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What would a non-profit game mean?

02-23-2010, 01:46 PM
#1
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 13
What would a non-profit game mean?

What if someone put out a game with no expectation of profit at all? Would that mean that other games would get less sales?

A stellar game like Space Miner that can suck up a lot of time would be spread far more if it was free. Is it moral to limit the revenue possibilities of for-profit developers?

I know of only one instance of this--Mark Cuban's Puzzle Palace. I don't see any other free application that doesn't have advertising and was always free. What if they non-profit hired you--would you work on it knowing that you are putting other developers out of work?
02-23-2010, 02:32 PM
#2
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
There are plenty of completely free applications with no advertising if you look around. Some have always been free. Some of the free stuff is quite good, though you may have to look around to find something that suits your taste.

Just like with movies/books, I think there will always be a market for fresh new content, free or not. But this makes for an interesting (and silly) hypothetical. Let's say a group of talented, rich developers with time on their hands started putting out amazing fully functional free games left and right. How big an impact would it be on developers trying to charge money, if the appstore was flooded with high quality free stuff? It would make their job tougher, but not impossible.

And no, I don't see anything "imoral" about giving away software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Singularity42 View Post
What if someone put out a game with no expectation of profit at all? Would that mean that other games would get less sales?

A stellar game like Space Miner that can suck up a lot of time would be spread far more if it was free. Is it moral to limit the revenue possibilities of for-profit developers?

I know of only one instance of this--Mark Cuban's Puzzle Palace. I don't see any other free application that doesn't have advertising and was always free. What if they non-profit hired you--would you work on it knowing that you are putting other developers out of work?

02-23-2010, 02:47 PM
#3
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
There are plenty of completely free applications with no advertising if you look around. Some have always been free. Some of the free stuff is quite good, though you may have to look around to find something that suits your taste.

Just like with movies/books, I think there will always be a market for fresh new content, free or not. But this makes for an interesting (and silly) hypothetical. Let's say a group of talented, rich developers with time on their hands started putting out amazing fully functional free games left and right. How big an impact would it be on developers trying to charge money, if the appstore was flooded with high quality free stuff? It would make their job tougher, but not impossible.

And no, I don't see anything "imoral" about giving away software.
I'm not sure if the developers have to be rich--just the person hiring them (I think Cuban hired a team). Anyway, do you have any other examples of applications that aren't some twelve-year-old boy trying to impress a girl? Something that clearly had money and will behind it?

There are a few books that are free--notably this is where one person can produce it (Cory Doctorow's books are). Movies--zero full length movies.
02-23-2010, 03:21 PM
#4
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
This stuff might not meet your criteria, but if you open the door to quality stuff that has been made free, there's a long list. While an older game may not have much buzz, games aren't fruit and don't spoil. Auroa Feint was one of the first really-well-done free games, IMO. Appy's FaceFighter is currently free and has (like all their offerings) high production values. Wild West Pinball went free some time ago. NgMoco has been spitting out "freemium" stuff that can be appreciated without paying a cent. Card Shark Solitaire (in top 25 free card games) has one of the best implementations of Klondike and Spider Solitaire in the AppStore. There are plenty of lite action and puzzle games that include generous amounts of content. My point is that for someone with little money but plenty of time on their hands, it's already possible to find several interesting games each day without spending a penny. So I don't think it would matter that much if more developers started giving away their stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Singularity42 View Post
I'm not sure if the developers have to be rich--just the person hiring them (I think Cuban hired a team). Anyway, do you have any other examples of applications that aren't some twelve-year-old boy trying to impress a girl? Something that clearly had money and will behind it?

There are a few books that are free--notably this is where one person can produce it (Cory Doctorow's books are). Movies--zero full length movies.
02-24-2010, 04:55 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,143
02-24-2010, 11:01 PM
#6
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 13
a title

I looked more into it--apparently this game started out as $0.99. It wasn't clear that Mark financed it--may have just lent his name and pictures. Still, this is the best example I can come up with. Card Shark Solitaire appears to be paid with a lite version.
02-25-2010, 04:27 AM
#7
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,770
Send a message via AIM to kohjingyu
A non-profit game would mean a game that doesn't earn you profit.
02-25-2010, 12:21 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
Send a message via MSN to MindJuice Send a message via Skype™ to MindJuice
I would guess that over 90% of paid apps on the app store are "non-profit", meaning that the expenses are greater than the income.
02-25-2010, 12:34 PM
#9
Non-profit would mean they stay paid until the costs have been covered (break-even), then go free thereafter. Costs include those of the developer, none of this hippy "I don't count my own time" business.

Apps for charities, services, or portals for existing businesses/software might take this approach, but I can't see it being widespread in the games arena.
02-25-2010, 02:18 PM
#10
Technically, you can have a $100 game/application and still be non-profit if the proceeds go to a charity/non-profit organization (church, NGO, etc.)

It would still be non-profit from a legal standpoint even if the application cost $500 to build but earned $100,000.

Also, even if the game cost $100,000 to build and earned $5,000, it would still be "For-profit" if the owner is an individual or for-profit company from a legal standpoint.

Also "A Quest of Knights Onrush" is a free game that definitely has some polish behind it.

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