Someone is selling the free, open source Playnite launcher on Steam for $100

(Image credit: Playnite)

Playnite is a free open source PC application designed to be an all-in-one answer to the growing number of game launchers we've all got on our desktops. In other words, it combines libraries from the likes of Steam, Epic Games Store, Uplay and GOG Galaxy, and then lets you organise them however you see fit. Jody tried it last year and came away impressed.

I should emphasise the "free" above: it is available straight from the source here and, according to the site, "no features are locked behind a paywall and the complete source code is available under the MIT license". The MIT license basically surrenders the software to any kind of use with no restrictions, including resales.

That latter point has clearly resonated for some, because a version of Playnite has appeared on Steam for a whopping $100 (£79 / AU$139). It bears the same Playnite logo, the same UI, and all of the same features. And as you've probably guessed, it's entirely within the publisher's rights to do so. 

In a thread on the Playnite forums a user brought the Steam listing to the attention of administrators, who had the following to say. "I am aware of this and they are legally able to sell it because of MIT license. I'm also not really worried about it since why would anybody spent 100$ (sic) dollars on something that's available for free (or 100$ in general on fairly unknown software with bad English in a description). 

"I'm more worried about author packaging some spyware into this version, but somebody would have to buy it and check (and I'm not doing that)."

The listing has naturally led to a small amount of consternation online, with some threatening to contact Valve. But again, it's not illegal. That said, I've reached out to Valve for comment.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.