Packaging Games with In-App Purchases

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Packaging Games with In-App Purchases

Bagas Sanjaya
Hello,

Let's imagine that I will package a city-building game titled makecity. The game is licensed under GPL(v3), but it has
virtual currency which can be purchased by real money, that is the currency is "premium currency" (which is hard or
impossible to get freely except by purchasing). However, premium currency and in-app purchases (IAP) is integral in the
game, because some features and items can only be bought by premium currency.

Any suggestion on packaging makecity and other programs/games with IAPs?

Cheers, Bagas
-- 
An old man doll... just what I always wanted! - Clara
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Re: Packaging Games with In-App Purchases

Tobias Frost-3
On Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 12:37:52PM +0700, Bagas Sanjaya wrote:
> Hello,
>
> Let's imagine that I will package a city-building game titled
> makaecity.

Can you share a link? My $searchengine vodoo failed on me...

The game is licensed under GPL(v3), but it has virtual
> currency which can be purchased by real money, that is the currency is
> "premium currency" (which is hard or impossible to get freely except
> by purchasing). However, premium currency and in-app purchases (IAP)
> is integral in the game, because some features and items can only be
> bought by premium currency.

Well, if it is GPL3, you can patch out the real-money-purchasing thing,
I guess, can't you?

On the other side: Can you actually play (and win) the game without
any purchase? Because any IAP will have pricacy concerns… (Desert Island
Test, Dissident test)

> Any suggestion on packaging makecity and other programs/games with
> IAPs?

> Cheers, Bagas
>
> --
> An old man doll... just what I always wanted! - Clara
>

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Re: Packaging Games with In-App Purchases

Ben Hutchings-3
In reply to this post by Bagas Sanjaya
On Sun, 2019-07-14 at 12:37 +0700, Bagas Sanjaya wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Let's imagine that I will package a city-building game titled
> makecity. The game is licensed under GPL(v3), but it has
> virtual currency which can be purchased by real money, that is the
> currency is "premium currency" (which is hard or
> impossible to get freely except by purchasing). However, premium
> currency and in-app purchases (IAP) is integral in the
> game, because some features and items can only be bought by premium
> currency.
How does that work, in a game that can easily be modified?  Does it
depend on a server that keeps track of currency and items, and is the
server free software?  If there's a dependency on a non-free server, I
think the game would belong in contrib (though I'm not sure).

Ben.

> Any suggestion on packaging makecity and other programs/games with
> IAPs?
>
> Cheers, Bagas
>
--
Ben Hutchings
friends: People who know you well, but like you anyway.



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Re: Packaging Games with In-App Purchases

Sam Hartman-3
In reply to this post by Tobias Frost-3
>>>>> "Tobias" == Tobias Frost <[hidden email]> writes:

    Tobias> Well, if it is GPL3, you can patch out the
    Tobias> real-money-purchasing thing, I guess, can't you?

    Tobias> On the other side: Can you actually play (and win) the game
    Tobias> without any purchase? Because any IAP will have pricacy
    Tobias> concerns… (Desert Island Test, Dissident test)

You can, but I don't think you are under an obligation to do so.
I think you should make the privacy issues here.
But free software is not inherently against capitalism, making money, or
any of that.

You could of course patch the game to redirect it (and the purchases) to
your servers rather than the original servers.
Doing that might involve writing servers.

--Sam

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Re: Packaging Games with In-App Purchases

Sam Hartman-3
In reply to this post by Ben Hutchings-3
>>>>> "Ben" == Ben Hutchings <[hidden email]> writes:

    Ben> On Sun, 2019-07-14 at 12:37 +0700, Bagas Sanjaya wrote:
    >> Hello,
    >>
    >> Let's imagine that I will package a city-building game titled
    >> makecity. The game is licensed under GPL(v3), but it has virtual
    >> currency which can be purchased by real money, that is the
    >> currency is "premium currency" (which is hard or impossible to
    >> get freely except by purchasing). However, premium currency and
    >> in-app purchases (IAP) is integral in the game, because some
    >> features and items can only be bought by premium currency.

    Ben> How does that work, in a game that can easily be modified?
    Ben> Does it depend on a server that keeps track of currency and
    Ben> items, and is the server free software?  If there's a
    Ben> dependency on a non-free server, I think the game would belong
    Ben> in contrib (though I'm not sure).

The game would not belong in contrib just because it uses a non-free
server.
We have this discussion on -project every few years and it becomes
painfully clear within the first 20 messages or so that if depending on
a non-free server was enough to get your software into contrib, huge
sections of the archive would end up in contrib, and both our users and
the free software community would be harmed.

Users would be harmed because things like free software libraries that
can talk to both openstack and AWS would have a hard decision to make.
They would either end up dropping the AWS dependency or moving to
contrib.  Enough would choose not to drop the AWS dependency that even
users who wanted to access entirely free services would end up often
needing contrib.

The free software community would be harmed because contrib would become
needed enough that even people who valued free software would end up
using it.

I'm massively overly simplifying here.  But we do have this conversation
periodically, and it's no fun, and we end up back at the current status
quo.

--Sam

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Re: Packaging Games with In-App Purchases

Tobias Frost-3
In reply to this post by Sam Hartman-3
On Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 08:50:54AM -0400, Sam Hartman wrote:

> >>>>> "Tobias" == Tobias Frost <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>     Tobias> Well, if it is GPL3, you can patch out the
>     Tobias> real-money-purchasing thing, I guess, can't you?
>
>     Tobias> On the other side: Can you actually play (and win) the game
>     Tobias> without any purchase? Because any IAP will have pricacy
>     Tobias> concerns… (Desert Island Test, Dissident test)
>
> You can, but I don't think you are under an obligation to do so.

The intention of this question was to re-ensure that this is really
free, nothing more, not to imply any obligations to do so. (It wouldn't
be the first time that upstreams do "ammend" the GPL3 in an incompatible
way)

> I think you should make the privacy issues here.

(EPARSE) Sorry, I don't understand what you mean…

> But free software is not inherently against capitalism, making money, or
> any of that.

Yes, never disputed.

> You could of course patch the game to redirect it (and the purchases) to
> your servers rather than the original servers.
> Doing that might involve writing servers.
>
> --Sam
>