MAME is now free as well as free of charge

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I always thought MAME was free, when did they ever charge for anything?


I still have my MAME cabinet, and I fire it up every now and then and have a crack at my Galaga high score. It’s one of the most incredible things I own.


Not free as in beer though.

Sorry - the license was based off a modified BSD license which was set so that you could never use it in a commercial product - this was to ensure there was no possible way to attack it for claims of copywrite infringement and to keep the software out of any lawsuits involving someone trying to sell it.

The idea being someone sells ‘game X’ using MAME - gets sued - and then due to the software being used it would be brought into court as the enabler. Because of the license in that type of case it would have been used illegally and thus indemnified from liability.

Now it’s setup so that if a company wants to release an owned game (say Capcom wants to release Street Fighter 2 Arcade) and sell it they can.


I really need to make a MAME cabinet. I used to play SHUMPS and other games on my computer all the time.


I have a Raspberry Pi 2 running 8 and 16 bit console games, as well as a few arcade games, so it can be done with low power consumption now.

There are more powerful ARM devices that may be more suitable for a MAME cabinet, I just used a Raspberry Pi because it was cheaper than the alternatives.


Hmm I kinda sorta have a spare monitor, though it doesn’t have a HDMI input and MrsTobinL hasn’t been using the PI of late…


God damn the CRTs are expensive now! Shoulda done this 6 years ago.


oh, I’ve got one


Looks like some reasonably cheap CRT TVs can still be had over at Alibaba. Although when I searched for ‘1 Unit’ I got search results for ‘One 40 foot shipping container’ dominating the results! LOL.

Proper arcade Makvision tri-mode monitors can still be had for about $700 but the import prices are scary on them. Looks like I’m going to have to try and buy an old Arcade cabinet or parts from one of the local amusement arcades and see if I can refurbish it for my own ends.

The design I came up with is a 4-way Neo-Geo MVS-like cabinet with detachable arcade controls for player one and two, with 4 button three and four, a spinner and trackball mounted in the centre panel.
I toyed around with the idea of designing in a pull down LCD monitor so I could play more modern games like Street Fighter 4 on the thing but it’d be a hell of lot cheaper to just go for one of the flat panel pro monitors that can emulate scan lines etc.

Anyone have any experience with them? Is a lot of the feel lost over tri-mode CRTs? Love the feel of the old large format CRT conversions a lot of the arcades made to the Neo Geo cabs but I don’t see them around any more, must have burnt out quite quickly.

SHMUPS :slightly_smiling_face:

But yeah i’m with you. Shoot 'em up’s were always my favourite. A MAME cabinet is the next big thing on my list before redecorating the bathroom and fixing up the garage.

But wait. The version of MAME is still 11 years old and not even at version 1.0 yet.

My favorites were by Raizing / Eighting like Armed Police Batrider, Mahou Daisakusen, and Dimahoo.

Also love the Metal Slug games. (Not SHMUPS, but fun!)


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The link’s broken - should be news item 422 not news item 42.

There’s a certain irony in activity revolving around licenses for software that’s bread-and-butter is letting people play pirated ROMs. If you do not respect the copyrights of the original software, it seems a bit presumptuous to expect anyone to respect your own license. My apologies to the 1 our of a million who actually own one of the original arcade machines and copied their ROMs themselves.

(Having said that - this is why IP and copyright law is so broken right now. If nothing else, there should be a mandatory free license for abandonware.)

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@beschizza You typo’d the link. It should be:

Free isn’t the same as Open Source.

A Pi 2 works fine. I have a couple of machines running RetroPie on Pi 2’s.