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Re: Business models

Mark Collins wrote:
> How do you guys think people should go about selling Linux games?

With an insane amount of optimism!

> I've had a couple of ideas, as follows....
> 1) Online distrobution: Sell the games online. Games should be quite small
> and low cost (say, $5-$10 a pop).

Yes - but the problem with that is that you have to restrict the amount of
data that comes with your game to something reasonably downloadable.  If you
are going to bundle a few hundred 1k x 1k texture maps and a handful of 5Mb
MP3's, you'll rapidly end up with something that people won't want to download.

> 2) Compilation CDs: Sell lots of games on CD. This could work with
> OpenSource games as well as closed source games.

Yes - the 'RedHat' model for making money - ship 90% freeware with 10% of
really good stuff you write yourself to make it 'special'.

Then there is:

  * Sell in-game advertising (an unexploited concept to date).

  * Shareware (give the stuff away - plead with people to send you $$$)

  * Crippleware (give away a crippled version - demand money for the
    useful version).

  * For networked games, give away the game and charge per-hour for time
    on the server.

  * Sell it to the distributors like RedHat and SuSE as a way to up the
    sales of their distro's.

  * Give away the game, sell the cuddly toys and T-shirts.

  * Give away the game - get it on all the major Linux distro's, then
    sell the expansion packs once everyone is hooked.

  * Get a real job to pay the mortgage - do the game for fun and give it

  * Give the game away for free - then after 3 hours play have it encrypt
    every file on the hard drive - demand $1000 to provide the decryption
    key!  (OK - this may not be such a good idea)

  * Find a hardware vendor who needs a kick-ass demo to show off his new
    Linux product...charge him for your services.

  * Write a cross-platform game - sell it to OS-X, BeOS, Windoze, BSD
    and Solaris users - give it away to us *nice* Linux people!

Personally, I think the only solution to the 'commercial games under
Linux' thing is to write in a cross-platform way and do a simultaneous
release for (at least) Windoze and Linux versions.  There are really
no technological obstacles to doing that - providing you choose portable
graphics and sound libraries at the outset.  (OpenGL/OpenAL/SDL, etc)

Steve Baker   HomeEmail: <sjbaker1@airmail.net>
              WorkEmail: <sjbaker@link.com>
              HomePage : http://web2.airmail.net/sjbaker1
              Projects : http://plib.sourceforge.net

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