Why is IW5-Mod closed-source?

Most of the tools we produce are open-source.

You can view the source code of IW4x on GitHub.

You can also view the source code of our other mods here, and the source code of other less important tools here.

IW5-Mod is the exception as it’s the only client that is currently closed-source.

Historically, all of our clients (and most of our tools) were previously open-source under XLabs. So keeping those programs open-source made sense to us.

IW5-Mod was initially an experimental client created by momo5502 in 2019. It gained attention in 2020 when Plutonium IW5 adopted its code base for the relaunch of the Plutonium IW5 client. Do you remember ChaiScript? It was a feature of IW5-Mod before we integrated the GSC compiler into the clients. In 2021, I also began privately working on IW5-Mod before joining the Plutonium development team. My primary focus was to introduce features that were enjoyable to implement on both singleplayer and multiplayer.

I believe that open-sourcing a program like IW5-Mod would harm both AlterWare and Plutonium IW5 (which is also closed-source) for various reasons. Enforcing the GPL v3.0 license, which we use to distribute to our other clients, would be difficult without engaging in expensive legal battles with violators.

The reason I am saying this is because there are other “developers” who have shown interest in creating clones that copy our clients, essentially aiming to offer the same features under a different brand. We are aware that the primary group working on the IW5 engine is doing so privately, using a closed-source fork of IW5M, an old client developed by NTA. I think it is unjust that they could copy our source code while maintaining theirs as private.

Everybody in the community knows who these people are. Their entire source code was leaked in 2021, and their client was once again proven to be an almost identical duplicate of NTA’s open-source client (with fewer features, oddly enough).

In conclusion, considering the ongoing turmoil within the IW5 modded clients scene, I maintain a strong belief that open-sourcing IW5-Mod would be a bad idea.

We are not gatekeepers of knowledge. If anyone has questions about the IW5 engine (or any of our other clients, for that matter), they can reach out to us on Discord. This project is a hobby for us and everything we provide is free of charge, we are not obligated to answer to anyone. However, if you ask us nicely, we are usually more than happy to help if we can.