Liberated Games is a website, located at http://www.liberatedgames.org, dedicated to cataloguing formerly commercial games that have been made freely-available by their authors. The site's criteria for 'freely-available' is fairly broad, covering the gamut from 'you can download it from our website' licences to full source code licences like the GPL. Unlike 'abandonware' websites like Home of the Underdogs, Liberated Games focuses only on games that have been explicitly made available by their developer, and thus are unambiguously legal to download.

Liberated Games was originally opened in August 2004, with an initial list of 33 games. Since then, the list has gradually increased as new games have been freed and/or found. The site contains a games list, with full licensing information, lists of platforms each game is available on, download links, and purchase links for any remaining commercial versions. This last is particularly important for 'source only' releases, where it is only possible to play the game if you add the original, still commercial, data files. Other games are released only as 'data' files, requiring an emulator or a free engine like ScummVM, and the website provides links to the necessary software.

In addition to the game and licence listings, the website has a discussion forum available. Unfortunately, the forum hasn't (as of this writing) reached any sort of critical mass and non-announcement posts are rare.

As with any relatively-new website, it remains to be seen whether Liberated Games can maintain its ability to fulfill its intended purpose. Nevertheless, it fills a useful niche among other sites such as the Linux Game Tome, Home of the Underdogs, and MobyGames. Hopefully it will also succeed at its eventual goal of bringing about the free release of other old, out of print games.


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This writeup is copyright 2005 by me and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence. Details can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ .

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