MAME is now free as well as free of charge

MAME, the arcade emulator originally created by Nicola Salmoria 19 years ago, is now comprised entirely of free and open-source software. It's taken a lot of wrangling, reports MAMEDev.org, due to the large number of contributors and interlinked components.

After 19 years, MAME is now available under an OSI-compliant and FSF-approved license! Many thanks to all of the contributors who helped this to go as smoothly as possible!

We have spent the last 10 months trying to contact all people that contributed to MAME as developers and external contributors and get information about desired license. We had limited choice to 3 that people already had dual-license MAME code with.

As a result, a great majority of files (over 90% including core files) are available under the 3-Clause BSD License but project as a whole is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2 or later (GPL-2.0+), since it contains code made available under multiple GPL-compatible licenses.

I still remember building a MAME cabinet, someone asking "which game is that?" and having the pleasure of saying "all of them."

Correction: Nicola Salmoria's name was originally misspelled "Salmora."

Notable Replies

  1. I always thought MAME was free, when did they ever charge for anything?

  2. I still have my MAME cabinet, and I fire it up every now and then and have a crack at my Galaga high score. It's one of the most incredible things I own.

  3. I have a Raspberry Pi 2 running 8 and 16 bit console games, as well as a few arcade games, so it can be done with low power consumption now.

    There are more powerful ARM devices that may be more suitable for a MAME cabinet, I just used a Raspberry Pi because it was cheaper than the alternatives.

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