People are willing to spend hundreds of dollars for characters, items (useful or fluff), gold, virtual land, “premium” access, privilege and even life-time accounts. But what else would they be willing to part with their hard-earned money for?
I’ve charged people to officiate weddings in some games, I’ve seen artists charge gamers to draw their pencil/paper RPG characters, and I know a few talented writer types that have charged to write cool backgrounds or stories for their friend’s favorite characters.
Would you pay to name a street in a city? How about christening a bar or tavern in some metropolis? What about naming a creature or being able to design a creature? How about having your favorite RPG character immortalized in the history and lore of an MMO?
Joe the Barbarian could have his exploits created (within the framework of the content) to be a warrior of legend with a statue somewhere or perhaps rumors of an ancient cult following, or maybe his deeds in some epic battle or another would be immortalized in a ballad of the ages that gets stuck right in the game lore etc.
Or maybe Jack the Ranger discovered this mountain pass in the year 064 during one of the worst winters in memory. He saved the day by leading the villagers from X to safety or brought them food…(maybe your character could be flagged as a recognized “descendant” of the famous one).
Obviously anything like this would have to be done to fit the content of whatever game. No, you can’t name a tavern after McDonalds, or pay to get “Mr. Stinkybottom” inserted into the lore of a game as a minor deity or the founding father of the evil skeleton city. That’s just dumb. But most MMORPGs that spend the time to really develop the story and setting of a game have to come up with a lot of filler and flavor. I just wonder if people would want to pay for a little fame and notoriety.
It isn’t so much that people want to be famous, as they want to be *somebody*, or be unique and different in some way. “My great-grandfather was a famous bard and he liked to stay at this inn. They eventually named some beer after him. Pretty cool eh?”
Anyway, sound off and let me know what you think. The idea is to open up things a little bit and give people a limited chance to have some small measure of influence on the writing and design of an MMORPG to make things a little more special. This might be a nice way for some smaller independent developers to make a little extra money to help fund their own projects.
Good idea? Bad idea? Would you pay? There are obviously two different ways to do this…the wrong one is cheesy and kills the sense of story and immersion…the other one is seamless and makes the world a little more rich and interesting.
What do you think?
Personally, I like the idea of “Ethic’s Rat Farm”, “Zubon’s Lair”, and “Ye old Bear and Goblin Grill” (started by my great grand-pappy, doncha know).
Hrm, I might run an experiment with Immortal Destiny and see if anyone would pay for a tiny slice of lore. On a stick no less!
Sound off and tell me what you think….