Phoronix: Huh, id Tech 5 Engine To Be Open-Source?
id Software has a long history of being friendly towards the Linux and open-source communities. id Software was an early game company to support the Linux platform and they have ported many titles to Linux, including their popular Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Quake 4, and Doom 3 titles. Their in-house id Tech game engines have been compatible with Linux and provide an OpenGL renderer. After the game engines have reached the end of their market life, id Software has also open-sourced these engines for use by the free software community. But with id Tech 5 could id Software possibly be open-source to begin with? The web-site for the Rage game seems to imply that id Tech 5 is in fact open-source...
That simply MUST be a mistake. Firstly because bethesda has stated that only games it publishes will be able to use the engine and secondly: it's just waaaay too good to be true! But that thing would be a dream come true for indie devs.
Don't be so quick to dismiss those news. Id Tech-5 could be open-sourced and free to indie and small developers and have tiered licensing requirements for bigger developers. (e.g. more than $100000 in revenue or so).
This is going to be huge, should it come to pass. It would single-handedly destroy Unity3d (probably the best low-cost engine available today) and it would forever change the 3d engine marketplace.
The real question is, "what would Id gain from such a move?" The answer is simple: it would be able to enter a market that's pretty well-saturated right now. If you've followed the gaming scene these past few years, Id Tech has been totally eclipsed by the Unreal Engine (and a few smaller ones - recall that the UnrealSDK is free). What was the last third-party game that licensed Tech-4?
This move would help them re-enter the market with a bang. Great publicity, good-will and the ability to gain market share faster than it would be possible otherwise.
And let me tell you, if Id Tech-5 was open-source and approachable cost-wise, we'd be using it right now for some pretty big "serious game" projects. We have opted for Unity3d instead, due to its simplicity, support and low licensing requirements but if Id Tech-5 was an option, I don't think we would think twice before going there.
Open-Source does not mean free! It probably means that there is a private closed group where all licensees ($$$) have access to source and can contribute fixes and features back to id.
"A main principle and practice of open source software development is peer production by bartering and collaboration, with the end-product, source-material, "blueprints", and documentation available at no cost to the public."
But I do agree that they only have to give the source to their customers, but if the customers sells software with that included to the public they would have to release the source to them too, at least on real opensource lisences like gpl. So in this case this customers which want to make produkts like games and sell them to the public had to give the source to them.
But clearly some people miss-use the terms opensource for stuff thats not opensource and they call their licenses opensource lisence which are not. So maybe its such pseudo opensource lisence.
But I can also think it could be true, maybe the important tools that helps to create games easier are closed source so you buy this and maybe some support. Why would they wanna do that, the last id tech engine was not that successful like the previos engines in lisencing and they could gain much help from other developers to improve the engine in bugfixing and even make some new features. I think here like what apple did (ok they had to do this because the lisence), they released the sourcecode of their underlying os but dont released the code for the ui. So maybe some bugfixes get fixed like that from 3rd party developers or at least they found the bugs with some feedback more quickly.