Sounds like some people are lumping two different categories as "shareware". There is the "here is the full version, please pay us if you like it" model, and then there's the "X number of levels, X number of plays, X time limit, etc" model. This latter example seems to be closer to "crippleware". (This message is mostly for Pelican) I'd also like to point out the marketing strategy that the "pioneers" used to use, which is overlooked so much of the time: When they released those '1/3rd of the full game for free' files, the full game was not even finished and available yet (which usually was as much as 6 months later!) Wolfenstein, Doom, Duke Nuke'em, among others, were all released ahead of the final publish date. The "demo" (if you can call it that) had the release date announced in it, and also encouraged players to pre-order so they could get the game as soon as it was available. Think about that for a second. You play this kick-ass set of 7 levels (basically a polished and finished quality "first third" of a game) and are left wanting more. Since the full game is not out yet, piracy is not an option (at this time). Player is left either waiting, or spending their money right then and there to get the game as soon as its out. This helped Id and Apogee fund completion of the games. It helped project sales potential, etc, and probably also gather up bug reports ahead of release. (So think about that; Funding, Marketing, Beta Testing, QA all wrapped in one!) It would be interesting to think about how this unique model could apply today. In a sense they did this with Rag Doll Kung-Fu, releasing a demo and allowing you to pre-order through Steam (at a discount). Back in 1991, Wolfenstein 3D was remarkable for the fact that so much content of such a professional quality game was free, so it helped with spreading word of mouth and the file itself. One major difference today (as already mentioned) is there's ALOT of free gaming available, so it's not a remarkable feat anymore, and the urge to "get more" may not have as much power today unless its a truly innovative game experience.