Mod News

Abandonware: What Is It and Should You Be Worried? | WDB #104

Today we’re discussing the concept of abandonware and how it applies to developing and distributing our mod for Freelancer: a fourteen-year-old game.

Development Updates

Before heading into the meat of today’s post, there have been a number of patches since our last development-focused blog a few weeks ago. The changes are mostly related to bug fixes and balance changes. However, two new ships have been added: the T-65AC4 X-Wing, and the GAT-12h Skipray (Civilian Model).

The T-65AC4 does not replace our original version of the X-Wing. Rather, it’s an updated model (graphically and otherwise) which has different stats and a different flavor overall. Meanwhile, the civilian Skipray gives independent players and groups a flexible new platform to protect convoys and engage in all sorts of nefarious activities. Be sure to hop online to check them out!

Now, on to more important matters:

We have discovered that, after nearly fourteen years, copies of Freelancer (the base game we’re developing all this on) are no longer being produced, Amazon is nearly out of its stock, and no other retailer currently offers the game. Freelancer is not available digitally through any distribution platform, and it appears unlikely that it ever will be.

Despite our desire that all our players purchase a copy of Freelancer, that option is now unrealistic. As a result, we now view Freelancer as abandonware and, in an effort to continue to serve our players, will be pointing our community members to a trustworthy site that hosts the game’s ISO file.

Abandonware refers to computer software that is no longer distributed or supported by the developer or copyright holder, regardless of reason. We avoided having to resort to this for as long as we could manage, being firm believers that authors should be compensated for their work, but it would be unfair to our community not to provide an alternative now that obtaining the game through normal channels is no longer an option.

Overall, this change in our stance has little to no effect on the development of the mod, but it could certainly open up our community to more people, which we are always happy to see. This will make it easier on those of you who have wanted to try the mod but didn’t have a copy of Freelancer, or those of you who have friends that wanted to play but who were never able to purchase the game. Either way, it’s a positive.

If anyone has questions, comments, or concerns, please follow the links below to get in touch with the development team. We’re always happy to answer!

Community Links

Recruitment is now open for all factions! The New Republic, Imperial Remnant, Corellian Protectorate and Hutt Syndicate are all waiting for you! Want to join the community? It couldn’t be simpler: Join our Discord Channels! Click on the links below:

For the latest development videos, please check out our YouTube Channel! Or, visit us on the Freeworlds Forums, Facebook, or leave us a comment or question here and the developers will respond! We also have a Steam group that’s updated weekly with our news posts, and our community is always welcoming new gamers!

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