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You are here: Home FSF News Freeing a MMORPG - updated

Freeing a MMORPG - updated

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Dec 13, 2006 03:05 PM
The bid to free the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game) Ryzom fails.
Thursday Dec 21, 2006 - Read the Free Ryzom announcement and plans for the future

In related news:
Monday January 8, 2007 - Linden Labs, developers of the MMORPG "second Life", announce the release of their client software under the GNU General Public LIcense (GPL).

Original news item:

Boston, December 13th 2006 - Free Software Foundation announces that it will officially support the Free Ryzom campaign ( with a pledge of $60,000 should their bid be successful.

The Free Ryzom campaign was established to purchase the online game and universe known as Ryzom, property of the now bankrupt Nevrax company, and release the entire game as free software.

As stated by Peter T. Brown, Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation, the FSF considers the Free Ryzom campaign "a high priority project for the free software movement". The aim of the campaign is to publish the source code to the entire game under the terms of the
widely-used GPL, as well as publishing all of the artwork and other content under similar free licenses.

The Free Ryzom campaign represents a unique opportunity for the free software movement and the emerging free gaming field. A fully free MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game) engine and client/server architecture would allow the development of a myriad of universes, each one evolving its own philosophy and unique content - but sharing in general technical improvements. If successful, this campaign would allow any user to create their own universe and produce their own content based on the Ryzom/Nevrax architecture.

Since the announcement by Nevrax of their bankruptcy, the Free Ryzom campaign has drawn together a heterogeneous community of volunteers formed by ex-employees, current players and free software sympathisers. With the support of the FSF, it is now expected that the campaign will be able to increase its bid to over 200.000€.

The campaign is also seeking to create a non-profit organization to run and maintain the current game servers. Monthly fees would be spent on service costs and game development. Pledges can be submitted at the Free Ryzom campaign website ( Pledges must be made within the next few days, since the deadline for the final bid is expected sometime before Wednesday, December 19th, depending on when the judges make their decision.

About the Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of Free (as in freedom) Software - particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants - and Free Documentation for Free Software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software. Their web site, located at, is an important source of information about GNU/Linux. They are
headquartered in Boston, MA, USA.

About The Free Ryzom Campaign
The Free Ryzom Campaign is a commmunity-based initiative formed to purchase the MMORPG game Ryzom from the now-bankrupt Nevrax. Players, former Nevrax employees, and free software sympathisers have partnered with Olivier Lejade (former CEO of Nevrax, now CEO of Mekensleep) and Valentin Lacambre (a well known personality related to the alternative Internet movement in France) to purchase the game and release the source code under the terms of the GNU GPL, and the content and artwork under similar free licenses. For more information on their campaign, or to make a donation pledge, please visit

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