The risk is to buy closed source platform and fully depend on manufacturer. If it will stop to produce the hardware or updates, then you won't have any chance that someone else will pick it up and continue.
With open source project anyone can continue if interested. The project won't go to limbo when for some reason i will stop to work on it.
From other side, MiST has no development at all, so i don't see how it's less risky than MiSTer. MiSTer at least has both open source hardware and open source software. While MiST is not fully open source in hardware. So, you cannot make the board from existing documents. You will need to re-draw the schematics and then re-layout the board - this is not easy for generic user even if he can solder. So, imagine that main seller will disappear and will stop to sell. Well, there are clones exist, but that's different story.
All in all, your understanding of risk is wrong. You need to re-think what you call risk. The main idea of MiSTer is to make it exactly risk free as much as possible by providing everything in open source and as cheap as possible to exclude that crazy price margin for seller. I fed up that crap around FPGA and Amiga communities "Oh, It's for Amiga! it should be 3 times more expensive then!", "Oh, it's FPGA with small market, let's set the double price!". So I've introduced the way to get it much cheaper when only fun drives you.
nightshadowpt wrote:What do you think, is keeping the other developers to contribute to this project?
My project is based on free contributions (which i'm doing myself). As i'm not seeking the profit from this project, i don't do any aggressive advertisements or provide special motivation others as it will require the money. MiST team earn money from selling the hardware, and thus can give a free MiST to motivate a specific developer (i don't know if this business is really successful or not - i'm not talking about it, but about the business model in general). Since i don't sell anything, i have no money to provide a free HW for developers. Actually i spent my own money to bring this project to where it is.Thanks to all my donators - i could get some my expenses back.
So, I'm just looking for self-motivated devs in retro emulation area. Unfortunately, FPGA is not as easy as traditional programming, so there are not many devs in this area, especially those who would like do this just for fun.
I believe that true preservation projects should be open source - this is the only way to improve the cores. May be not as fast as desired but eventually it happens. New developers don't need to start from ground again. Even after many years when may be DE10-nano won't be in production (Terasic still sells the boards they introduced around 10 years ago!) the full source code will allow to port it to new boards.
Those cores which even free but not open source are tend to die together with their dedicated boards and when author loose the interest.