Is freeware dead?

This is for general discussion about games or about games that are not really freeware.

Moderator: Crew

Post Reply
User avatar
Zyx
Pretender to the throne
Posts: 1863
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 20:48
Location: Helsinki
Contact:

Is freeware dead?

Post by Zyx » Tue Nov 05, 2013 21:02

With the advent of indie games and variety of digital distribution channels and especially mobile, are freeware PC games becoming extinct?

Now that channels like GOG.com, Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter exist, are developers choosing to sell their games for small amount instead of giving it out for free? Is this a good thing, because they can justify putting more resources into the games or a bad thing because games are being made for profit? Is this healthier in the long term?

Are developers targeting mobile, where they can potentially reach many magnitudes larger audiences than on PCs and where alternative revenue streams like advertising banners are more accepted? Are mobile phones and tablets more suitable platforms for small games?

Were freeware games just a transitional phase from traditional shareware model into digital distribution channels? Were freeware feasible only because charging for them was infeasible?

I'm Ron Burgundy?
Do you has what it takes to join the Homestarmy? The guts? The determination? The five bucks? Join today!

User avatar
Pater Alf
The Steel Spine of GameHunters
Posts: 7648
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 23:09

Re: Is freeware dead?

Post by Pater Alf » Wed Nov 06, 2013 0:57

I don't think that the freeware scene is dead, but it's true that many games that would've been freeware some years ago are now being sold as indie games. Is it a good thing? I think it is for the developers who now get paid and earn enough money that they can concentrate on creating great games. Also good for the gamers who get more quality games and more support (like patches and updates). On the other hand it's bad that some indie developers start doing the same bullshit that the big publishers do (like DLCs, DRM). But as always you can vote with your wallet and only give money to the devlopers who you think deserve it.

And I don't think that freeware will die away. There are still plenty of freeware games that get released every day (especially adventures and RPGs) even if many of them feel like indie-indie-games.
[quote="eMTe"]I dont think trying to pass the screen in computer game once per 500 tries makes you a geek. Rather a dangerous psychopath.[/quote]

User avatar
eMTe
Cyberflaneur
Posts: 6930
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 23:08
Location: Cracow

Re: Is freeware dead?

Post by eMTe » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:45

Whenever something gets pronounced dead by masses it begins to emit its own, very special light.

I say - bury the freeware.
"As you have noticed over the years, we are not angry people." (itebygur)

User avatar
Chroelle
Admin emeritus
Posts: 9870
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:19
Location: Location, location...
Contact:

Re: Is freeware dead?

Post by Chroelle » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:39

I think Minecraft did both good and bad here. It is the perfect example of someone doing exactly what we all cheer for - gameplay over graphics, and then went and sold it of as a pre-kickstarter project. And then this very indie blockish game went and made him a millionaire and his game one of the most popular EVER. So everyone wants to be Marcus "Notch" Persson and earn millions by selling your indie game for a few dollars.
You gotta love it, and also hate. No - freeware isn't dead - but it took a massive arrow to the knee!

(Says Chroelle who just sat back 10 minutes ago and enjoyed his coffee - while watching a Minecraft sunrise....)
Currently testing Life version 2.9 (With added second child)
(Beta testing in progress)

www.paed-it.dk - My blog in Danish

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
--Mark Twain

User avatar
eMTe
Cyberflaneur
Posts: 6930
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 23:08
Location: Cracow

Re: Is freeware dead?

Post by eMTe » Sat Nov 09, 2013 14:48

Freeware wasnt a transitional phase, because it's rise was closely related with the rise of internet and game making tools. People would make freeware games in 80-ies and 90-ies, but necessary know-how and means of distribution were limited to small groups of individuals. Now, almost everybody can. The problem developers will face is lack of fresh ideas, not lack of funds. One free game by Yahtzee provides more entertainment than big budget productions and he's probably aware of that. Instead of cheating people (the way Dave Gilbert has chosen) he provides games with gameplay over graphics and full of ideas.

Afair when CWF was established the goal was to provide games which are on par in quality with some commercial games, but can be obtained free and legally. This we achieved. We proved that quality is not always preceded by large sums of money.
"As you have noticed over the years, we are not angry people." (itebygur)

User avatar
Pater Alf
The Steel Spine of GameHunters
Posts: 7648
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 23:09

Re: Is freeware dead?

Post by Pater Alf » Wed Nov 13, 2013 18:05

eMTe wrote:Instead of cheating people (the way Dave Gilbert has chosen) he provides games with gameplay over graphics and full of ideas.
Sorry, but in which way is Dave Gilbert cheating people?
[quote="eMTe"]I dont think trying to pass the screen in computer game once per 500 tries makes you a geek. Rather a dangerous psychopath.[/quote]

User avatar
eMTe
Cyberflaneur
Posts: 6930
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 23:08
Location: Cracow

Re: Is freeware dead?

Post by eMTe » Thu Nov 14, 2013 21:55

Offering lousy games (Emerald City Confidential, Gemini Rue) for money while having positive freeware past.
"As you have noticed over the years, we are not angry people." (itebygur)

User avatar
Pater Alf
The Steel Spine of GameHunters
Posts: 7648
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 23:09

Re: Is freeware dead?

Post by Pater Alf » Sun Nov 17, 2013 20:25

Don't know about Emerald City Confidential, but the Blackwell games are great games in my opinion (much better than his freeware games). And Gemini Rue (which has metacritic of 82 by the way) wasn't even developed by Dave Gilbert (just published by Wedjet Eye Games).
[quote="eMTe"]I dont think trying to pass the screen in computer game once per 500 tries makes you a geek. Rather a dangerous psychopath.[/quote]

Post Reply