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Shareware gaming history book
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TOPIC: Shareware gaming history book

Shareware gaming history book 1 year, 9 months ago #4444

Been meaning to post about this since the project launched a few weeks ago — I'm doing another book with Unbound. This time I'll be digging into the history of the shareware games scene.

So that means stories on the early days of Epic, Apogee, and id, plus more Ambrosia Software stuff and various other stories on the weird, wonderful, horrible, and brilliant things created during shareware's heyday. Like the Mac gaming book, it'll be focused on the behind the scenes stuff more so than the games themselves, but this time I hope to have a clearer narrative arc through the book. (And of course this one won't be Mac-specific — I'm going platform-agnostic, with Amiga, Mac, DOS, 8-bit computers, and so on, albeit with the thrust of the story being on the DOS and early Windows side because that's where the most action is.)

Anyway, check it out if this sounds interesting. And let me know what games/devs/distributors/etc you'd like to see covered in there.

Re: Shareware gaming history book 1 year, 6 months ago #4464

Sounds interesting... Shareware was always most vibrant on the Mac, and Amiga, but there's some decent stuff for x86 too.

Are you going to delve into the payment processors like Kagi too?

Re: Shareware gaming history book 1 year, 5 months ago #4465

Definitely will mention them. Will have to look at how much stuff I can fit about them in there.

I know on the Mac, especially (but not exclusively), Kagi was a key piece in the late 90s/early 2000s shareware puzzle, and I think it's important that this book explores the big picture rather than just the games themselves.

Re: Shareware gaming history book 1 year, 5 months ago #4466

I'll have to go back through my collection and figure out who the other players were. I seem to recall ePay got into it near the end, but there was another group that really got the whole Shareware industry going, and it was popular before Kagi.

As an aside, I never actually got a single payment for my Shareware back in the late 80's/early 90's. Every once in a while I'd see someone running my software, but nobody ever bothered to mail me money. That was before the likes of Kagi -- by the time they came along, I'd discovered open source.

Re: Shareware gaming history book 1 year, 5 months ago #4467

That's a bit sad you never earned even a dollar in shareware registrations, though I suspect hardly unusual. The anecdotal evidence I've found so far in the historical record suggests that the vast majority of shareware programs earned no more than a handful of registrations.

(Side note: The money going around in crowdfunding and mobile apps today strikes me as proof that things actually haven't changed much — we mainly just have newer platforms and better delivery mechanisms.)

Re: Shareware gaming history book 1 year, 5 months ago #4468

I got somewhere in the region of 20 shareware payments for the four games I put out in the early nineties - prior to Kagi.

When Kagi came along that figure got better, but not radically. It was only when eSellerate came out that I started doing reasonably well.

As an aside, Emulator Enhancer 3 hasn't done anything like as well as I'd hoped it would. I'm still working on it, but progress would be much faster if it was better supported.

Re: Shareware gaming history book 1 year, 5 months ago #4469

Did you ever make much money from your shareware emulators? And related to that, I've long been curious: what was the approximate ratio of non-paying users to registered users on your emulators?

Re: Shareware gaming history book 1 year, 4 months ago #4470

Emulator Enhancer 2 did fairly well.

Right now Emulator Enhancer 3 has sold around 4% of what Emulator Enhancer 2 sold.

I'm holding out a certain amount of hope that the death of 32-bit software in 10.15 will result in a spike of EE3 sales. We will see.

As for a ratio of paying to non-paying, I can only speculate on that.
Last Edit: 1 year, 4 months ago by Richard Bannister.

Re: Shareware gaming history book 1 year, 4 months ago #4471

This may sound silly, but how CAN I buy EE?
Last Edit: 1 year, 4 months ago by menace690.

Re: Shareware gaming history book 1 year, 4 months ago #4472

Install Emulation Enhancer and launch one of Richard's emulators. You'll get a dialog that tells you Emulator Enhancer is shareware, click the Yes Please button and it'll open an embedded webpage on eSellerate.

Or if you missed that dialog, go into the Preferences window and click the Enhancer tab to find a Register Online button that does the same thing.

It looks like he accepts 5 credit card types and PayPal. Prices range from £24.66 British Pounds to ¥3614 Japanese Yen.
Last Edit: 1 year, 4 months ago by Squirrel. Reason: Grammar

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