Will GDevelop be fully free (without freemium limitations) or Fully Commercial?

Hi All,

First of all sorry about my bad English, I hope that you’ll be able to understand this.
Just to be clear: this is NOT a complaint, I’m highly appreciate this project and admire the author. I’m wondering about some areas and would love to discuss and know what’s coming.:blue_heart:

I basically came from years of using commercial game engines such as: Construct 2, Construct 3, GameMaker Studio 2 and recently Godot.


From my understanding GDEVELOP is free to download and use commercially, very nice and appreciated project indeed!:blue_heart:
At first it sounded like Godot or Blender so no limits and total freedom of use but then when I start using it in order to learn it, I realize it’s not exactly the case…


To be honest, I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone in this:
I’m not a big fan of anything subscription based, for example:
“Construct 3” is wonderful but I already proof myself that I keep paying for a year (more than once) while not using it for some months since I’m a fulltime Animator.

  • Fan fact: :sweat_smile: you may have heard of a game called:
    The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth” I’ve produced all the ending cut-scense.


Anyway, I’m not believing in renting use of a software, I honestly like to pay once to own a permanent license like I still do, that’s why I’m bringing these questions before I’ll dig into GDevelop and use it as my MAIN game engine.


My questions:
Will GDevelop be actually fully free in one point or it’s getting to the other direction of Commercial in the future? or it’s going to get stronger on the renting / subscription model?

True: GDevelop is free, but not actually fully free since users must:

  • Use the “Made with GDevelop” (unlike Godot and others…)
  • Limited to only 2 compiles per day (unlike Godot and others…)
  • Suggesting subscription on current and pro:hearts:bably coming features which is discouraging in my opinion.


I must mention that I appreciate the hard work of the main developer and anyone else who donate to this wonderful project.
And of course if I’ll choose to work on a gamet in GDevelop which will gain some income I’ll be happy to donate (none-subscription) the project with much love.

But I would like to know if GDevelop is going to be either Subscription based, Fully Commercial, or stay with freemium (free to use but limited with no actual freedom as I mentioned above).

Which direction will GDevelop go? it will be helpful for potential users such as myself and newcomers to understand the path it will eventually be so maybe we should pick other game engine or stick to GDevelop.

I’ll be fast, GDevelop is free to use.
The services like the auto build service, called one-click export have a free plan, an indie and a Pro plan.

Actually the subscriptions give you more one-click export per day, and it remove the popup for take a subscription (this popup can be closed, and the features are not restricted to a subscription, like the debugger, the preview over Wi-Fi…)

Actually, only the option for remove the GDevelop’s logo require to get a subscription for hide ours logo.

About the future the main developer has answer to some questions, you will get more information with this video:

If you need more details on the plans, you can open “My Profile” menu in GDevelop. File>My Profil

The GDevelop team does not want a monthly/year subscription to use the software.
The main idea is to permit to everyone to make games! Really everyone!


Thank you for the quick reply.
I did watch this excellent video a couple days after, it’s not covering my questions but more general things which are very interesting indeed but not related.

So if I understand correctly, GDevelop it will remain freemium model as the minimum plan. which means the limitation will stay for compile twice a day?
I won’t lie it is a harsh limitation which is not appeal to my use since I can’t just BUY Gdevelop licesnse once for the current model.
I honestly rather donate via patreon or donations than doing a subscription as I mentioned above since it’s equal to renting service of usage.

I totally understand the idea behind these limitations which supposed to push the user to pay and I respect that.
But it’s very hard to test on other machines and devices.
I’m not talking about Preview inside GDevelop, but actual compiled versions many times a day which I always do on my projects… sadly that’s probably not for me.

Of course I respect any decision, model direction GDevelop go with but I had to be sure. now I understand it will not going to be free but still freemium with the limitations unless user will subscribe.

Again, I have nothing against freemium models, I just rather pay once for a license rather than renting mini-services.

Thank you for the information. :slight_smile:

In your case you can make your games and get a sub only for one month and cancel it before the next month by go back on the free plan in one click on the button.

If the one-click exports are pretty and easy to use but not in your budget, you can still read how to make your own build (manual export) by reading this guide.

About the future services or plans of GDevelop nothing is done for the moment.
If we have to add services or change plans, an announcement will be communicated.

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Thanks once again for the quick reply, I appreciate it.

Unfortunately that’s not good enough in my case since I’m a fulltime animator with dynamic random range of busy/free days:
some weeks are busy, some days are free… that’s why I don’t like renting a software or freemium features and rather buy a license.

Again, I have nothing against GDevelop project I totally like it and I’m very impressed, I’m just not a big fan of freemium or subscription based models. I do understand you need the money but these models are pushing me out instead of invite me to use it more.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to choose a different game engine mainly because of the subscription model.

I may still mess around with GDevelop for fun of course.:slight_smile:
This community is great and the project is interesting.

Maybe in the future if the model will evolve to my (and probably others) direction with more efficient ways to use it for the long-run. I’ll stick around to see how things are rolling.


Hello and welcome to GDevelop! Your games look great, BTW. :slight_smile:

GDevelop software is 100% free. You get to use the game engine (MIT license) to design, create, test, and publish your games. You have the right to remove the “Made by GDevelop” manually, and you can use the debugger and live preview (albeit with an annoying pop-up reminder).

The only REAL limitations are on the external build service, which is hosted in the cloud and has REAL costs for GDevelop. This build service does a several nice things:

  1. Auto compiles your game for Android or Windows with a single click.
  2. Host an HTML copy of your game on a cloud web server for testing and sharing prototypes

I hope you give GDevelop a chance to show it’s power, flexibility and helpful community!




Just want to clarify here:

GDevelop isnt freemium.

The external build service is freemium. It is not part of the engine, but is linked from the engine itself. It is built using preexisting services on AWS, and the subscription offerings help cover this external service.

You can build your game infinite times, you just need to build locally following the steps on the wiki. After the first time it takes only two command line prompts to build your game.

If building for HTML, that is one click from the engine then zipping up the export folder, thats it.

The engine logo can also be disabled without a subscription, but requires you to modify your exported source code over a few lines. Which you are always welcome to do.

Nothing about the engine itself is locked behind subscription. Only the external service and one ease of use feature for people uncomfortable modifying their source code.


The manual build with the command line are also faster than the cloud build service, there is nothing to upload in cloud and no download time to get the compiled game :wink:
We have just to wait a bit during the compilation process. (Also true for the cloud build service)

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I have been wondering for a long time, is it not possible to integrate the manual local build in GD as a one-click solution? Then all limitation, game size, availability and upload problems would be solved.

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That’s how it was done before, and it was dropped for many reasons. I had written a few on discord:


In ClickTeam Fusion, GameMaker Studio 2, Godot and others the local build is easy as few clicks and it’s fast, actually… Godot is TINY which is insane.
It’s not very user-friendly or inviting (for me specific) that GDevelop limits local build by default and make things difficult especially for my kind of work that I need Local support and not cloud-based.

I do understand the all old APK not up to date these days and need to convert and update etc… but still, if there is a local way to do these stuff, I would always choose it.
In my opinion at least the more common builds such as: Windows / Linux / Mac should be like few clicks and done like most game engines (free and commercial).
I understood it is possible to build unlimited via command prompt or something (I didn’t try since it’s not a simple built-in button) but I’m talking about the common way on most game engines: 1 click or few - and you have your cooked build locally (Windows / Linux / Mac) yes, Android / iOS - I understand it’s best for cloud because of updating.

But again, it’s good for me to know these limitations ahead. it helps me and that’s why I asked these questions, so I can choose the game engine for my next projects and it seems like at the moment GDevelop making things much more complex for me but as I mentioned, I will play with it as it’s still new to me (used it a long time ago and it evolved beautifully).

Don’t get me wrong, GDevelop looks really nice and easy to learn especially for people who came from Scirra’s Construct game engine.

Maybe in the future it will be easier to build locally without cloud-based and also maybe there will be a change in the business model such as: one-time payment license instead of renting (subscription) services per usage which I’m not a big fan of, also rather have local usage as my default workflow.
As long as GDevelop is sticking to the Freemium model (free but pays for extra services) I’ll have to skip it for my commercial projects. but I may use it for prototyping since it is a really nice software!

I apologies if my posts may sounds like I complain, I honestly admire this project, Ian and any other contributors for working hard on it. so if it sounds like a complain it’s not my purpose, also sorry about my bad English.

This community is great! thank you all for sharing your thoughts, facts and opinions, I appreciate you all. :blue_heart:


Sorry you are feeling GDevelop won’t meet your need. I promise you that using electron-builder for local desktop builds is super simple, if you ever want to give it a try.

Edit: Just incase you do ever want to check it out, the local electron build process is two commands after installing the apps required.

Yarn electron-builder add --dev
Yarn electron-builder build

edited to hide old info about Godot

Just to check, can you provide some context on your statement about godot?

I haven’t used it since 3.0 launched, but then you had to install visual studio and build through it. Their documentation includes that as accurate today, as far as I can see.

Compiling for Windows — Godot Engine (stable) documentation in English

Godot’s build process is still far more complex due to using VS than running the electron builder.

Ignore the above Godot question. I did more research and the old building method is only requires for compiling the engine source itself anymore. They’ve added an automated locale compilation for apps less than 2gb.

(Larger than that can still export but you have to do extra external steps for updates or full compile)

Those are old commands, the new ones are even simpler (yarn then yarn build)

That’s the thing, it is not a business model. It’s just that the build service costs much money and we can’t make the money appear out of thin air, so we need people who want to use it much to contribute towards paying those servers, and they are no one time payment either.

I think saying everything freemium is bad is a pretty narrow minded way of thinking about this. I mean, we could also just provide the manual builds (like for example RPG Maker MV does for mobile builds at least last time I checked), in that case Gdevelop would be 100% free, no freemium but I’m pretty sure everyone prefers having a way to export the game in 1 click.

They are not using the same technologies and tooling. We need many tools for supporting all exports (on the top of my mind node, yarn for all builds, electron-builder and in some cases a C/C++ compiler for PC builds, java jdk v8, up-to-date Android SDK, cordova, XCode for mobile). Those are a lot of tools and they can be pretty heavy. Additionally, as I said, they do not work well on all systems.

electron-builder, which is used to make PC builds, does not support making mac or linux builds from a windows PC. It has other compatibility issues. I think having one build service that handles all of this is easier for everyone than having to deal with all of this.

I don’t get why GDevelop having a build service that simplifies building games that you can use many times a day is making things harder for you.


I totally understand and respect zero-budget projects since I’m a project manger and lead designer of a small team which we’re developing a professional animation software for some time now (can’t say much, NDA) and it will take a while to get to early-release.
That’s why I truly understand what it means and I’m the first one to respect whatever decision GDevelop team will go for now or in the future.
After all I like this project a lot and I have a strong feeling it will EXPLODE! sooner or later everybody will hear about it and use it.

Just to be clear: :blue_heart:
I’m not trying to convince anyone to change anything, but since I care I dedicate my time to share my opinion as a GDevelop fan.

There are many ways to help earn some income while keep GDevelop free / freemium
The most known one who will probably grow BIG and FAST is via Patreon:

With such a wonderful supportive community base already, Patreon is a good on-going respected solution and it will fit nicely for supporting while developing GDevelop.
You may give these extra features as at the moment freemium-model for Patreon supporter specific tears, for the long run it will make much more money than the current way because by nature Patreon is much more discoverable + encouraging than the current state. (in my opinion).

Another solution is to make free-edition (not freemium which includes popups and extra features, but free) + Commercial license which people would be glad to purchase a one-time license even while development is going.

I’m not saying you should do or not, I’m just suggesting.
Nothing is wrong in the current model, I just spoke my mind for my personal needs and opinions, there is no right or wrong here.

I don’t think it’s bad, and obviously not narrow minded, it’s what it is…
Freemium is a well known business model for years and it’s not a shame to use it if that’s your choice, I totally respect that but it is a freemium business model by definition:

Freemium, a portmanteau of the words “free” and “premium”, is a pricing strategy by which a basic product or service is provided free of charge, but money is charged for additional features, services, or virtual or physical goods that expand the functionality of the free version of the software.

in that case Gdevelop would be 100% free, no freemium but I’m pretty sure everyone prefers having a way to export the game in 1 click.

It doesn’t cancel the fact that GDevelop is currently is a Freemium model, and you should defiantly ask people in and out of the community HOW they would like to support the development since money will SURE help it and you may be surprised to see what users preferer to pay for if there are other options to choose from.

Sharing my personal example:
During our business-plan for our project we did it on our business models and out of 1,700+ (we keep updating our analytics) animators all over different communities 89% preferred to pay once to own a license instead of subscription model.
I’m aware it’s not a fair comparison but since I don’t know anything about GDevelop’s business-plan I can’t say much, I’m just sharing some encouraging details that may help as we’re doing our work based on analytics and focus potential users. that’s just a tiny part of a business-plan after all.

Forgive me for my ignorance, I have no idea what is electron-builder and I’m not a programmer, that’s the reason I liked GDevelop… to keep things under one pakage ease of use, like Fusion, GameMaker, Godot, etc…
It may be easy to use, I may try it in the future as I like learning things.

Because when I use GameMaker Studio for example, I just export to Windows in one click, same for Linux or Mac… Same with ClickTeam Fusion, one click few clicks if I could some properties, everything is local, quick, ready for me to test on other devices without using internet (sometimes I must in my case, that’s why I keep mention it’s specific on my experience).
Yes, I know these are commercial products and not free, I’m not comparing I’m just saying it is so much simple and not complex or limited with pop-ups.
Again, not a complain but it’s hard for me to explain things since English isn’t my native language.

I strongly believe that GDevelop can make much more money and supporters either with different business model in the future, but starting with Patreon could already go HUGE and help the community grow and grow with new people who never even heard of GDevelop before. so it could be a nice way to support GDevelop with some tears options as the bonus extra services not just to cover expanses but also to earn some money for your hard work.

It may sound or feel like I’m bashing you and we’re not having the same point of view, but it’s important for me to say that I’m not here to convince or fight, I do this with full love, respect and care to GDevelop and the them.

Again, sorry about my bad English… :sweat_smile:
Much Love to everyone!

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Just to be clear, I think the main thing is that is being discussed here got muddied.

The main thing you are viewing as freemium, the build server, isn’t part of the game engine. The main game engine is available 100% free and open source. The AWS service could go away tomorrow and you’ll not lose the ability to use the game engine, make games, or export.

TLDR for the below: It is not (currently) a realistic ask to cover ongoing AWS costs via one-time license purchase, and your ask around a patreon is already what the subscription covers today, mostly. Local builds may or may not change in the future, but no way to say for sure. (way more info below. :laughing:)

The following list just to summarize and provide context for you and if anyone sees the thread, not necessarily change your mind:

  • The build server itself is linked from within the engine, but is a holistically separate system that needs to have costs covered in some way.
  • As of today, using that build service is provided freely, just rate limited on a 24 hour basis of 2 per 24 hours.
    • You can preview your game within the engine infinite times, and unlike many engines, the preview in GDevelop is 99.99% identical to how the final game will run. With this in mind, normally you would only be building your game when you’re doing a release, so the 2 per 24 hours is already going to cover most bases, assuming nothing odd is up.
    • If building to HTML, you should never need to use the online build service since you can just export to a folder and zip it up. It will then launch as normal on services like Itch.io or Gamejolt as an HTML5 game.
    • As mentioned above, all exe builds can be done with 2 command lines if local/non-online build server/etc is desired
  • The reminder screens are just that, reminders, and do not lock anyone from those features.
  • The only other feature that may come close to Freemium is disabling the GDeverlop splash screen, but then you’d need to consider whether you consider Unity or Unreal free or freemium, since their splash screens are forced without a license, and they don’t give you an option to disable it in your source code without breaking the license agreement, while GDevelop does.

Outside of that, from everything I’ve heard it is extremely unlikely any type of purchased license will be offered as that doesn’t really cover any long term costs, and would likely go against the MIT license of the engine, or they’d need to build out some sort of licensing agreement with AWS, which becomes an even weirder muddied mess.

Will there be a way to simplify local builds in the future? It’s definitely possible, but it’s going to depend on the focus of the GDevelop foundation team that 4ian is building.

I think the question is a valid one, even if it is not likely going to change the other items above. We’ll need to see what the future holds.


just to add a little to this point.

Some people might think they have to export to android/IOS to test on phone apps, but there is a neat feature called Network Preview, where you can test your game on your phone/tablet, without the need to export.

Silver is right when he says you basically only need 1 export on final release.

Calling this awesome offer of a 1 click build service (2 pd!) “freemium” is just wrong.


To close this thread in good vibe, which was my purpose and still is because of my love and appreciation to this unique project I want to say:

  1. I have nothing against the current model / ways GDevelop works, I never did but I was curious what is going to change if… it will change, probably nobody knows yet.

  2. If and When GDevelop will eventually have a permanent license, I’ll be very happy to purchase it and keep supporting with upgrades of major versions, I hope it will happen in the future. (it doesn’t have to cancel the current free state, but as an extra one that replace the subscription which I’m not a big fan of as I mentioned).

  3. It will be best for me to start making mini-games or projects just for the sake of learning GDevelop (as I have not much experience with it) it’s a good practice for sure.

I guess you guys will see me again with some noob stupid questions again on the forums.

Thanks everyone, keep up the good work and GO GO GDevelop!!! :blue_heart:

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100%, no bad vibes in here (as far as I can see) at all, I just wanted to add info incase someone finds the thread.

Please feel free to play around with GD5 and post threads for any questions you run into. Always feel free to hop onto the discord or github as well, too.


Maybe the problem is that you think about this the wrong way. The Online Build Service is not a limitation but a service to help you build an executable from your GDevelop project. Every single time you click build, it does actually cost money, so who supposed to pay for that if not the person who want to build?
In this case, donation is simply not working because the operation do cost money, you can’t just hope people donate enough to cover the operation.

Now of course we can argue that other engines offer the option to build game locally for no extra cost and it may look like the online build service is intentional to force you to pay for it. But it is not the case, what you need to understand here is that GDevelop is an HTML5 engine and at the time when the online build service was introduced there was NO easy way to build HTML5 for macOS, Linux, iOS and Android locally. You had to download and setup complicated 3rd party tools on your computer in order to do it. The online build service did help you to avoid to go through all the trouble so you can just click a button and you have an APK that you can install on Android. But unfortunately the operation of this service does cost money, just because you can build 2 times / day for free, don’t think that for a moment it is free. No, other subscribers who don’t use all the builds they paid for do actually cover the cost of your 2 free builds every single day.

If you can not afford to pay, still nobody force you to pay for anything. You can install the tools I talked about and you can build locally for free, but it does require you to learn. Not because 4ian want to force you to pay, but because this is how you can build from HTML5.
Other engines like GameMaker, Clickteam.etc are C++ engines. That is different, so you need to consider at least that much you are using an HTML5 engine here and not a C++ engine.

4ian did make it clear, GDevelop will remain free and open-source and he is going to try to offer paid services on top of the free engine and if it’s not going to be profitable he goes back to a 9-5 job and GDevelop will continue to rely on free contributions only but he hopes it won’t be the case. For now if I understand, his got some investment to give this a try and will see if he can make this profitable while keeping GDevelop free and open.

but…Godot and donations, what a success:

No, it is not a success. What people intend to focus on is the huge repository of features implemented in Godot using donations, but most people don’t understand those features need to be maintained, bugs need to be fixed, it is not a one time thing, it is ongoing. Once Godot run out of the money they got from Microsoft to implement C# support, there is nobody left to maintain C# support. Once they run out of the money they got from Mozilla to implement HTML5, there is nobody left to maintain HTML5 and so on.
Do you honestly expect free contributors continue a job that somebody got paid $30k to do? it is just not happening.

People honestly over estimate the power of open-source and donations. Every single financially successful open-source project do have other companies invest serious money in to them. Like Ubisoft in to Blender, RedHat in to Linux, Amazon in Lumberyard and so on. They constantly flow serious amount of money in to the projects.

Those one time big donations and $5 people donate to Godot is not enough. Godot is struggling big time, the frequent donations from people are barely enough to cover the maintenance of the core engine which you might think is a lot but no. Basically just the renderer and input libraries, not even the export templates and networking is considered core. Godot is running out of resources to keep maintaining most features people love in Godot and despite all the best efforts of free contributors Godot is degrading. Every single time I try it more and more staff is broken in that engine and this is why so many people may start with Godot, create a prototype that Godot proudly showcase and there is many of them because the community is huge and people love it and it makes the impression “what a success Godot is” but then developers swap to a different engine to finish their games and most people ignore this, nobody talk about this.

So personally I advice against keep mentioned Godot and donations as a good example. It is not. In my opinion the best example of open-source and donations is Pixi.js, Phaser and MonoGame and the reason all 3 is successful is because the core developers do actually use their products to develop commercial projects for clients and for them selfs. If 4ian want to keep GDevelop free and open while also make money and turn it in to a profitable business, this is a more reasonable path to follow than begging for donations like Godot does it. Godot is a total joke.