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News that Nevrax, the company behind the MMOG Ryzom, had gone into recievership late last week wasa dissapointment for fans of the game. Some of those same fans are now starting a project in the hopes of purchasing the source code, artwork and intellectual property associated with Ryzom in order to continue the game as a "democratically run player project".
Learn more about the Free Ryzom Campaign here.
Until now, Nevrax has produced Ryzom, as a typical commercial software company. Nevrax, not the players, decide what direction the virtial world of Ryzom takes. We want to turn this model on it's head and give players control over the virtual world their character's inhabit. We want to purchase the source code, game data, and artwork, so that we can further develop it by placing it under a Free Software license. Once this is accomplished we would reopen the universe of Ryzom to players and have it function and further developed under democratic controlled basis.
How can we hope to purchase a large software package which took millions of dollars to develop? We must be crazy, right? Not exactly, what we are attempting isn't without precedent, and we look to make it happen again! Blender, a powerful 3D modeling package cost millions of dollars to develop. In 2002, when the company behind Blender went into liquidation. The community surrounding Blender came to the rescue and raised 100,000 Euros to purchase the software package from its investors. To this day, Blender is a highly successful and actively developed Free Software project, maintained by its community of users. This is the success story we seek for Ryzom.
We are now working feverishly on a proposal, which we will present to the official presiding over liquidation process. The gist of this proposal is that we would seek to repurchase Ryzom, financed by a donation campaign, as was the case for Blender. The principal difference is that, we would likely not be the only party who would wish to purchase Ryzom. Also, any repurchase that occurs, will be carried out by the liquidators, not the shareholders. So far we do not know the conditions the liquidator may impose on the sale, nor the exact sum of money that will be required. We estimate that the amount will be, at least, tens of thousands of euros, and in the worst case, hundreds of thousands Euros.
Regardless of the exact amount, it is an large sum, but far from being unattainable. When taking into consideration millions euros necessary to the development of a MMORPG, this is a golden opportunity. If we get 500 donations, each contributing 20 euros, we would already have 10,000 Euros, easily attainable and well on our way to repurchase Ryzom. For this relatively small price, the community would obtain a game, which as of the time of writing this was tied for first place on MMORPG.com, as rated by the players. Developers would be able to build their own worlds and servers, based on the code, artwork and tools used in a #3 rated MMORG on MMORPG.com.