We recently discussed close-sourcing the HTML5 exporter. We've thought a little bit harder and I think we've got a better idea of a licensing model now.
In short there will be the following options. It's modelled after the pricing model of Reaper.
- 30-day demo - free and fully functional - starts 'buy now' nag screens after 30 days. To prevent piracy/cracks and allow legitimate customers to do what they like with the software, there is no copy protection or DRM. You can click away the nag screens and continue using C2 after 30 days (like WinZip, WinRAR, mIRC), you just have to put up with nag screens. The fact is people who don't want to pay will ultimately find a way to use it anyway.
- Discount license - �40 for 2 years - all updates free as well as any official new exporters released - for indie/personal use (where associated revenue is below �20k/year), or educational or not-for-profit use
- Commercial license - �150 for 2 years - for commercial use (where revenue is over �20k/year) and businesses.
Some other points:
Bulk license provided on demand for licensing entire offices/institutions etc.
No DRM so you can install C2 to a thumb drive and take it with you and use it however you want, or install it on all the machines in your house (technically the license will specify that it only covers Construct 2 running on a single machine at a time, but this is mainly so it can be licensed per-machine in business) - there will be a way to install a license portably - it won't connect to the internet or anything though.
HTML5 exporter - this will still be open source BSD and 'free' (as in, not charged for, since you paid for the editor). This allows for other developers to see how an exporter is made, and makes it pointless to try and start a competing exporter.
The Construct 2 editor will be closed source. It is what you are paying for, and there doesn't appear to be a good way to license the editor when it is open source. It also represents the largest body of work in the project (it is the largest and most complex single component). This way, we can also encourage free open-source exporters, and if it means we sell more editor licenses, we're happy.
No splash screens on your creations. Your creations are not altered in anyway way.
Some people have asked what's happening to the code on SourceForge: while we work this out we have stopped committing code for now, because if we go closed source, the sooner the better. I've contacted SourceForge about the changes. I'm not clear on whether or not it'd be legal for someone to fork the existing editor code after going closed source, and obviously we'd prefer it if nobody did. However, we'll be working tonnes on the editor from now on, so the risk is probably reduced, since we should get way ahead of anyone doing it part-time, and the existing GPL licensing on the editor effectively makes it impossible for anyone else to profit from it.
I know some of you have become accustomed to having the entire product free as a hobby project. However, this is becoming way more than a hobby project, and these changes should make it better for the users too - genuinely - if you think we did a good job with irregular patches, think what we'll do if we can go full time on this. Also, since there's no copy protection, if you really insist on using it for free, you can do so easily.
Let me know what you think. As before, the poll is to gauge the popularity of the idea, we're not going to make a decision solely based on the poll result, but your feedback will as always be read carefully.
Edit: specified that all official exporters will be free.