Arcade Emulator MAME Goes Open Source

Multi-Arcade-Machine-Emulator, otherwise known as MAME, looks like it’s finally going open source. According to a tweet by the development team, the program will be making the source code available for commercial use and is asking for contributors to contact them for permission.

Though MAME has always been a bit open source already (You can see that in all the offshoots people have made of the program, like GLMame, CPS2Mame, and StretchMame, which later had their unique additions crammed into the main MAME releases), this movement towards “real” open source just means they are doing something they haven’t done until now: Allowing developers to use the program for commercial projects.

The plan seems to be similar to what DOSbox has done. That is to say, copyright holders of old/abandoned arcade games could use MAME to make their titles playable and then legally distribute them over, say, Steam or GOG. This could be huge for classic gaming, since it’s possible we may see some of gaming’s forgotten treasures come back to life, perhaps with new content or even a sequel if they sell enough.

You can follow the progress of MAME on its Twitter or the official website.

Carl Batchelor


Carl is both a JRPG fan and a CRPG'er who especially loves European PC games. Even with 35 years of gaming experience, he feels the best of the hobby is yet to come.

  • daggot △

    I wish ggpo would go open source

  • Dewey Defeats Truman

    I’ll admit I rarely play arcade games but if this means I can get Metal Slug 3 on steam without the various changes the iphone port did, I’d be all over that.

  • deadeye

    Ooooh, I really like that last paragraph.

    First thing that popped into my mind is that I hope to see some CAVE shmups on steam.

  • Nagato

    Shmups are my main angle here as well, but I’d love for more arcade games in general to get legal Steam releases as part of this.