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Stallman: Valve's Linux games "unethical" but might boost OS usage

By Leeky
Jul 31, 2012
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  1. Never afraid to speak his mind, GNU founder and PC-rights campaigner Richard Stallman has called Valve's decision to sell DRM-laden games on Linux "unethical." Steam recently announced that it would port its client and popular titles to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS,……

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  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,893   +354

    call unethical all you want, but it doesnt change the fact that valve is keeping PC gaming alive.
  3. I can see this point perfectly I would like to know valves response
  4. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,930   +123 Staff Member

    All this talk about "non-free" is just crazy
    Which developer would release a top of the line game (meaning a game that took 3 > 5 years to make with over a hundred developers) for free?
    And with the source at that?

    With a mindset like that it's not very strange that Linux on the desktop is still to this day a minority even compared to Apple...

    If just all these open source developers would get together instead of having 2000 ways of doing the same thing we might actually one day see some progress for Linux on the desktop, but I'm not holding my breath!
    Leeky likes this.
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 4,378   +98

    Pretty much sums it up, and I'm very pro Linux.
  6. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 752   +12

    Maybe he means, DRM-free.

    Either way, Steam does more good than bad, so it's a necessary evil until someone decides to make a Steam-like game manager without DRM, which is about as likely to happen as Activision going bankrupt.
  7. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash Newcomer, in training Posts: 123   +34

    If he wants all software to be free, how are developers supposed to make money?
  8. Alpha Gamer

    Alpha Gamer TechSpot Booster Posts: 247   +42

    Saying that selling a closed source game denies the freedom of the user is pushing it. I mean, if you don't feel comfortable with the idea of playing such a game in Linux, you just don't buy it. It's not like the games will be forced upon people. Like any kind of business transaction, you only take part in it if you want to be there.
  9. I can think of 3 ways that a company can make money with open source
    1: advertising: you can include advertising in the game and make it part of the game play for video games, for other applications it can be a banner or other form.
    2: donations:
    3: kick starter: which is my personal favorite ask for the money before you even make it why not there are many people who are gaining there standing in the programming world by doing this but not taking advantage of the open source opportunity.with this opportunity you can relax and let your users find and fix problems.
  10. 3: kick starter: which is my personal favorite ask for the money before you even make it, there are many people who are gaining there standing in the programming world by doing this but not taking advantage of the open source opportunity.with this opportunity you can relax and let your users find and fix problems.
  11. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,105   +18

    Yeah, I really never got that. There are so many brilliant programmers out there, and so many cool distros of Linux, you'd figure they could hold some kind of summit and decide on making a super accessible version of Linux.
     
  12. I can think of 3 ways that a company can make money with open source
    1: advertising: you can include advertising in the game and make it part of the game play for video games, for other applications it can be a banner or other form.
    2: donations:
    3: kick starter: which is my personal favorite ask for the money before you even make it why not there are many people who are gaining there standing in the programming world by doing this but not taking advantage of the open source opportunity.with this opportunity you can relax and let your users find and fix problems.

    you are either very stupid or have no notion of the costs to create modern big budget video games, I'll bet it's both.
  13. trparky

    trparky Newcomer, in training Posts: 66   +7

    I've always wondered about that myself.

    Now, I'm all for free software but let's think realistically here. Fuel for your car costs money, food costs money, a house costs money, living costs money. See where I'm going with this? How is a programmer that makes his software free and gives the source freely away supposed to make a living? I don't understand how.

    Many of these games take years to develop and along with that thousands upon thousands of man hours to write the code, debug the code, draw the artwork, refine the artwork, market the game, etc. All of which costs money, a lot of money. I see no serious game studio putting out a massive game for free, it's just not going to happen. A little game, sure, but not some massive game like Battlefield, Diablo 3, or Starcraft 2.

    Truly free software is an honorable idea and goal to obtain but realistically speaking, it's never going to happen in a society in which people need to be paid real world money to be able to survive in it. Now, if we all lived in a nice and perfect society in which everyone worked for the betterment of society (like Star Trek) truly free software will work. But not now.
  14. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 6,525   +313

    From Stallman's post

    All I can say: ... what???
  15. It's either freedom or the death of GNU/Linux. Let's face it, most desktop users are gamers-some casual and some hardcore, so, providing native support for many popular titles on Linux is a must for its survival.

    Because, it's not that unethical. You can't just give everybody your source code-there's a lot of competition in this industry and if everyone just starts doing that then the number of developers willing to work on video games might just diminish by a lot.
  16. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,149   +172

    Yes exactly. It's not the first time Stallman has added little value to the debate. Companies can't do what they do without big budgets and the revenue that comes from their development. They aren't just going to give it away because some open source zealot thinks that is the way the world should work.

    If Stallman can get the Valve dev team to work for free (let alone the EA umbrella etc etc), then good luck to him but I doubt we'll ever see it happen. People who care about the Linux making a real difference are just going to have to ignore his rants and get on with doing something productive.
  17. Slytek

    Slytek Newcomer, in training

    HAHA WOW is your name Gabe?
  18. Zeromus

    Zeromus TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 231   +7

    Yeah it is pretty crazy for propriety games to have their full source code available. It's a tremendous liability. Hacking, cheating, unlicensed branches, and illegal distribution are just a few things large game companies want to avoid to protect profits. I can understand Valve for doing this since they've probably already reach their goal gamer-penetration and want to expand to new platforms without a real liability that would otherwise effect them any earlier beyond the release of these ports.
  19. Even popular Linux distros aren't completely GNU, so why blaberring about closed source games? See this list to check whether your favorite distro is GNU or not :
    http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html

    See even Ubuntu isn't listed there. I can't call forcing people to install what and what freedom!
  20. ShadowDeath

    ShadowDeath Newcomer, in training Posts: 51

    I just want to say one thing... LINUX LINUX LINUX LINUX... it's not GNU/Linux. Linus made it not Stallman otherwise it'd be called GNU/Richard_Stallman_OS. I'm getting pretty sick of him having to shove "GNU" in front of Linux every time he says it. All he did was create the GNU. >.>

    Ok, I feel better now. :D
  21. to all you blinding asnwering without learning, find out more about free software. Quick google&wikipedia will be enough. Stallman is not saying software should be free as in without cost, but free as in respecting people's freedoms. stupid douches. There's lots of commercial games that are free.
  22. psycros

    psycros TechSpot Booster Posts: 697   +212

    Every time Stallman opens his ***** yap he makes Linux less appealing to the masses.
  23. ReederOnTheRun

    ReederOnTheRun TechSpot Booster Posts: 310   +62

    Sooo valve decides to expand its services to the linux community even though its just a tiny fraction of the os market, and because of this linux users start bashing them for not giving them the games and their source code for free too? Sounds fair.
  24. Gambit

    Gambit Newcomer, in training

    Judging the ethics of others when you don't share their need to earn a living is unethical.
  25. nickblame

    nickblame Newcomer, in training Posts: 41

    Gabe is right. Games need to land on Linux. I don't get the part about only open source on Linux since it also takes that freedom away from users.


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