-rabid-enough fan-base to resurrect an otherwise dead game.

Until then, Aeria Games... PICK UP SHADOWBANE! (or Earth and Beyond)

wolfmann writes:

Oh no! There be no way any devhouse, gamecompany or investor would allow that their game/servercode went open source!

They might one day sell the game to players again!! It would be lost income!


Just look at all the games of the past, games that was released 10 years ago, games that the current owner has no plans whatsoever to republish... Yet, they are quick to attack and sue anyone who puts the game on the net for people to find and enjoy.

Look at all the abandonware webpages. They daily get threatening mails from organisations, demanding that they remove games that hasnt been published 10-15 even 20 years ago. Cuz ya know... allowing someone to find out why Ultima or Wasteland became "legends" in the old gaming world... Cannot happend, unless ya pay em for it, tho they have no plans to sell the game ever again.


Heck, we might have to wait 75 years(Copyright and other moronic laws) to freely go back to our roots of gaming. But before then, we get sued for robbing the companies of possible income.

Mon Jul 06 2009 5:41PM Report
cmagoun writes:

Yeah, I hear you -- it's a pretty silly thought. I am in favor of the abandonware movement (every gamer should download and play Master of Magic... and then pray for a sequel) and have seen some wonderful things come out of the open source movement. Though I don't think it will ever happen, I would love to see an MMO company make a grand gesture and "give back" to the community after closing a game.

You're right, we'll never see it, but it's a nice thought.

Tue Jul 07 2009 3:17PM Report writes:
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