Proprietary license

Other (objects, etc.) concept

Distributed under a license that witholds and/or restricts source code & rights granted by law, usually for commercial purposes & is almost always unique per game


The first video game about Proprietary license was released in 1947.

Tandy, Infocom and Creative Computing has published most of these games

A proprietary license can be simply defined as a list of everything the law allows but the copyright holder does not.

Use of this tag is likely to change in the future.
Most platforms are dominated by commercial games using a proprietary license. However, there are some platforms where proprietary games are in the minority or opposite from the original platform ecosystem, such as *NIX based systems (Linux, GP2X, Pandora, OS/2, and others). Primarily this tag is intended to distinguish proprietary games among platforms that tend to lack them.
Also, the game art form, while initially founded on non-proprietary games, at some point came to be overwhelmingly dominated by proprietary games. This is likely to persist for some time. But eventually, non-proprietary games will again be the norm. At that time this tag should become relevant for all proprietary games.

Note also that proprietary and non-proprietary licenses do necessarily require commercial sales activities or not.

Finally, under current US law, international treaty, and law of many other nations, not specifying copyright terms in precise detail means the work is licensed according to the copyright terms for the jurisdiction in which it was created and/or published. Therefore, no license, or an imprecise license is by default, proprietary. Under current US law, works that were released without restrictions as intended by the author have retroactively become restricted even in cases where the author is deceased or the author is unknown. Sadly, many early games of the game art form were not been precisely licensed and any that have remained this way are legally defined as proprietary.

Parent group


Child groups

Oracle Solaris, Sun Microsystems Solaris, irrKlang audio library, Ultima VII, Zelda Classic / ZQuest Engine, GameMaker, Unity, Qt framework, OpenAL, V-play Engine, Robin Game Engine, startrek game engine, Friend-Zone Engine, Kinetica, Yaga Engine, Torque 2D, Ginkgo Engine, Construct 2, Ceebot Engine, MegaZuex, Explore Engine, Spark Engine, ShiVa 3D, Spark Casual Engine, Cinématique Evolution 2 Engine, Amazon Lumberyard, Serious engine, CryENGINE 3, CryENGINE V, Wwise, License: Microsoft Reciprocal License, MAME, Adventure Builder System, OS-9 Operating System, UVL: License Pending, CP/M OS, MacVenture, Spinnaker Adventure Language, CauseWay DOS Extender, Microsoft GW-BASIC, AppleDOS 3.1


Linux 7381
Tandy Coco 549
Windows 362
MS-DOS 314
Mac OS X 231
Apple II E 220
C64 151
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ZX Spectrum 119
Ohio Scientific 119
BeOS 110
Amstrad PCW 86
Atari 400/800 82
TRS-80 65
Tomy Tutor 63
Win3.1 61
BBC 53
Amiga 51
NeXT 45
Atari ST 45
VIC-20 40
North Star Computers 30
BSD 29
Memotech MTX 29
Amstrad CPC 29
MSX 29
Apple IIGS 28
Electron 27
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