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Why are emulators free?
#1
If I create an emulator can I charge for it? If not, then why?
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#2
Yes, you can charge for it. Take Bleem! as an example, where it was initially free, but then they started charging for it. Be careful that you aren't stealing any code (like the BIOS) from the hardware you're emulating, or you could potentially be sued. And, obviously, you can't charge for the games that the emulator supports
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#3
Android has quite a few paid emulators. Some are ports of other emulators (unless you made the original emulator I would very carefully investigate the Licensing the emulator is under or you could be in a legal situation). Some are donation versions (PPSSPP Gold is a donation version of PPSSPP) where a free emulator exists along side a paid version for people who want to either help fund future development or want to give a little money for all the time put in. Some are Official ports (Epsxe has an official android version that is paid to help support continued work on both the free windows/linux version and the android port).

Small recommendations:

1. Almost no one will pay for a windows/linux/mac version of an emulator since there are plenty of "good" emulators on those platforms for free. If you make a superior emulator and want to setup a way to get "donations" while still offering the emulator for free you will probably do much better overall.

2. Don't just make little adjustments to an existing emulator (or add a frontend) and charge for it. Even if the license allows for it, it is just a lousy thing to do and most people will not think well of you for doing that.

3. Free emulators exist in a legal grey area and paid emulators even more so. While Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft/ect will probably not spend good money going after free projects, if you do anything that steps over the line (providing "official" files from the original hardware, providing links to "bad sites" where you can pirate content, or other things) then instead of facing a strongly worded letter "cease and desist" kind, you might be looking at the wrong end of a lawsuit. Companies dislike people making money off of their work... This also includes if you just take donations. (Capcom just laid the beatdown on some SF5 modders who put mods behind a "donation" paywall.)
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#4
(08-09-2017, 06:58 AM)TkSilver Wrote: Android has quite a few paid emulators.  Some are ports of other emulators (unless you made the original emulator I would very carefully investigate the Licensing the emulator is under or you could be in a legal situation).  Some are donation versions (PPSSPP Gold is a donation version of PPSSPP) where a free emulator exists along side a paid version for people who want to either help fund future development or want to give a little money for all the time put in.  Some are Official ports (Epsxe has an official android version that is paid to help support continued work on both the free windows/linux version and the android port).

Small recommendations:

1.  Almost no one will pay for a windows/linux/mac version of an emulator since there are plenty of "good" emulators on those platforms for free.  If you make a superior emulator and want to setup a way to get "donations" while still offering the emulator for free you will probably do much better overall.

2.  Don't just make little adjustments to an existing emulator (or add a frontend) and charge for it.  Even if the license allows for it, it is just a lousy thing to do and most people will not think well of you for doing that.

3.  Free emulators exist in a legal grey area and paid emulators even more so.  While Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft/ect will probably not spend good money going after free projects, if you do anything that steps over the line (providing "official" files from the original hardware, providing links to "bad sites" where you can pirate content, or other things) then instead of facing a strongly worded letter "cease and desist" kind, you might be looking at the wrong end of a lawsuit.  Companies dislike people making money off of their work...  This also includes if you just take donations.  (Capcom just laid the beatdown on some SF5 modders who put mods behind a "donation" paywall.)

OK people! Now answer me: can I download the source code of an existing emulator like PCSX2 and create my emulator using these files and charge for it or would it be illegal to do this?

If I have to create from scratch without using the files of another already existing, can I do it myself or do I need a team?
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#5
(08-09-2017, 07:50 PM)gansopro Wrote: OK people! Now answer me: can I download the source code of an existing emulator like PCSX2 and create my emulator using these files and charge for it or would it be illegal to do this?
yes. it violates the GPL
Quote:If I have to create from scratch without using the files of another already existing, can I do it myself or do I need a team?
you can be a team on your own Wink
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#6
(08-09-2017, 07:50 PM)gansopro Wrote: OK people! Now answer me: can I download the source code of an existing emulator like PCSX2 and create my emulator using these files and charge for it or would it be illegal to do this?

Depends on the license agreement. Some will let you make derivative work, but you can not sell it. Some will let you sell it but you have to provide sorce code. It varies. So you will have to do research.

(08-09-2017, 07:50 PM)gansopro Wrote: If I have to create from scratch without using the files of another already existing, can I do it myself or do I need a team?

Depends at how good you are at programming, understanding how the target system works, designing a workable UI, and various other things needed to make a working emulator. I have seen good emulators made by a single person and by a large team.... Only you know your current skill level.
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#7
(08-09-2017, 09:45 PM)TkSilver Wrote: Depends on the license agreement.  Some will let you make derivative work, but you can not sell it.  Some will let you sell it but you have to provide sorce code.  It varies.  So you will have to do research.


Depends at how good you are at programming, understanding how the target system works, designing a workable UI, and various other things needed to make a working emulator.  I have seen good emulators made by a single person and by a large team.... Only you know your current skill level.

Dude, I'm weak at team building. Can you tell me how I can create mine? In which social networks or forums can I be announcing the recruitment of new members?

Will I have to pay my members while we are creating the emulator or can it be when it gets ready and I start making money from it?

If I want to make a free emulator available, can I offer the members of my team as a single payment the pleasure of seeing the long-awaited emulator running? In that case I would only be interested in joining my team if you are willing to make this much-anticipated emulator work without receiving anything in return.
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#8
You're kidding. You're asking people to do all the work for you and make decisions for you. It sounds like you have no knowledge what so ever about creating an emulator, and the legalities behind it. If you are serious about doing this, then you're going to have to do a lot of work and become a bit of an expert in coding. This isn't something for people to just do for you
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#9
Sorry I couldn't help even if I wanted to.  All emulation projects I have ever worked on were well before social media networks were a thing (unless you count AIM and ICQ)

I can tell you one thing though.  If finding people is a hurdle too high to climb then making an emulator is not a good idea...


If you just want to "get rich quick" (note riches not guaranteed) Just go to the unity asset store and buy a premade asset pack and flip it on steam after you add steam trading cards.  Currently steam does not care enough to actually deal with people doing this so you turn around and sell cheep keys to bot farms to farm your trading cards and then turn your worthless cards into booster packs for cards worth something.
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#10
Actually tk, that doesn't work anymore, they've modified the system so they can weed out fake games doing that
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