Free and Developer-Friendly

Defold is a free to use, source available, game engine with a developer-friendly license. Defold is owned and developed by the Defold Foundation.

Source available

Defold is a source available game engine with a developer-friendly license derived from the popular Apache 2.0 License. The license grants you the freedom to develop games without worrying about licensing fees or royalties.

Read the license

Open source

Defold is designed to be easily expanded with additional functionality and features through extensions. A large selection of official and community developed open source extensions are available through the Asset Portal.

Asset Portal


As a software foundation we rely on community donations and corporate partnerships to ensure an active ownership and long term sustainability. We invite you to make one-time or monthly donations to support Defold.

Learn more & Donate


As a free to use, source available, project Defold accepts community contributions to any part of the product, including, but not limited to, the engine, editor, extensions and documentation. The source code is available on GitHub.

How to contribute

Always free

Defold is, and will always remain, completely free to use. Defold will never change into a subscription model, request royalty payments, introduce licensing fees or in other ways charge for access to the main product. We can say this with absolute certainty as it is clearly stated in the objectives of the foundation that Defold must be made available for free and that it may not be commercialised. The objectives are protected by Swedish foundation law and cannot be changed. Learn more about the foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question that isn't answered here? Please ask us and we will do our best to answer!

Q: Is Defold still owned by King?

A: No, Defold has been donated to the Defold Foundation. King holds a single seat on the Defold board but has no direct influence on the future of Defold.

Q: Who is working on Defold?

A: Defold is developed by a small core team of developers with many years of experience working on Defold. The team is funded through corporate partnerships and community donations. Learn more about how to contribute here.

Q: Who pays for Defold development?

A: King made a generous donation when the Defold Foundation was created. Defold will fund continued development from the initial donation and through community donations and corporate partnership deals. Learn more about how to donate.

Q: Can King or someone else introduce a runtime fee, subscription fee or other cost for using or releasing game with Defold?

A: Defold is owned by the Defold Foundation. The foundation is registered in Stockholm, Sweden and has the legal status of a foundation, not a corporation. What makes a foundation different from a corporation is that once a foundation has been created the objectives of a foundation can't change. In the case of the Defold Foundation one of the objectives of the foundation is that the source code is made available for use by third parties without compensation. Furthermore the foundation shall not allow third parties to commercialize the software's source code. What this means in practice is that the source code is available on GitHub with a license which prohibits commercialization of Defold itself.

Q: Will the quality of Defold degrade now that it is open and accepting community contributions?

A: No. We will never compromise on code quality. We will only accept contributions that have been reviewed by the team, and we will impose the same high standards on community contributions as contributions made by the core team. Learn more about how to contribute here.

Q: Will we still have a stable engine that is kept up to date with the latest platform requirements for iOS, Android and more?

A: Yes. The Defold Foundation will always focus on maintaining a stable and up to date engine. The main responsibility of keeping the engine and editor updated falls on the Defold Foundation, but we may from time to time ask for help from the community.

Q: Will the native extension build servers be shut down?

A: No. We believe the native extension build servers to be such an integral part of the Defold product offering that they should remain available as a free service to our users. And now that the build server source code is available anyone is free to set up and run their own server, either locally or as a public or private server.

Q: Is there still going to be a roadmap for Defold?

A: The Defold Foundation has decided to no longer share a public roadmap at the beginning of each year.

Q: Can the community influence the roadmap?

A: This is definitely something we encourage. On GitHub, the community is able to upvote feature requests and bug reports they feel are important, and we will take the votes into account when we plan our work.

Q: Are you planning to create a Defold marketplace?

A: We currently have the Asset Portal where users can share content with the community. We do not have any plans to create a marketplace where assets can be sold / bought. You are however free to use the Asset Portal to market your content and explain how the content can be purchased.

Q: What license is used for Defold?

A: Defold is released under a developer-friendly license derived from the popular Apache 2.0 License. The license grants you the freedom to develop games without worrying about paying licensing fees or royalties on your earnings. Learn more about the license here.

Q: Is using an open game engine safe for my projects?

A: Yes, absolutely! Defold is much more future proof this way. The fact that Defold source code is available will allow anyone to improve Defold by fixing bugs, updating it with new features or patching it to work with new operating system updates without being dependent on another company to do the work.

Q: What parts of source code for the Defold product is available?

A: All of it. The engine and editor source code is available from this GitHub repository. The native extension build server is available from this GitHub repository. Extensions and other miscellaneous projects are also open sourced on GitHub.

Q: Where do I find more information about the Defold source code and open contribution activity?

A: The basic information about why and how Defold source code is available can be found on our webpage. The daily development process can be followed on GitHub. To participate in source code discussions please join the Source Code section of our forum.

Q: Why don't you use the term Open Source when talking about the source code?

A: The definition of the term Open Source is heavily debated. The Open Source Initiative has created a definition of the term Open Source where it must be possible to commercialise the source code. The Defold Foundation has made the decision to prevent commercialisation of the game engine and editor (the Game Engine Product). We want Defold to always be free to use! (You can of course still sell your games and plugins and you can modify the engine as much as you like).

Q: This is great! I want to contribute! Where do I start?

A: Fantastic! Learn more about how to contribute here.

Q: I would like to contribute but I don't know C/C++ or Clojure so I can't help with the engine and editor. Can I help out some other way?

A: You don't need to know C/C++ or Clojure to help out. We would be thrilled if we received contributions to our documentation, examples and tutorials. Learn more about how to contribute here.

Q: Does this mean that you will rely on the community for most of the new features?

A: No. The Defold Foundation will have a team of developers working on the engine, but the team will initially be smaller. We believe that some members from our community would be interested in contributing.

Q: Will you be hiring?

A: Not initially. We want the funding we have to last for as long as possible and we don't want to hire more developers until we know we have enough donations and money from corporate sponsorships to support more people.

Q: I do not have the time to contribute new code to the engine but I would be more than happy to contribute financially. Can I do this?

A: Yes, absolutely. We accept donations via Patreon, PayPal and GitHub Sponsors. Learn more about how to donate.

Q: The Defold community is quite small. Are you sure there are enough people that can and are willing to contribute? And what will you do to increase the number of users?

A: We have not focused on user growth in previous years. Despite this the Defold community has grown year over year, a fact which we are very proud of. We will work actively to grow the Defold community in 2020 to better sustain Defold as an open project. We do believe that the move to make the source code for Defold available and open to contributions will attract new developers and we hope that some of those developers would also be interested in contributing.

Do you have a question that isn't answered here? Please ask us and we will do our best to answer!

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