Proposed licensing model

  • Hi all,

    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.

  • This is a great idea. It's too bad that even if you limited the demo people would eventually crack it open..

    I have a question, what's going to happen to the addons? Will people still be able to create those?

    Maybe you could motivate people into buying the discount license by adding funcionalities? Like a little option into the editor that uses the internet to show new addons.. or maybe a special download with tutorials and guides for whoever buys it.

    Also, will the 30-day demo export to HTML5 too?

    Thanks.

  • Sorry, but I think the plan before with "pay-what-you-want" was better. This just makes it a lot more like Multimedia Fusion 2, GameSalad, etc. This makes Construct a lot more unattractive for me. It's just because I started using Construct because it was FREE and it didn't have any stupid nag screens that annoy me.

    For example, why should I pay 40 Pounds every two years if I could just buy MMF2 for 90 Euro and have it forever? Or I could start using Game Maker, just 20 Euro and I can do anything (downside being you have to programm sometimes for yourself).

  • For example, why should I pay 40 Pounds every two years if I could just buy MMF2 for 90 Euro and have it forever?

    This way, traditionally you are also charged for every additional exporter, and when new major versions come out, you're charged all over again. So it's not quite one payment and you have it forever. With the subscription, you're guaranteed all these updates (and I think it would be a good idea to include additional exporters) with that. It could even work out cheaper in the long term.

    Also, I'd like to put things forward from our point of view: Construct is and always has been an extraordinary amount of work, and it would be kinda hard for us to slap a "pay-what-you-want" license on only to see it installed on 1000 computers at some corporation who then don't pay anything to save on running costs. Also, I don't think ?40 is a lot of money for an individual, probably a day's work for most people. Is it so much to ask, especially without any DRM?

  • I think it sounds like a really good idea. It allows everyone to use it no matter their situation.

    Although i hope if someone paid �40 for the two years they pay to keep the software without any nag screens past the 2 years but just no updates?

    Also i like the idea of it being a subscription over that period, i think 2 years is a good time frame as you could buy it year one, halfway through construct 3 could come out and you then have access to that.

    Still....Linux GUI would be worth paying for...HINT.

  • Just want to throw my support in for this. I'm a pretty cheap guy but I'll gladly pay the price. I've used Construct more than most other software I've purchased, so it's worth every penny. I actually think the commercial license should be way more than that, though I've probably made myself public enemy #1 saying that.

    Anyway, I hope you guys make a ton of money and can continue making Construct full time.

  • I think it's fair. After all you put so much work in to this that not wantig to pay you for C2 would be literally a thieveriy. But you should throw exporters in to that price too. Although if you would go with Minecraft model, where if bought when in alpha, customer is getting lifetime updates that would be very kind of you ^^

  • I'm unsure about this, you guys could probably lower the Indie income cap to �10k and also maybe include a nag screen at the start/end of exported games for the free version. GM gets away with a loading screen that takes years to complete so I believe people wouldn't mind a simple "Made using Construct 2 free edition." message box.

    As for the licence, would you have two years updates, and then the program reverts to free edition? Or do you keep the features you've paid for so far, and only need to pay again when you want to update? (I guess it doesn't matter too much if the price stays at �20 a year for non-commercial and indie users though)

  • This way, traditionally you are also charged for every additional exporter, and when new major versions come out, you're charged all over again. So it's not quite one payment and you have it forever. With the subscription, you're guaranteed all these updates (and I think it would be a good idea to include additional exporters) with that. It could even work out cheaper in the long term.

    I thought exactly the same thing as Neo1000, i don't like the subscription idea. It also seems a bit odd going from a free software to one where you pay more than Game Maker but then 2 years later don't actually own it. I would rather pay ?150 or something and then pay ?20-30 for major updates and own that version forever which you DO have with MMF2 because you are not forced to update as there is no time out on the license.

    MMF2 has been getting loads of updates and they are all free and also there is lots of free extensions, and the HWA version was also free. The exe, screensaver, java and java mobile exporters they have are all free also and the flash exporter is fairly cheap. Clickteam might have reduced upgrades for V3 also for older customers.

    I would be happy to support Scirra with a payment of ?150 etc but only if i actually owned the software after that. With subscriptions it just seems like a large donation with bonuses but time limited so i actually much prefer the system Clickteam etc use than that idea.

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  • Also, I don't think ?40 is a lot of money for an individual, probably a day's work for most people.?

    To put that in perspective for those in the USA, that's just over 7 hours of work at the minimum wage. Not really a big deal.

    I'd be happy to pay that much. Even at that price, it would still be my cheapest hobby by far.

  • Um, I thought you'd follow the Unity way but still I like everything about this plan, since I'll be using mostly the free version till I get a credit card

    But still one thing that bugs me is that there's no windows exporter in the free version, or, will there be one?

    Since most others tools have the windows exporter for free and most of the hobbyist game makers who make QUALITY games for free are actually looking for that. (I capped Quality because the HTML5 is pretty limited right now, not much eye candy)

    EDIT: Will the nag screen in the free version depend on how much time we have used it? Like we have to wait for 5 sec one day to close the nag screen and 6 sec the next day.

  • It also seems a bit odd going from a free software to one where you pay more than Game Maker but then 2 years later don't actually own it.

    That's what I also thought. It just makes it sort of greedy.

    It's like you first make it as a free alternative for MMF2 and after 10'000 People use this, you just turn this into a subscribe program to cash in. This makes me feel really betrayed, even if the reason would be that you make Construct as a full-time job.

    It would be better if you do this like Clickteam does. You pay for the software and when another major update comes out, users owning the old version get a discount. This makes the user decide, if he really wants to jump to a newer version or if he's happy with the software he just has. That's how lots of major software developers do.

    But as said, I feel betrayed by having something free and later have to pay to still use it.

  • I would be happy to support Scirra with a payment of ?150 etc but only if i actually owned the software after that. With subscriptions it just seems like a large donation with bonuses but time limited so i actually much prefer the system Clickteam etc use than that idea.

    If you're revenue from using the commercial license was the minimum (?20000/yr) then your Construct 2 related business expense would be at the very most 0.375% of your revenue. The more you make, the smaller that percentage gets. And at least in my country, that expense comes off every year at tax time anyway as a business expense, so it's essentially free.

  • We're not just talking about the price.

    The reason is, that after 2 years, the subscription runs out and the software isn't yours anymore.

    Also, we're not all companies that yearn 20'000 Pounds per year. We're talking mostly about normal earning people.

  • We're not just talking about the price.

    The reason is, that after 2 years, the subscription runs out and the software isn't yours anymore.

    Also, we're not all companies that yearn 20'000 Pounds per year. We're talking mostly about normal earning people.

    So you can't afford ?1.66 a month? That's what it works out to. Besides you can still then use it - you just won't get updated?

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