Talk:List of commercial video games released as freeware

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Teen Agent[edit]

Should "Teen Agent" and "Drascula: The Vampire Strikes Back" be included?. Lmcgregoruk (talk) 22:56, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

After a quick look, yes if they have articles.81.17.198.126 (talk) 09:19, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Disputed freeware download links[edit]

I've removed these to here for discussion. Without some sort of proof, I'd argue that the guy hosting the below links doesn't have permission to be doing so. Just because something was being distributed by the creator/copyright holder does not necessarily mean that offering them on your own is OK.

At least the Zorks I-III include a licence notice from Activision, which forbids copying the games. Evktalo 15:33, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The games Betrayal at Krondor, Caesar, and Red Baron are not free downloads. This was confirmed by Liberated Games in November 2004. Furthermore, Ultima 0 and Ultima IV are ambiguous, at best.

Yes.. I'm not sure if the list belongs in the Abandonware page at all - if the games are supported with a download or a freeware licence, they are hardly abandonded. evktalo 12:37, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Both the Oldware (French site) and replacementdocs engage in copyright infringement. My vote would be to remove those links, but I would prefer not engage in that practice myself since my own site (Liberated Games) is listed. (Note: Liberated Games tries to stay clean in the sense of listing sites only if confirmation from a copyright holder can be obtained.)

Actually - Some of the games listed were availble for free for a short time. However, not anymore. Ultima IV, I believe, is only allowed to be distributed by one website for free. --68.196.38.13 22:26, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

iD Software Games[edit]

Shouldn't iD Software games like Doom and Quake be on the list here? Or does being opensourced mean it's not abandonware? Jacoplane 02:18, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Read a few lines above.. ;) Only their source has been released. The game data has not. evktalo 18:42, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Descent: Freespace[edit]

What about Descent: Freespace game? --Varnav 16:52, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Source only. [1]evktalo 09:22, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Freespace2 which is on the list is not freeware. It is source only also. Wjmurdick (talk) 03:16, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Rockstar Games[edit]

Rockstar has released GTA, GTA2, and Wild Metal for free. I'm pretty sure these count...

http://www.rockstargames.com/classics/gta.html --Chris Price 04:03, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

I see Wild Metal on there after more checking, but GTA and GTA2 still aren't --Chris Price 04:03, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

See Talk:Abandonware#Public domain vs freeware. --69.54.29.23 19:40, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Granted, but still, either Wild Metal should not be on the list, or GTA and GTA2 should be added. Having one of the three listed makes no sense at all. --Chris Price 09:45, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

MechCommander Series[edit]

The MechCommander series have not been released as freeware, the site www.mechcommander.org is offering pirate copies of the isos via torrent. Microsoft have released the source code for MC2 which the owners of mechcommander.org appear to equate with being the same thing as the entire game being released as freeware.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Deepcut (talkcontribs) .

That appears to be correct... even more, ONLY MC2 source code has been released (and I'm not sure about the graphics data), I haven't found references on the rest of the series... Releasing one game's source code clearly doesn't affect the rest of the series. Even if the entire game was open source, it doesn't belong in this list. Removed the links to the illegal downloads site from the articles too.Sega381 20:00, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

True, no place here, even if the Soure code download packet from Microsoft includes a compiled version of the game. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 136.173.162.129 (talk) 12:47, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Web directory?[edit]

This page reads like a Web directory, more than an encyclopedic article. Are there other Wikis this page could be moved to and maintained there? --69.54.29.23 13:17, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

There could be another article, but I haven't found one where this list fits well. However, it might be a good idea to remove the "Get it here" links; I'm not sure they really belong there in the first place...Sega381 19:51, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Removed the links; they are at each article's page anyway. Shoule be less web-directory like now.Sega381 04:07, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Addition[edit]

Should Starcommand 2:Ur-quan masters be here? Jefffire 09:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Never mind, it goes under open-souce now. Jefffire 10:18, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it should. I have added it under its correct title Star Control II. -- Darklock (talk) 19:18, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Factor 5 Amiga games[edit]

I've just notice factor 5 have their ports of r-type and bonks adventure aswell a katakis along with backup versions of the first three turrican games. so what part of the list should these be put in. link Atirage 04:40, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

F.E.A.R.'s multiplayer component[edit]

Is this one worth mentioning? Wouldn't this just be viewed as a patch since the single player game is necessary to play it? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Messatsu (talkcontribs) 06:33, 27 January 2007 (UTC).

I haven't played the game, but as I understood, the multiplayer version of FEAR was available as a free download, and so it was playable without the original FEAR game. It's included in the original game; it's not a patch for the retail version (at least that's what is said in the FEAR article).Sega381 15:02, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

It's actually called Fear Combat and it is a free download you can get from the fear site itself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.219.5.171 (talk) 15:36, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

See Also[edit]

Why "MUD" in the "see also" section? Palpalpalpal 19:53, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Good question... I think it was left over from when this list was part of another article. Link removed.Sega381 20:30, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

A lot more[edit]

There are a lot of publishers and individuals who have given permission for their old titles to be freely distrubuted. // Liftarn

The original BattleChess (for DOS) from 1988 should be included. In fact it was one of the first "liberated" games ever, in 1994. Quote from the file_id.diz that was included in magazine publications and downloads at that time: "[...] With the advent of BATTLE CHESS II(tm) last year, we launched what is perhaps the most intriguing style of chess play since this, the original BATTLE CHESS swept the computer gaming world in 1988. As our way of saying thanks, we are setting BATTLE CHESS loose upon the world as FREEware! Yes, that's right - FREEWARE. [...]"

Was Battle Chess released as freeware? Doing a google search I can find many sites offering it for download as such, but I can find no statement from a publisher or anyone else stating so. Neither the Battle Chess nor the Interplay wiki pages mention the game being available as freeware, and while the Interplay website does list the game and have a demo available under technical support, they do not provide any information about either its current commercial/freeware status or how to obtain it in either case. The comment above would suggest the freeware version was originally released through magazine compilations, though I would feel better about it if I could actually see some statement that the game was indeed released as freeware, and not merely abandoned and for some reason assumed to be so. -- Shaun Hamman (talk) 04:42, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
In 2010, someone asked Interplay about the status of the original Battle Chess. An Interplay employee replied, "It's possible that it was released as Freeware, but unlikely," and then goes on to state that the game is for sale on GOG.com. Here's a link to the full exchange.
It seems to me that even if Battle Chess was released as freeware back in 1994, the fact that Interplay doesn't currently acknowledge it as being freeware (and still sells it) implies that it should not be regarded as currently freeware. (Releasing a game as freeware isn't the same as committing the game to the public domain, which entails a renunciation of copyright. In other words, Interplay always retained the copyright to Battle Chess and thus retains the right to recategorize a game previously re-released as freeware as a commercially sold product once again.) Thus I would vote to remove Battle Chess from the list unless evidence can be produced that Interplay has recently acknowledged Battle Chess to be (still) freeware. --Mike Agricola (talk) 15:00, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Page organization[edit]

Suggesting anti-chronological original release sorting for game list instead of alphabet name sorting. Because for video games, year of release is strongly linked to technologies SW & HW. Would looks like nicer and easier to browse like this:

  • 2006 - FPS - FEAR combat
  • 2005 - RPG - [...]
  • 2005 - FPS - [...]


It sounds like a good idea, it may be a better organization... however, most lists I've seen are ordered alphabetically... is there any Wikipedia rule or recommendation on this? What do everyone else think? Sega381 16:23, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't really see a problem with the alphabetical ordering. The list isn't there for people to quickly find a free game to play, it's not a free games portal, it's a list of games which at one point weren't freeware but were release as such at a later date. Having said that, I am not strongly opposed to a re-ordering, and if more people want it, that's fine I guess. However, if someone is going to make the list chronological, it should be going from oldest to newest, as per this guideline, and not in reverse order. And I don't think the type of game should come before the name of the game, that just makes no sense at all. --Lijnema 18:48, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy[edit]

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (computer game) is available for free as a java applet online on Douglas Adam's website. Does this make it some sort of freeware? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.224.80.87 (talk) 17:30, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Warzone 2100[edit]

I saw Warzone 2100 in this list... Warzone 2100 was Open Source'ed, not Freeware'ed... and the Open Source version has most of the game content (short of the cutscenes). I will not alter this... as perhaps I don't know something. But I would strongly advise that someone else does. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.173.174.184 (talk) 00:19, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

You're right, and it's alreay in the List of open source games article, so it's been removed. Sega381 (talk) 00:03, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


TrackMania[edit]

TrackMania Nations ESWC & TrackMania Nations is Free http://www.trackmania.com/en/index.php?lang=en&rub=downloads —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.166.67.196 (talk) 09:43, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

TrackMania Nations is a seperate freeware title, not a previously sold game. Deepcut (talk) 03:37, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

NetStorm not free[edit]

I don't think NetStorm is free. The disclaimer in the freely downloadable game is "NSHQ would like to inform you that Activision Inc. holds the sole legal rights to Netstorm:Islands at war. All logo's and software on this site are being distributed as abandonware and are trademarks of their respective owners. NSHQ thus accepts NO responsibility for any legal ramifications you may incur by use of the said material. By Downloading/Installing any material of NSHQ you affirm the above statement to be true and acceptable. - The Management".

Another source

This looks like abandonware, and not freeware. I remove it from the list. --88.161.150.94 (talk) 19:14, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Race into space[edit]

Buzz Aldrin's race into space was released as freeware. Probably. See [[2]]. Is it OK to include BARIS to the list?

Someone adapted original source, so the game is using SDL [[3]] . —Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.194.247.92 (talk) 15:31, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

It should be OK to include it, the original developers -holding the copyright as per their contract with Interplay- have granted free non-commercial distribution as per the link you provided. I tried to put it in, but the XLinkBot came by and axed it again (probably for good reason, I won't debate that). If someone feels like resurrecting or fixing my edit, probably making the external link an actual reference in the article, by all means, please do. 91.33.235.157 (talk) 02:42, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Ad-ware freeware[edit]

Should Ad-ware be listed here? Is it really freeware if it has ads? Also is a program freeware when one is blocked from playing it because the player is located outside the United States? [examples Rise and Fall, Area 51, etc.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.24.121.183 (talk) 11:02, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

According to Freeware, freeware is something that is available at no cost. So they should be there. 81.17.198.126 (talk) 14:29, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

If 'freeware' is available at no cost, that presumably excludes adware - but I went to the Wikipedia entry and it makes clear in its introduction that freeware is "available for use at no monetary cost", which suggests that adware is therefore included. However, section 3 of the Freeware Wikipedia entry details a number of restrictions. It opens by stating "Freeware cannot economically rely on commercial promotion". I think it is safe to say that adware is very much reliant on commercial promotion, and so should not be included in this article.
It appears that there needs to be some reconsideration of what 'freeware' actually means - and if the term should even be used. There seems to be a lot of confusion, including on the Wikipedia entry for the term.Ambiguosity (talk) 06:19, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

NON-FREELY REDISTRIBUTABLE[edit]

What the hell is this all about? The right to distribution is per the license agreement, the EULA, I don't think it is at all necessary to list every little deal of the license agreement on this list. After all this is not a "list of distributable games", it's a "list of commercial games released as freeware", can we try and keep it that way? Otherwise we're gonna need a table. --Hm2k (talk) 10:33, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

PC World article[edit]

I see LegitimateAndEvenCompelling has already linked to the PC World article, above, but I just wanted to give everyone who worked on this article a "well done" for helping make it "convenient and verifiable". Wouldn't it be great if we turned it into a sortable list? Marasmusine (talk) 23:40, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, and let's remember Jimbo Wales set up Wikipedia and directly or indirectly the rules such as WP:RS that make this page "convenient and verifiable." --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 23:47, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Can Add-ons be listed as freewares ?[edit]

The entry Antheads: It Came From The Desert 2 was added by 75.147.102.41, then deleted by Sega381 for lack of related article. It seems that the said game is referenced in the article It Came From The Desert. However, this article mentions that Antheads is only an add-on. Should it be listed on its own, or as a sub-entry for It Came From the Desert, or not at all ? PS : whatever the answer is, I'm obviously too limited in english to modify this page ;) . --gabknight2005 (talk) 17:05, 9 January 2009

I think there is no problem with comercial expansion packs that were re-released as freeware. In this case, the problem was that the link was pointing to a non-existent article, when it should have been poiting to the section in the "It Came From The Desert" page. I'll re-add it with the correct link. --Sega381 (talk) 04:59, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Geographical restrictions (inc. the briefly-free Ubisoft games)[edit]

Specifically, Far Cry, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Rayman Raving Rabbids. Weren't the free ad-supported downloads of these also restricted to the US? I have a vague memory of trying to get hold of Far Cry in this way and being frustrated because I wasn't in the US. If so, that should be mentioned. Loganberry (Talk) 18:05, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

And while I'm on the subject... Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War, from the main list, is apparently only playable to people with a US IP address. It is therefore not a free game to the vast majority of the world. Geographical restrictions definitely need to be mentioned unless this article is going to be retitled List of commercial games released as freeware in the United States! Loganberry (Talk) 18:12, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
By all means, feel free to mark them as geographically restricted.--Sega381 (talk) 00:12, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks; I'll do so where I can get sources. Loganberry (Talk) 03:26, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
...which is proving pretty difficult, actually, as most of the places offering the game (Raf:CaW) are US-based for a US audience, and thus don't mention the restrictions at all. There are quite a few irritable posts from non-Americans in the comments, but those don't constitute reliable sources. Loganberry (Talk) 16:56, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Games starting with the word "The"[edit]

I think it is misleading to put them in T. What do you guys think?81.17.198.126 (talk) 14:22, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Throughout history, "the" has been ignored when sorting lists, I bet there's even mention of it in a wikipedia article somewhere... --Hm2k (talk) 15:06, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Tables for this article?[edit]

About every other game related lists have tables. Why not here too? 81.17.198.126 (talk) 14:40, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

If you feel it would improve the article, go ahead. --Sega381 (talk) 00:28, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

The Adventures of Fatman[edit]

Why was The Adventures of Fatman removed from the list? The original is freeware according to its wikipedia article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.17.198.126 (talk) 07:04, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

It's a good question. However, I can't find a reference in the Wikipedia article which confirms that the game is actually freeware. The company's website is a little outdated, and only mentions a commercial re-release, after the mentioned freeware date. I think that if someone can find a reliable reference on the status of the game, we can re-add it. --Sega381 (talk) 21:10, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Conquest Series and Dark Sun Series[edit]

Conquest of Camelot and Conquest of the Longbox. Before we play Ping-Pong by removing and adding these games again and again, can the person who removed them tell me why? They are for download on the site of the developers. See the Wikipedia entries of these games and follow the links at the end. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.48.182.74 (talk) 08:02, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm not the one who removed the games, but I have an idea of why they were removed. There is no reliable source confirming that those two games have been re-released as freeware. They are avaliable at the original developer's site, but she is no longer working for the company that developed them, Sierra. I'm guessing that Sierra holds the copyright, not one of the people that developed it. Therefore, the author may have released them in "good faith", some kind of abandonware allowed by the author. But if Sierra holds the copyright, legally the games are not freeware, and the author putting them online is legally (though maybe not morally) wrong.
I could also be wrong. If there is proof somewhere that the copyright holder of the games re-relased them as freeware (that is, if Christie Marx holds the copyrights, or if Sierra allowed her to re-release them as freeware), we should re-add them to the list.--Sega381 (talk) 22:27, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the answer. I havn't found any other source than wikipedia and Christy Marx' site. Neither liberated games, nor any other freeware site seems to list them. Strange Situation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.55.99.155 (talk) 16:05, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Then the most likely situation is that Sierra holds the copyright for those games, but they haven't re-released them as freeware, and aren't selling them at all for now. Christy Marx probably had requests for the games, and as currently they can't be bought anywhere, she put them up (or at least a version of the games she had) on her website. Though that is nice, legally Sierra probably holds the rights, so they could force Christy to remove the game copies from her site (if Sierra cared enough about those games). I think that is the current situation. In fact, the link to the download page for the games should be removed from the game's Wikipedia article as well. Sega381 (talk) 23:21, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I understand. I also was the guy who added the two Dark Sun games. I think there is the same Situation with these two games but i am not sure. There is no copyright info regarding these games on the website. But the programmer has at least the permission to re-develop Dark Sun online so he must have been in contact with the copyright-holders. Slightly OT but i also added Iron Seed. The

designers who realeased the game as freeware were the publishers as well and so they know what they are doing. At least some members of the forum have access to the source code because there are new updates to the game. Sadly they don't realease the source under GPL.

Beyond Castle Wolfenstein[edit]

Hi, Does anyone have a source for BCW being released as freeware? Thanks --The Fifth Horseman (talk) 21:44, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

From http://www.oldskool.org/pc/BCW/faq.html
"Q) Do you have the rights to distribute this game?
A) Hopefully!
Silas Warner's wife has granted permission to release the source code and game executables as a small memorial of his work."Calvero2 (talk) 09:36, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Orbiter[edit]

As far as I know, Orbiter was never a commercial game and therefore shouldn't be listed here... however I don't know about the early days of the game. Clarification anyone? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.113.0.42 (talk) 11:08, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Command & Conquer games[edit]

C&C games are no longer available for download; as far as I know they are provided for sale again. They should be deleted from the list and moved to the second section of the article. 91.132.141.80 (talk) 13:25, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, the C&C games officially released as freeware are still available for download. Via a bit of searching, I discovered that Command & Conquer (video game)#Released as freeware provides a link to one C&C freeware game hosted on the EA server, so that's clearly an authorized download. I also found another link to the freeware C&C Red Alert hosted on the EA server via the official C&C forum.
As for the games being sold, my understanding is that EA is selling a compilation entitled C&C: The First Decade which includes the freeware releases along with some other early C&C games and expansion packs which have never been released as freeware. Also, EA may be selling iPad and mobile conversions of those C&C games for which the original PC version was released as freeware. None of these factors necessarily means that the status of those PC games originally released as freeware has been revoked. It is possible that I'm neglecting something here, but I would suggest that additional evidence (e.g. a statement by EA declaring one or more C&C games to be no longer freeware) be produced before any C&C games be deleted from the list of available freeware and moved to the second section of the article. --Mike Agricola (talk) 00:58, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Dreamweb[edit]

Dreamweb should be listed. 90.225.93.214 (talk) 23:33, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

...and done! A Google search on the game led me to ScummVM which appears to be a legitimate (i.e. respectful of copyrights) site about old PC games, so I added it. As a note, the only name I could find on the page announcing the game's freeware status was Strangerke, so I wasn't sure how to handle the pseudonym in the citation, which I wrote as:
"Strangerke" (21-10-2012). "Dreamweb Released As Freeware" ScummVM. Retrieved 18-11-2012.
Feel free to correct if that's not the proper format. --Mike Agricola (talk) 00:08, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Battlefield 1942[edit]

Battlefield 1942 was released recently as a free download on origin. It's a different version to the paid orginal, but that is only for compatibility with origin, it includes all the features of the original. Maybe we should add it to the table with a note that the freeware and paid copies are different? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 118.208.72.207 (talk) 02:59, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up. According to CNET, "To celebrate its 10th anniversary, EA's Origin store is offering Battlefield 1942 (PC) free of charge. Don't worry that it appears on Origin's Demos page; it's definitely the full game." It should be OK to add to the table because CNET, a WP:RS, states that "it's definitely the full game". The article also notes that "to get it, you'll need an Origin account and the Origin download client, both free." So I will add a note to the effect that it's "registerware freeware", which should be OK as some other games in the table, such as Grand Theft Auto, fall into the same category.
The CNET article concludes with the cautionary note, "I'm not sure if this is a limited-time giveaway or EA plans to make the game free from here on out..." so we will have to keep an eye on it to see if it continues to be freely available. If not, it will have to be moved into the "Games no longer freely distributed" category. --Mike Agricola (talk) 15:05, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
From http://www.battlefield.com/battlefield-1942: "this offer is being issued to you for promotional purposes only and does not constitute a credit, charge, debit or gift card. free download expires march 1, 2013." Tnhsr2014 (talk) 08:25, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

A Bunch of Controversies![edit]

Greetings fellow Wikipedians. I've been working on improving the article's references by adding reliable sources supporting the freeware status of some games included there. Along the way, I've encountered issues surrounding certain games currently listed in the table. It seems best to explain what the concerns are and obtain a WP:Consensus on what to do about them (if anything):

  • Codename Gordon: According to its Wiki article, the game "was distributed free of charge over Valve Software's Steam online delivery system." No indication is given that the game was ever released commercially before it became free. If this is correct, the game belongs in the List of freeware video games, not here. However, I am not at all familiar with this game, so can anyone confirm that this is the case?
  • Elite/Elite Plus: The article currently states: "Freeware release in 1999 courtesy of game developer Ian Bell." And indeed, Elite and Elite Plus are both available as freeware downloads on his personal homepage. However, it would seem that Elite's co-author, David Braben, has disagreed with Bell's characterization of these games as freeware. See here for the details. Some of the links there no longer work, and I wasn't inclined to pick through all that to see if Braben ultimately agreed that Elite/Elite Plus are freeware. Nonetheless, unless someone is able to verify that all involved parties currently agree that Elite/Elite Plus may be distributed as freeware, the games' status should be regarded as ambiguous at best - and should probably be removed from the table.
  • Grand Theft Auto 2, Wild Metal Country: The download pages for these two games contain the notice: "PLEASE NOTE that while this game may be downloaded for free by all who register by filling out the form on this page, it is NOT freeware and may not be mirrored or duplicated by any third parties without express written consent from Rockstar Games." It's a bit ironic then that these "NOT freeware" games are listed in a table of games "released as freeware." Now I realize it could be argued that Rockstar Games is using "freeware" almost as a synonym for "public domain" and we are using a more restrictive definition of "freeware" as a game which may legally be obtained without payment (regardless of whether other conditions are attached). I've added a note in the table that these games are both "registerware freeware" and are not redistributable so that the article's readers are informed that "freeware" in this case does not mean "do whatever you want with it". If anyone thinks the situation should be handled differently, please speak up!
  • Ground Control: The "Download Ground Control for free!" link in the game's article appears to still be functional. However, the Rock, Paper, Shotgun gaming website makes the statement, "Quite a few people sent in comments about classic, resource-free, 3D real time strategy Ground Control being on GoG.com. It’s interesting to see the game up there for a number of reasons, not least because the original game was actually freely distributed by Vivendi for quite some time. Of course with Vivendi disappearing into the ActiBlizzard merger there’s all kinds of funny things going on with the ownership of their games, their distribution and so on." (Source) Can anyone confirm that this game is still *officially* freeware?
  • Star Control II: The freeware version of the game, Ur-Quan Masters, appears to be a partial remake of the game, the original of which is still being sold on GOG.com. Shacknews writes that "Developer Toys for Bob released the source code to the 3DO version of Star Control II back in 2002, birthing a fan remake project. The Ur-Quan Masters ported the 3DO code to run on modern computers and remade all art assets, as the originals were still under copyright. Should you not want to pony up $6, you can always download that for free, though it's not quite the same as the real deal." Moreover, the source code of the 3DO port on which the freeware version is based never became a commercial product on that gaming system because the project got canceled. This source code was open-sourced (see Ur-Quan Masters entry in List of open source games) and this remake developed from it. Does this game even qualify as a former commercial freeware for inclusion in the table?
  • Warzone 2100: The game was previously removed from the table, but it seems to have been reinserted sometime after that. Should it have been?
  • Zero Tolerance: According to Technopop's website, "Randel Reiss, the owner of the Zero Tolerance copyright and trademark, has made the original Zero Tolerance Sega Genesis ROM image royalty-free for distribution. Portions of the ROM image are copyright Sega and although Sega has not actively prevented royalty-free dsitribution, they have never official granted permission for distribution." Should we keep Zero Tolerance in the table?
  • ZZT: Destructoid claims the game is freeware. According to ClassicDosGames, "Epic MegaGames generously released this game as freeware under the ZZT Freeware License. It is also still sold through www.epicclassics.com for $12 on floppy disk." (The EpicClassics site seems to be defunct as of now, but I came across it earlier this year and it was still operating at the time: Wayback Machine cache from July 2011.) In an interview which took place in 2009, ZZT designer Tim Sweeney stated that his father is still accepting (paid) orders for the game. Is the game *both* commercial and freeware simultaneously? Can we reliably conclude that the game is still freeware today? The situation seems rather unusual for a freeware game, so that's why it seems worth inquiring about here.

(I may have more to add later....) --Mike Agricola (talk) 23:02, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for doing such a great write up of all these games. I think Codename Gordon and Elite/Elite Plus should be removed per your arguments. You handled GTA2 fine, and I think if they want to have their own definition of freeware they can, but we will stick with ours. Ground Control seems to still be free, so I think we should leave it. Star Control II is close enough to freeware that I think it should be left unless you feel it should be removed. I think Warzone 2100 should stay on the table because it is a commercial game that is now free (and open source). Zero Tolerance should stay as well, as it is close enough for me unless you feel it should be removed. I think ZZT should be moved to the no longer freeware section. It doesn't appear to be free any more. If you can't get it from an official source, then the non-official sources such as classicdosgames do not have permission to redistribute it. Additionally, the Destructoid link you provided for that is actually a blog, so it's not Destructoid claiming it. Thank you again for taking the time to improve this article with references and eliciting discussion for changes through the proper channels. I am very impressed by your work on Wikipedia and am glad you are editing here. --Odie5533 (talk) 16:12, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply and your encouraging words about my work on Wikipedia! Anyways, here are some thoughts:
  • I did some additional research on the status of Elite/Elite Plus and came across this. It seems prudent to delete its entry from the table immediately as its "freeware" status is looking very doubtful. I'll also move Codename Gordon over to the List of freeware video games as I don't think other editors would object. (EDIT: I noticed that Codename: Gordon is a browser-based Flash game and the freeware video games list doesn't accept games in that category, so I moved it instead to the List of browser games. Sorry about the confusion.)
  • I'll comment out the entry for ZZT as Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs suggested until such time as we can better determine the game's status. Moving it to the no longer freeware section as you proposed may ultimately be the best option, but before doing so, it would be nice to have a WP:RS stating that the game was (previously) officially freeware. I'd like to wait a while to see if additional editor feedback forms a consensus about what to do with the game.
  • I forgot to clarify something earlier that is relevant to the inclusion of Star Control II and Warzone 2100. Near the beginning of the article, under the "Preview" subheading, is the statement: "For FLOSS games, and proprietary games re-released as FLOSS, see List of open source video games." It would seem that earlier editors wanted to minimize duplication of entries between the two lists by reserving this one for freeware games that remain closed source. That is why Warzone 2100 got removed when it was brought up before on this Talk page (but then reappeared sometime later). Both games are already included in the list of open source video games (Star Control II is listed under the name The Ur-Quan Masters). I'll leave the entries for Star Control II and Warzone 2100 alone for now, but other editors may choose to remove them.
  • I'm still a bit uneasy about Zero Tolerance. If the "portions of the ROM image" that are "copyright Sega" consist, for example, only of the Sega logo, then it could legitimately be seen as "fair use" of copyrighted material within the context of an otherwise legally freeware game. If that were the case, I would feel comfortable leaving the game in the table. But on the other hand, if Sega contributed extensively to the game's graphics and sound, then a more serious potential copyright concern pops up when Wikipedia announces that a game containing a significant amount of material which Sega has not given permission to redistribute is "freeware". I've never played the game, so I have no idea what the extent of Sega's contribution may have been, and thus it seems best to leave this question open for other editors to decide. --Mike Agricola (talk) 00:09, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
ZZT was available to download from Epic's site for some time between 1998 and 2001 (based on archive.org snapshots): http://web.archive.org/web/20000303220642/http://www.epicgames.com/zzt.htm. Looking through, the ZZT page was still there when Epic's site was redesigned in 2001 (and Epic Classics was around), though it disappeared later on. --Thunderbird8 (talk) 08:56, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

A couple more notes:

  • Dark Sun: Shattered Lands & Wake of the Ravager: Both games have been flagged with a citation needed tag since December 2011. My Google searches revealed no WP:RS indicating that they are currently freeware. Moreover, Shattered Lands is still sold through purplus.net. However, I did discover that the games were formerly free downloads at darksunworld.com, but no longer seem to be available there. I was not able to confirm that this site had ever received permission to distribute these games as freeware, so I am simply deleting their entries from the table instead of relisting them in "Games no longer freely distributed".
  • Infantry Online: After having made the game free-to-play since 2007, Sony shut down the official game server in March 2012. Fans of the game resurrected a free version of the game at [Free Infantry]. I've never played it, so I don't know how much continuity exists between Sony's game and the new free version. If the latter is a complete remake of the original, with no codebase continuity, then it is essentially a different game and the listing should be moved to "Games no longer freely distributed" because the original game is no longer available. On the other hand, if substantial continuity exists, then there's no need to move the entry, but the Free Infantry link could be used to cite its freeware status.

--Mike Agricola (talk) 23:16, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

GOG.com games[edit]

Dragonsphere and the two Worlds of Ultima games were originally commercial and were later released as free registerware downloads at GOG.com. Should those be added here? 90.225.93.214 (talk) 00:43, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

No, GOG provided them for free for a time on their service as part of promotions but they were never released as freeware by the rights holders. --Jtalledo (talk) 01:56, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the games in question appear to have been "registerware freeware" for as long as they have been available on GOG.com. Here are a couple links to articles which were written when the games first appeared there:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/05/05/good-old-games-has-dragonsphere-for-free/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/06/18/beyond-britannia-worlds-of-ultima-free-at-gog/
Their perpetual freeware availability places them in a different category than Fallout which is normally sold, but at one time was free on GOG.com for two days as a special promotion. That falls into the category Jtalledo described. As for the games mentioned by the IP, it logically follows that their respective rights holders must have consented to allow their perpetual free distribution on GOG.com. IMHO, that places these games in the same category as, for example, Grand Theft Auto 1 & 2. Both are registerware freeware, available for free download only at one website, and not redistributable - i.e. the Terms of Service prohibit someone from putting up the downloaded game files up on their personal website. But both games are already included in the table (and Odie5533 and myself agreed earlier that they should remain there), and my vote is that Dragonsphere and Worlds of Ultima belong there too. --Mike Agricola (talk) 16:36, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Hi Mike. I don't think it is safe to assume that they are freeware unless the publisher has explicitly release them as such. We don't know the exact terms under they have been released by the publisher and should not infer that the game is freeware just because GOG offers them for free on their website. --Jtalledo (talk) 14:43, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. I suppose that this ultimately comes down to the precise definition of "freeware." I've been implicitly using Wiki's definition: software that is available for use at no cost or for an optional fee, but usually with one or more restricted usage rights. Now I agree that there are some points on which we must exercise caution. Specifically, (1) the copyright holder must have authorized its distribution, and (2) it cannot be "trialware" or another form of crippleware. I have no reason to think that either (1) or (2) affects the status of the games under consideration here. GOG.com is a legitimate website, so the games distributed free through there have the blessing of their respective copyright holders. Moreover, the GOG.com Worlds of Ultima press release states that they are "available now on GOG.com for free, courtesy of GOG.com and Electronic Arts." I don't see a substantive difference between a publisher "explicitly releasing" a game for free distribution on a particular website, versus that website obtaining the permission of a publisher to perpetually distribute a game for free. I would also add that not all freeware is Freely redistributable software; a number of other games currently included in the table are legally obtainable (for free) from a single authorized source. Basically that's my understanding of "freeware" and why I would include these GOG.com games in the category. (I'd like to hear from other editors though to gauge what the WP:Consensus is. Defining exactly what constitutes "freeware" is clearly a matter of importance to this article!)
Anyways, the GOG.com games themselves may contain more information on their licensing conditions, so if anyone already has a GOG.com account, I suppose one could download these games to check the accompanying documentation for additional details that may clarify their status. --Mike Agricola (talk) 17:54, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Hades 2[edit]

I believe Hades 2 should be added to this list. 90.225.93.214 (talk) 21:12, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this game to our attention. It appears to meet the criteria for inclusion, so I added it. --Mike Agricola (talk) 21:42, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Realmz[edit]

Realmz is another game which I think might belong here. 90.225.93.214 (talk) 23:00, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion. (Here's some background for those unfamiliar with the game and here is a link to the official Realmz website.) It appears the basic game and two scenarios have been declared freeware with free registration codes provided for those who have previously downloaded the shareware demo. However, the company is still selling additional scenarios for the game. Thus the game isn't completely freeware. It's definitely "freer" than it was before, but its current status is reminiscent of the shareware model formerly employed by 3D Realms and Epic MegaGames whereby a scenario or episode is freely distributed which serves as an advertisement for additional scenarios/episodes which must be purchased. I'm not certain that this qualifies for inclusion, but I'll see what other editors have to say. --Mike Agricola (talk) 18:25, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
OK, thanks for the clarification! 90.225.93.214 (talk) 14:44, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Found a related website[edit]

I've found a website which features former commercial software later released as freeware. I thought some of you might find it interesting: http://www.infinitefrontiers.0catch.com/DownloadsCommercial.htm 90.225.93.214 (talk) 14:51, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Starshatter: The Gathering Storm[edit]

Another potential addition Starshatter: The Gathering Storm. Seems it was released open source/freeware 2011 (website was hacked/went offline).[1] This forum offers a download, source code here. cheers Shaddim (talk) 23:54, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Rubin, Brian (2012-01-16). "Starshatter: The Gathering Storm Goes Open Source!". spacegamejunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08. Apparently the excellent and unique military space sim, Starshatter: The Gathering Storm, has gone open source thanks to its original developer releasing the source code. [...]: "14 DEC, 2011 – STARSHATTER:THE GATHERING STORM – Open Source Version 5.0.5. This download Includes the cumulative Starshatter-TGS game up to version 5.0.5 (No CD Required). It is available for download from our “Lagacy Official File” section." 
Hi Shaddim. The suggestion is appreciated. However, the article's preface reads, "For FLOSS games, and proprietary games re-released as FLOSS, see List of open source video games." It seems that editors who have previously worked on this article prefer that the formerly commercial games listed here should be those that remain closed source and that games re-released as open-source freeware should be listed elsewhere. (I realize though that there's a few exceptions to the rule currently populating the list such as Star Control II which have already been there for quite a long time. I mentioned this previously on this page, but I'm still waiting on further responses as I prefer to obtain an editorial consensus first before deleting Star Control II and a few other open-source freeware re-releases.) --Mike Agricola (talk) 19:46, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Hello Mike, thanks for feedback. I think some games are qualified for both lists, while I agree that in most cases it is exclusive. Many games like the ID or 3d realms games are "just" open source without releasing the content, others are just freeware without being open source. This is one of the rare cases were it is both at the same time, without being a completty free game (like FreeDink). Another one in this list is Strange Adventures in Infinite Space: source code available, also Freeware but not a Free Game (as content is not CC or Public Domain). cheers Shaddim (talk) 23:24, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Conquest of Elysium II[edit]

Wouldn't Conquest of Elysium II fit in this article? The game's official website: http://www.illwinter.com/coe/index.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.225.93.214 (talk) 23:53, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Amulets & Armor[edit]

This game was recently released freeware, see official web: http://amuletsandarmor.com/index.htm 90.225.93.214 (talk) 02:41, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Al Lowe's games[edit]

Some of Al Lowe's games are here for free download "As far as I know, these games are no longer of any interest to my friends at Disney or Sierra, so feel free to copy them and share them with your friends.": http://www.allowe.com/downloads/games.html cheers Shaddim (talk) 21:01, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Many more contributions[edit]

In this forum thread many more games are listed. http://www.classicdosgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1215&start=30 cheers Shaddim (talk) 18:59, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

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another source for inclusion[edit]

http://www.lemon64.com/?mainurl=http%3A//www.lemon64.com/games/permissions.php List of lemon64 freeware/public domain releases. cheers 19:11, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

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