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Re: Business models

>> 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
>    away.
>  * 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!

That's a very exhaustive list, but it doesn't mention time-bombed versions.
I think giving out a time-bombed version for free that can be unlocked with
a key (sold cheaply over the web) is a good and fair business model, but ...
I don't know how to write a time-bomb without accessing a file the user
cannot access. On Windows they always have the registry to help with this,
but on Linux ... does one hide the file from the user in some out-of-the-way
place? I'd consider that somewhat unethical. 

Any ideas how to do time-bombs in regular code that would work on Linux?

Peter Henningsen

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