Finding Free Game Downloads

Finding and Using Public Domain Games

Many new comers to the exciting world of public domain material have absolutely no idea that they can also find games from within the public domain. Music and literature are the most commonly used materials, but it is true there are computer, console and board games available and they can be a great way to make money.

Aside from using pre-designed games, don't forget the potential of creating new games based on other forms of public domain materials. For instance, let's say that the original Wizard of Oz film is public domain material(verify to be sure), you could then make a computer game, based on the film. This is only one example and I will cover this below in a little more detail, but basically I want to remind you to keep your eyes and your mind, open when searching for public domain material and really consider the potential for all aspects of some of these older works.

Some places you can find games within the public domain

Using some of the resources below you should build a much better understanding of what is and of course what is not found in the public domain. The public domain is home to lots of great board games and some computer based games as well, so there are plenty of ways to truly make these types of materials work for your business. Aside from the resources I have already given you, you may also search the major search engines with the terms "public domain computer games", "public domain board games" and "public domain console games" to find even more.

One other great tip is to visit your local library and find a book on old board games, or ancient roman games and Native American games. You may just get lucky and find a really great game that has not been over exploited to the mass population. You can then recreate these games, add some instructions on how to play and sell them online or from brick and mortar stores.

1. Moby Games has a list of computer games that lists both freeware and public domain games, primarily for Windows based platforms. Keep in mind that freeware games, although free to play, are not freely available for you to sell or distribute, so you will need to sort the public domain games from the freeware. You may also consider contacting the publisher(s) of the freeware games in regards to obtaining distribution rights, some publishers will allow this.

2. features a nice list of traditional board games that are freely available in the public domain. People, especially families love playing board games on rainy days, its really a great way to involve the whole family in a little fun time. Some of the games here include chess, tarot and backgammon to name a few.

3. A quick search for "public domain" on GameBase 64, turns up an extensive list of public domain games. In fact this list was so big, over seven hundred links, that I have since book marked the page for future use. There were just to many to look at in one day alone.

4. This web site has a wonderful list of computer based Tolkien games, believe it or not, that are freely distributable through the public domain. There are some really great "old school" games on this list and I can see a very high revenue potential. The platforms in which these run on range from Windows to MS-Dos and Unix, so there is really a little for everyone.

5. This page from Cornell University only has a couple board games from the public domain, but it also lists some useful information for creating your own board games.

Ideas for making money with public domain games

1. Build an online gaming community. With this idea you can simply upload public domain games for people to play, there are lots of people out there that enjoy the old school games, even I dust off my Atari once in a while. Also, if you have the know how, or are willing to pay someone, you could turn these old computer based games into brand new games. Imagine revamping these games into Java based entertainment. To profit from this idea you can charge membership fees to play, or make money from selling advertising space and offer the games for free.

2. Put together a nice, detailed directory or resource guide of all the public domain games you can find and sell it to people interested in starting their own online gaming community. As an outlet to market your new list you could sell them from your web site or distribute them on eBay.

3. If you are great with your hands and love woodworking, you might consider constructing your own game boards from popular board games found in the public domain. I have seen many custom built, hand made chess sets sell on eBay for hundreds of dollars and that is only one. There are countless possibilities and you could start your own designer game shop and make a fortune.

4. Just because a board game was originally created as that, it doesn't mean it needs to remain that way. You could take some of these popular board games and recreate them as web based games for people to play. There are some very nice online chess communities that make plenty of money from memberships and advertising together. To do this you will need the programming experience yourself, or hire a designer to create these games for you.

5. Recreate one or two web based games and distribute them freely on many of the download sites like Cnet. When building the game include some advertising or sponsor pages built into the game and make money while people are enjoying their free games and clicking on your advertisements.

6. Create a players book or cheat code book for some of these games. For instance, write an ebook about mastering the game of backgammon and sell it on eBay. This process would work well for online web based games as well, I could use one for mine sweeper.

7. Turn some of the older public domain movies or films into state of the art computer based video games. At the beginning of this section I mentioned the Wizard of Oz, you could turn that into a great game and build a good amount of interest from within the gaming community. You could also pull ideas from literature as well. Once created you could then use many of the ideas above to market and distribute this game.

8. Package several games onto one disk and sell it on the eBay marketplace. This would be really profitable if you were to build a collection of games with a specific theme or genre, like action, or brain teasers. Simply burn them on to a cd, create a nice cover for the disk and your ready to sell them.

Examples of both board and computer based games that are currently in the public domain

Below is a short list of some games that are currently in the public domain. You can feel free to use these, or continue your search to find others. The computer based or electronic games are few and far between, due to the more recent creation dates, so your biggest gold mine may be board games, although it all just comes down to how well you market them and how creative you can get with reinventing them.

1. One of my all time favorites and of course a classic is chess. This game can be found in probably half of all homes, almost everyone has played it at least once and would be a great game to make some money with.

2. Astro Storm is a computer game created for the Commodore 64 that is now in the public domain.

3. Did you know that before there was Chutes and Ladders, there was Snakes and Ladders which by the way is another public domain game. You could create another game from Snakes and Ladders which could be a wonderful profit maker.

4. The world famous board game Backgammon is another classic that can be found within the public domain.

5. Breakout is another popular console based game that now resides in the public domain.

6. Are you aware that before Tarot cards were used by psychics and others working in the occult, it was actually a card game. This would be a great one to profit from, imagine creating your own Tarot cards and selling them, or creating directions on how to play them as a game.