Concepts for an App Store MMO

I can’t be the first to have thought of this, but to my knowledge nobody has implemented it.

Step 1: Player content creation (Architect system in City of Heroes, for example)

Step 2: Content store for creators to sell their missions, with the studio taking a percentage.

Step 3: Profit!

I think that players would be more open to spending money on this stuff if it’s the content (missions, etc) and not the power (skills, classes) for sale. I’m playing SWTOR right now, and I think I’d happily pay a buck or two for a good flashpoint, many times over.

What do y’all think?

Step 1: Make an online game with compelling enough gameplay that you build a large enough player base. This will probably only take you a year or two.

Step 2: Build the tools to allow players to make their own content

Step 3: Make your own content store.

Step 4: Figure out how to circumvent Apple’s app store policies so that you become the middle man for in app purchases rather than them.

Step 5: Profit!

Heh. Yeah, it’s not easy. And the numbers involved probably would make it far more worthwhile on the casual, facebook end of the mmo spectrum compared to a AAA title. But the basic idea of players creating content with a monetary incentive, and the developer taking a cut - I don’t think that’s been done before.

Edit: and by “app store mmo”, I meant the business model of third party content in which the host takes a cut, not necessarily that the game is on iOS devices. Sorry for the confusion.

Yep never been thought of.

Might work on a f2p mmo but I’m already paying $15 a month for upkeep and new content.

Also, isn’t Blizzard trying something like this with D3. Where players can sell mods and Blizz will take a cut?

You might be thinking of the auction house where people sell items for real money (stupid) and blizzard takes a cut.

In any event, if you’re going to sell me an incomplete game for $60 and expect me to buy mods to complete it (as with wow and its UI for the vast majority of its life time until blizzard copied enough fan made mods, something that wouldn’t work if they officially supported selling mods), i’m going to tell you to fuck yourself.

The problem with this is they would have to SERIOUSLY check out any fan content made or else they would have cheating going on. Nobody probably knows of it, but there was this game rage of mages 2, an rpg with closed servers for multiplayer coop. The servers kept track of your characters so they carried across similar to diablo on They also allowed players to create their own maps and then submit them. The problem they ran in to was sometimes, either through corruption or just missing it, cheats would slip through and a map would have a REALLY uber item hidden somewhere or would be designed in such a way that it power leveled the player with easde.

I can’t see much of a market for player-created stuff for an MMO. Since you mentioned CoH’s Architect system, I assume you’re familiar enough with it to know how much garbage there is in there. The issue I see with player-created things for sale for actual money is that it’s almost impossible to know if something is worth paying for before actually trying it. And even though there’s some really excellent player-made stuff in CoH, I’d never pay for any of it simply because I’m already paying for the game.

And Murbella, you really don’t have to go into your “incomplete game” spiel every time someone mentions DLC. :P

Also, EQ2 is already doing this.

Crafters can make homes for people to visit and rate, there is some pretty creative stuff there.

The latest expansion allows you to make your own dungeons, which other players can visit.

Doesn’t Little Big Planet work like that? Or is the player created content available for free?

the player content is free. You pay sony for more bits and bobs to make your levels or decorate your character.

Closest thing to this that comes to mind immediately is customization in Forza Motorsport console series, which allows players to purchase cars customized by other players. Give it a look.

Oh. I was hoping that the setting for the MMO would be an app store.

Raiding Staff Picks - need one flashlight & one social game then GTG

Perhaps you’re confusing me with someone else, i bought the m3 CE with the DLC :P I don’t mind DLC, unless it is very obviously the company trying to sell a promised PATCH (space rangers 2, space empires IV and others, i am looking at you).

It isn’t a huge reach to say that blizzard outsourced UI design to the players in wow though. This worked fine while mods were free, but if they weren’t, then yes, in my opinion it would be an added cost to the game because the game was crippled without them. I do believe that certain companies (mostly blizzard and bethesda) put too much in the hands of their players to fix/add, but with mods being free, this generally works out to a great value to the customer at no cost to the company.

The issue you talk about is true with professionally made games too to much the same degree. Especially with some of the bigger games getting away without demos and all but buying reviews by the dozen. I’ve basically accepted the fact that whenever i preorder a game, i am basically flinging my $60-$80 in to the wind and hoping it goes where i want it.

Why an MMO? Isn’t Skyrim doing this with the Steam Mod Store thing? I seem to remember the idea was mod developers could charge.

Doesn’t Second Life do this?

The obvious problems is that in WoW-like MMOs there is a single official gear progression, so any “player content” would be much less compelling because it will have to provide no gear rewards, or alternatively the official content would be bypassable by simply creating a room with a chest containing all the loot you want.

Also, there is a single official raid progression, and with multiple content providers you would not have the WoW environment where your raid progression gives you social status, since it would no longer be clear which are the “raid bosses to down”.

Without gear addiction and without raiding social status the MMO would face an uphill battle to keep players.
It might be possible that the free market can produce enough intrinsically fun content to keep players in the game indefinitely, but it seems unlikely.

Alternatively you can of course add it as a diversion to an existing MMO, but then it’s not likely to become an important part of the game.


There are probably ways that they could scale loot to level range / difficulty level to avoid this. Custom content doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a design free for all, although managing the parameters for the player content would probably be a hefty design challenge in and of itself.

Didn’t City of Heroes / Villains have user generated missions? I don’t know how they handled rewards though, there wasn’t a lot of loot in the game.

There’s a ton of loot in the game. To prevent people from just farming the player-created stuff, the Architect missions reward significantly less influence (currency) and experience and instead of dropping salvage (crafting materials), they drop tickets used to purchase various rewards at a special vendor.

Ah, yeah, didn’t they launch without it though? I think I stopped playing just when they were starting to introduce some of the crafting stuff. This was yeeeears ago.

But that approach makes some sense. They’re basically creating a secondary economy, that they could then control the conversion rate into the real economy as a separate knob.