I freelance program in several languages including the sexy important one...C++ I would love to assist with any patches for the game if need be, I am pretty sure it wouldn't take me too long to get my head around the scode.
However, I do believe that what Riz is saying is correct....ambition isn't ever a bad thing Reano but what you are saying lacks key elements, which would be out of your control!
You honestly don't expect me to outline a big business plan on these pages but I will add a bit more here so you can see but firstly I always speak on these pages in very high level due to the audience it's not a software development forum so I put simple ideas out there. But here goes (long thread warning.... geez)
1) C++ has lost a lot of flavour over the last few years and even the newer c#, .net etc has not made it's head way into corporate (where the main money is) life even some of the older none object orientated languages like ANSI 'C' can still demand more money on unix middle-tier platforms. A far better bet is to go into Java and in particular SOA technologies 'Service Orientated Architectures' make use of web services for deploying enterprise and middle tier technologies to companies as most of the new profitable development is around web services (Corporate enterprise web services built around frameworks and patterns such as those within a RUP deployment and increasing Agile 'open source' developments.
2) A lot of the C++, small bits of smalltalk, windows based developed is now being done out of India and can be picked up quite cheaply. Most of the large outsourcing development power houses like IBM, Steria, EDS, Cap Gemini, ATOS, Logica, etc have now move most of their core development to places like India, Eygpt, Brazil and increasing now in vietnam, indonesia and similar. The cost of a UK resource permanent devlopment is circa £25k - £50k depending on what part of the country you get them from and in what vertical industry they occupy like banking, government, utilities, software house, ISV, etc. If you go for contractors then you can pick them up from £30 - £70 per hour and some even less.
3) Due to the recession the resistence that most software houses, banks, large industries, etc had to offshoring has largely gone and now you can get a software developer who typically is more qualified than their western equivalent for c£5k - £8k a year. Thats around £5 hr (thats right less than minimum UK wage). This is a fact and you can get good people for less than that too and they develop some of the backbone of software you use everyday you just don't know it......
We/my company has recently employed 4 Indian resources to help us develop some Mcommerce applications to help companies better manage remote staff (won't go into the details of the project) and they cost less than one full time resource in UK (sorry just the way things are going). They are exceptionally qualified with a lot of resources having to have a degree just to get into a call centre. A masters in software engineering is the Norm.
So where was I. So in order to try to get a forum that you love to be more commercial viable you have to deliver a plan that of course does not only include the one application but a multiple and you have to deliver a working model that allows companies to generate more income or benefit (even if this is none financial directly but in greater brand awareness, educational, etc). I won't go into all the details but for example....
IBM brought Rational a big powerhouse in software development and Microfocus brought some bits of Compuware another powerhouse in software development and we have worked with those company's (and IBM is way bigger than EA) to develop some old software and allow them to make it available to corporates at a cheaper rental model for testing legacy application. Yup this was old rotten code not generating revenue..... lol. This has been done not an idea but done, delivered, the end...
People who can think (to coin a common phase) outside the box get on in the current market where things don't sit still.
The market has shifted quite marked due to the recession over the last year and where corportaes would not consider opensource in their companies are now doing so. Where companies had not thought about outsoucing to offshore 'core' processes. They have done now and thats in Telecoms, banking, software development, etc. Labour is cheap if you know where to look it's whether you have the desire, business acumen to take hold of the opportunities, etc.
When I mentioned my 'I would's ' I was generating debate and ideas and not expecting it to turn into a political animal. This is a hobby that has given me pleasure and as ways of gratitude I have only this year started to make donations.
SO riz raher than find the negatives all the time how about suggestion models that you think we could latch on to.
1) Create a model you think could work to keep XWIS/EA/ST relationship going (and in fact bring in other companies yes you may become like gamespy but as bad as some say they were they developed critical mass).
2) Next invite people to sponsor and join in a steering board to drive these things forward
3) Set up a development forum with a development framework for people to contribute snippets of code that could be used to bust cheats, hacks, etc
4) I could go on but I have to get back to work.