I'm building a video game. I was wondering if it was Okay to Develop software with the Arial font. Do I need a license? Do I need to purchase it? Because I'm not really sure.

Thanks for your time, I appreciate it.

  • 1
    From a stylistic point of view: Please choose another typeface. Arial has been used so intensively in the last two decades that it’s arguably the most boring choice you can make.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Oct 25, 2016 at 4:46
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    Can you explain where you would obtain this font from? And what is your planned use exactly? Oct 25, 2016 at 8:52
  • @Wrzlprmft, moreover, Arial itself is not a good font. It's cheap copy of Helverica.
    – el.pescado
    Oct 25, 2016 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, the Arial files that come pre-installed with your operating system are only licensed to you through your Windows license. You aren't authorized to distribute them. On the other hand, about 75% of people use Windows, which usually comes with Arial pre-installed, so you could just reference the system fonts and not worry about that.

If you're determined to support OS X and Linux, anyone can get Arial for free through Microsoft's core fonts for the web, but their EULA says you can't redistribute them. So you could encourage your users to locate and download that package.

You could buy an app license from myfonts.com (just search for it there), but that's pricey.

But now let me speak to you as a typography fanboy rather than a licensing nerd. I suggest you not use Arial. It is an already bland font made even more bland by overuse. Font choice is just as important as any other design element in a video game: would Candy Crush Saga (King, iOS/Android/Windows Phone/Browser, 2012) make as effective a message without this "delicious" chunky script font?


Arial cannot aid the atmosphere of your game unless you are making a game about the history of typography. Think carefully about your choice of typeface and whether one that actively encourages neutrality is your goal. But if you must, there is a simple solution: Arimo. It is metrically compatible with Arial, meaning every character in Arimo has the same width as its counterpart in Arial, so that documents typeset in both fonts will have the same layout.

  • So you could encourage your users to locate and download that package. – Or just make it a dependency of the package corresponding to your game. On systems with a package manager, you usually want to avoid downloading packages manually.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Oct 25, 2016 at 7:22
  • So basically, you just reference the Font Location without them having to install it, and it's just free to use and legal?
    – GuestOfDoom275
    Oct 26, 2016 at 13:34
  • @GuestOfDoom275 Of course. Every document you have ever written that uses Arial does the same.
    – IronGopher
    Oct 26, 2016 at 18:30

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