SOE Player Studio – You Make Our Damn Marketplace Crap, We’ll Pay You!

The other shoe has dropped.  The big announcement is here.

That is right, SOE has announced Player Studio.

You will get paid to create new items for SOE’s marketplace.  It is kicking off in EverQuest and EverQuest II and will move to other SOE games in the future.  Not stat items though.

And, just in case you were wondering, you won’t get paid in Station Cash.

I think my guess at the big announcement was kind of amusing in hindsight:

I was wrong overall, but was right about an EQII expansion and user created content.

While there is a basic question and answer section at the link above, real details will have to wait for a bit.

We will be announcing more information and details about the Player Studio program at this year’s SOE Live event on October 18-21, 2012.

So what do you think?  Are they making a fundamental change to the industry?

Is this the new wave of the future, the way to keep the cash shop fully stocked with fresh new items?

Does this sound a bit like Second Life?

And are you going to run out and make some skimpy armor or a new mount or some Danish modern furniture as soon as it is available?

A fuller, and less snark-ish view of this is available, of course, at EQ2 Wire.

9 thoughts on “SOE Player Studio – You Make Our Damn Marketplace Crap, We’ll Pay You!

  1. tms

    They’re fundamentally changing employment models at SOE. Why keep a development team on the payroll when you can get the community to do the work and take 60% on the profits. It’s even cheaper than offshoring!


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – You commented while I was adding a line in about Second Life. No post of mine is ever set in stone until at least an hour after I click “publish.”

    But I guess the SL thing sounds about right then.

    @tms – Indeed, sweatshop did spring to mind. On the other hand, I have no doubt that for some, this will be the Best Thing Ever(tm).

    I will be interested to see if this introduces a dose of reality into what really goes into making even cosmetic items for a game with… how many different races now? I’ve lost count.


  3. Toldain

    In a sense, this emphasizes something I’ve long thought about software business models – they ought to be far more contract oriented, like the movie business, than salary-oriented. Games especially. Human beings, however, don’t always like contract-oriented work.


  4. Shivoa

    Agreed with the above about cheaper labour (per item average cost is much lower but still highly profitable for the few if TF2’s UGC is any indication of a curated UGC system for assets that has been running for about 18 months to give some insight into a non-SL, real cash system).

    I guess UGC has been a buzzword for at least 7 years so it was about time for everyone to actually use it (as long as you ask for meshes & textures in a nice open format then you don’t even have to ask if the creator paid for the software they used to create it or used open source tools) rather than paying for a massive team of asset generators. Give a bit of top level direction (or give an open call if you’re getting enough interesting submissions and can built a thematic set from the offers) and pick out from the submissions the ones that look about right and promote the fact those people got paid and hide the people who worked and didn’t get selected and so lost time and work for no recompense.

    This is an interesting time if Sony also make lots of money and (directly user funded) additional content and there really is a pool of asset creators out there to generate a bedroom artist digital economy rather than outsourcing.


  5. Green Armadillo

    Cynicism aside, I don’t see why this is a bad thing. Creators can in principle get paid (or, perhaps better, put the sales stats for their items on their resumes), SOE saves on costs (perhaps even letting some of the paid devs spend less time on SC items), and for customers does it really matter where the design for the items in the cash shop came from?

    That said, given the number of races and items already in the game and the further permutations as you add player-created items, it seems nigh on inevitable that someone sneaks in something that only resembles a sex organ when worn on a specific race in combination with specific other items.


  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @GA – Indeed, though I suspect that house items will dominate user creations.

    And while it isn’t a bad thing, I suspect it will make some people unhappy if it becomes too popular. A well stocked store might be good for SOE, but like iTunes, it does tend to crowd out those who do not get highlighted in one way or another.

    I think my sarcasm mainly comes from the “industry changing” statements by Chairman Smed. It will be a boon for some, but Second Life leapt to mind pretty quickly as well.


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