As you can read at Marek Rosa's dev blog the developers of highly successful Space Engineers announced that the complete access to Space Engineers' source code will become available for all players.
BUT as he says later: "Do not confuse this with “open source” or “free software”: While we are opening the possibility to read and alter Space Engineers and VRAGE source code, we’re not making Space Engineers or VRAGE free."
However it is still a big step not just for Space Engineers and Keen Software House but it is also a test what will happen. Because nobody before has ever provided the source code of even not finished game. Therefore in the following days and months to come the situation could lead almost anywhere. To another big success and earned money or on the other hand they could revert back to obfuscating the source code and continue in the "normal" common way of developing a game.
What are the pros and cons?
Total conversions are now possible
More and better content created by modders
Allowing people to have more fun with our game by letting them modify it while we keep adding core features and updates just like we did for the last 2 years
Modders can make server-side mods easily
Modders can contribute to Space Engineer’s core development if they want
Modders can extend the official ModAPI interface and we will merge their changes with the core game
“Competitors” can steal our ideas and algorithms. Our answer: if it is so easy to clone our games and development methods, then we probably aren’t doing anything special. We believe that our competitive advantage is in being leaders, not followers.
Hackers will have an easier time cheating in multi-player. Our answer: this is true, but with new multiplayer, the server will have authority and will validate everything sent by clients. If our implementation has flaws, open access to our source code and the visibility of potential flaws will push us to fix these cases faster.
We can be accused of going open source and abandoning the development of Space Engineers.Our answer is definitely NO. As we stated above, this is mostly for giving complete freedom to our modders while we continue the game’s development without any changes (through weekly updates and keeping our development plan as described in our previous blog post). Space Engineers is still selling very well and only a crazy person would abandon the game! We just want to give people the chance to modify all aspects of our game and experiment with it while we keep doing what we are doing.
There is another big news
Because of the released source code there are new ways how to cooperate on the development of Space Engineers or even new games based on VRAGE engine. And for this occasion Keen Software House will give a very nice sum to the community and modders who want to build total conversion mods based on Space Engineers or VRAGE engine.
Who they are looking for?
Anyone who’s interested in our technology and wants to create game or total conversion using VRAGE engine or Space Engineers. We’re looking for people who are enthusiastic about the same things as we are; game development, sandbox games, destructible environments and unlimited gameplay experience.
So do you think that you have what it needs to become the best modder and make your own dream game? You have the chance now. Go for it!