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Re: Business models

Henningsen wrote:

> That's a very exhaustive list, but it doesn't mention time-bombed versions.

I would put that under the 'crippleware' banner.

> 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...

Yes - certainly no worse than other crippleware schemes.

> but ...
> I don't know how to write a time-bomb without accessing a file the user
> cannot access.

When they download the game from the website, you could have the server
embed the date it was downloaded on into the executable...then *bang*
three days later the game demands money.

That could be embedded into the binary in a pretty subtle way - even encrypted
into the code.

Of course the end user could still reset the realtime clock on his PC every
2.99 days so the game would never time out.  If you are seriously concerned
about that then have the game contact your web server every time it runs to
ask permission to continue.  Then you have control of when it'll run, how
long it'll run for, etc, etc.

If you don't want to do it that way, then another possibility is to have
the program write to it's own executable...but there are ways around that.

Whatever you do, I think there will be people who can get around it - but
game piracy is something every commercial game suffers - you just have
to rely on there being enough honest people out there to keep food on your
plate and bandwidth in your modem.

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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