Are towers and castles really going to sell when SOE launches Player Studio for Landmark? Probably not, since players will want to build their own. What will sell, then? The Wise Druid encourages potential Player Studio sellers to think small.
Dear Wise Druid,
I feel like I’m missing the point of Player Studio and Landmark. So, if I understand it right, I’m supposed to build a tower or something, and then sell my tower to other players so they can build castles. But from what I’ve seen, most of the players out there are perfectly capable of building their own damn towers, so who’s going to want to buy mine? I can’t for the life of me figure out what sort of things people are going to sell with Player Studio. Can you enlighten me?
Apparently Not a Salesman
My Dearest Not-a-Salesman,
I know where that whole “build a tower, then sell it to people building castles” example came from - Dave Georgeson, Director of Development for the EverQuest franchise, has been using it frequently to illustrate how Player Studio will work. Player A makes a tower, then Player B buys the tower and Player A gets a cut of that purchase price. Player B uses four towers to build a really cool castle, then Player B sells his castle to other players and he gets his cut, plus player A gets a royalty - everybody wins!
It’s a cool example, but it doesn’t map out the kinds of things players are really going to buy through Player Studio. You’re right - I probably don’t need to buy a tower to build my castle because I’ll create the tower myself. But there are plenty of things I might buy. Here’s a list of some of the things I predict will sell well through Player Studio:
I’ve learned a lot about how the marketplace for player-created stuff works through playing The Sims for the past 14 years or so. I’ve seen what people download (often through paid third-party modding sites), and I have reason to believe things won’t be all that different with Landmark. As a rule, when I play The Sims, I’m not downloading entire Sims characters; I’m picking up the individual pieces so I can make the ones I create look cool. I’m downloading clothing, makeup and hairstyles. I build my own houses (and I’m good at it, too), but I often want to fill out the rest of my town with houses I’ve downloaded from other players, just to quickly bring in some variety and get rid of the “stock” constructs. When building houses, I download wallpapers, windows, cabinets, furniture, rugs, paintings, curtains...you get the picture. These are all the types of little things that make my game experience richer because a robust modding (or in Landmark’s case, building) community exists.
So, there you have it. If you’re a builder of intricate, detailed things, or you’re on the cutting edge of discovering how to use mind-blowing techniques like zero-data voxels, you’ll probably find a way to make some money with Player Studio, and I’ll probably want to buy your stuff. If making some spare cash with Player Studio is your goal, think small. Your huge fancy castle may be cool, and I’ll probably even stop by to admire it, but I want to build something fancy of my own. Don’t sell me the whole castle; it’s your Celtic knot tapestry I’m really interested in.
Yours very truly,
Karen became hopelessly hooked on EverQuest when she wandered into Norrath for the first time, immediately fell off one of the Kelethin platforms, and had to ask a Bard to find her mangled corpse. She's gained a few skills since, and logged more hours than she cares to count playing all kinds of MMOs. The EverQuest franchise remains her favorite. Relying on her druidic wisdom, she pens a weekly column, Ask the Druid, every Thursday. Send your questions to her at shayalyn [at] tentonhammer.com.
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