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

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.

The first Proprietary license video game was released in 1872.

UpTime, Creative Computing and Tandy published most of these games.

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, Emulated on 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 7660
Apple II E 856
Tandy Coco 579
Windows 467
MS-DOS 447
C64 247
Mac OS X 237
TRS-80 208
Mac OS Classic 185
Commodore PET 161
ZX Spectrum 150
Atari 400/800 144
Ohio Scientific 120
BeOS 110
custom 99
Win3.1 90
Amstrad PCW 86
Amiga 80
Tomy Tutor 63
Atari ST 61
VIC-20 60
BBC 58
TI Calculators 46
North Star Computers 46
NeXT 45
Dragon32 42
Sol-20 40
DEC PDP-1 39
Apple IIGS 38

By year

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