Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A word on piracy... and freeware.


I have been noticed that the F-35 version 1 is available for free download in several places on the Internet. Most likely, version 2 is available somewhere, Hardly surprising. I just wanted to clarify that the F-35 version 1 has been withdrawn from sales but it is NOT freeware. I know that many companies offer their older projects for free - but this is not the case, mainly because I want to phase-out the older version.
I believe that version 2 (payware and available only at SimMarket) is a much better and more complete rendition of the Lightning II, as it includes all versions (-A, -B and -C) and I encourage everyone who may have downloaded the pirated version to consider the purchase of a leigitimate copy of the F-35, which can be found here:

F-35 LIGHTINING II SIMMARKET LINK

To be completely honest with you, since I do not do this for living, pirates are not hurting my activity that much. And I will not include passwords, serial numbers or other DRM practices which I always find annoying as user.
This is a hobby for me, and the only reason why the F-35 is payware is that the development costs were incredibly high for an hobby (more than 2.5 thousands Euros - just expenses, that is without considering my time...and then I had many outstanding contributions for free). Asking an "admission ticket" was the only way for me to deliver the project - I could not afford to do otherwise.

My plan was (and still is) as follows: once the F-35 breaks even (which will happen soon) I'd withdraw the it from sales - and then turn it to freeware after some months of gap in which the product will not be available. This is to give some value to users which may buy the package one day and then find that the product they have just purchased became free overnight.

If sales will go on as planned, F-35 will be withdrawn from sales in a month or so - and it will be re-released as freeware in Spring.
I would appreciate your comments on this plan, especially if you have purchased the F-35.

P.S. The new Tomcat is an F-14D Tomcat... so no legitimate Jolly Rogers insignias (my favourite together with the Sundowners) unfortunately....

13 comments:

SpazSinbad said...

Dino, Thanks for your excellent work. I'm hoping you are able to at least break even on your expenses. A simple USAF F-35A 'flight manual' is available online.
F-35A--OPERATIONS PROCEDURES 07 June 2012
AIR FORCE INSTRUCTION 11-2F-35A, VOLUME 3
http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFI11-2F-35AV3.pdf (0.5Mb)

Dino Cattaneo said...

@SpazSinbad

Thanks - I had already spotted it... very interesting read. I wish I had time to check its applicability to my FSX rendition.

Jenson said...

Dino, as a customer who purchased the F35 I can say that I am thankful to you for releasing such a great aircraft.
If a few of us that pay for the aircraft makes it freely available for the many then you have my vote.
I must say that what you are doing is really refreshing in todays corporate climate.
Keep up the good work!!

Matt said...

HI dino. I have purchased both version number 1 and 2 of the F35 and have continued to fallow your work. Although I understand why some people may choose to pirate software as I my self have spent a conciderable amount on the hobby, I cannot condone its pracktice. I completely support what ever you choose to do with the sale of your products and will continue to fallow your work and support you when you come out with stuff I like, and you have not dissapointed me yet. Do you ever plan on doing some corprate jets? they are some of my favorite aircraft. If you want my honest opinion though I value your hard work and wish you would incorperate some DRM.

Rob M said...

Sounds like a great plan Dino.... this second version should be experienced by everyone! I bought version 1 and 2 and have no problem with it being released as freeware later. Those of us that bought it have already had plenty of time to flaunt this awesome bird on the many forums, and for sure made others want it as well! Bravo and keep up the great work! I will always support your work!

Anonymous said...

What? Freeware version going to be release in only a few months? I am now regretting spending money on this already!

Josef said...

No Dino, go ahead and make a profit. By all means... nothing sinful about a small profit to at the least fund other projects.

Dino Cattaneo said...

Thanks for your comments and appreciation, guys.

Let me explain a couple of things-I am not a tree hugger who likes to share just for the joy of doing it (which I like). And there is surely nothing wrong in making profit from this activity - I highly appreciate the work of several payware developers which deliver incredibly good products.

Thing is, I already have a good job, relatively well-payed. And I know myself (and human nature) - I can be greedy. I do not want this to become a "significantly profitable" activity because I'd probably end up spending even more hours in it (which would impact the quality of my "real" job) and making things I do no want (projects I do not like and updates I may not want to do).

Also, if I exceed a certain amount of money, there come law and accounting obligations I do not have the time to comply with.

Moreover, from my F-35 version 1 experience, sales will drop very quickly in few months - reaching few copies per months after just 3-4 months...

Again, I believe there is nothing wrong in profit and payware - it's just not the right thing for me at this time.

I know that customers may be pissed off if I switch the F-35 to freeware...sorry for that. I just wanted to give an early warning on this blog.

Dino Cattaneo said...

...one more thing. If you ask me "why are you ding this?" I believe this RSA video gives a reasonable answer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

Josef said...

Dino;
Having some of the same accounting problems of penalties for making X amount of bucks after a while, I understand. Also I hear you on the sales barrier.
No worries;
Josef

Honeycool said...

Dino,

My thoughts, keeping the sales a little longer would increase your funds to enhance this bird since now you already have a solid platform. Example, it would be real cool to simulate radar for stalking air traffic integrated with the SMS payload and having a shoot que displayed at HMD Hud. With extra funds, you can even sub-contract to external parties to develop the enhancements if your time is a constraint. I can't speak for the rest but I would pay for those extras :) I must say that I really love this product.

Rob B. said...

Hi Dino,

I support a decision on payware/freeware either way.

And to people who regret already buying it, because of Dino's decision: tuf luck.
You clearly have an no idea what motivates FS designers to spend countless hours on this hobby. Freeware or Payware. Feeling cheated because a designer is satisfied with only recovering actual real-world costs, is about the dummest reason for regret.
As a freeware designer, I can't prevent you from downloading my stuff. But if I could, I would.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

All,

thanks for your comments and opinions - much appreciated.

Sales figures for October are in, and I am happy to say that the project has broken the even point (and then some) - including taxes.

I will keep it on sale for another week or so, and then withdraw it from sales.