The fact that W4 Games is founded and governed by Juan Linietsky (Godot's lead developer) and Rémi Verschelde (Godot's project manager) makes it quite shady, given their previous hypocritical decisions and ambiguity regarding Godot's direction itself.
What Godot leadership does undermines its non-profit mission now. You have to realize that Godot is currently governed by Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), where Godot is a member project. All Patreon donations for Godot go through SFC, and Godot PLC (project leadership committee) handles absolutely all funds.
At the same time, Godot PLC is managed by the same people that founded commercial W4 Games company now, namely Juan Linietsky (Godot's lead developer) and Rémi Verschelde (Godot's project manager), etc. Godot's lead developer has the power of veto to block consensus, and many people in Godot community unquestionably trust Juan, which means that Juan has mostly the ultimate power over all decisions, unfortunately.
This will definitely lead to corruption in the future. It's already happening, in fact. See Lone Wolf Technology, a commercial company that ports Godot to consoles. The founder of that company is Godot's co-founder, Ariel Manzur, who's also part of Godot PLC, so he's also able to manage (your) Patreon donations. Having said that, I have no idea why would Juan decide to create W4 Games alongside Lone Wolf Technology which matches W4 Games' claimed mission. Looks like Juan and Ariel had an argument as competitors. 🤔
In my opinion, Godot totally betrayed the community and FOSS in general, unfortunately. If you truly believed that Godot has been community-driven all this time, it won't be community-driven from now on.
Remember when Juan Linietsky said that there's no company behind Godot two years ago? Quoting Juan:
- There is no company behind it. It's owned by every single of its contributors.
- We don't compete with Unity, Unreal, etc. In fact they are free to use any of our code.
- We make it because innovating is fun, and out of love for those making games.
Next in his thread:
The concept of customers does not exist for us.
But now, he founded W4 Games, a commercial company specifically tailored for Godot. And here's what Juan said recently on W4 Games, FOSS, and proprietary technologies:
As FOSS advocates, it pains us to see that the growing complexity in hardware is forcing the game industry to restrict their game technology choices to two proprietary vendors
Juan covertly refers to two proprietary vendors. Can you guess what are those vendors exactly? Right, Unity and Unreal. Godot definitely doesn't compete here, right? 🙃
Many people don't pay attention or check up Juan's claims and promises, but if you research this yourself, you'll find many contradictions in Godot that leadership ignores or refuses to resolve, which is the literal definition of hypocrisy. Remember that words != actions, when Juan says that he doesn't decide anything, it doesn't make it true.
All in all, the success of this is totally determined by community's trust in Godot leadership. Even then, their success is not necessarily our success as a community who are looking for free and open-source software. I stopped trusting Godot leadership a long time ago. I do not trust Godot leadership. I say this as an ex-member of Godot, being a contributor and even maintainer.
Reminder: Lets not go for ad hominem, let's discuss facts and be on-topic. Thank you.