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Author Topic: Let's Talk Server Monetization.  (Read 5827 times)
Rayblon
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« on: June 30, 2014, 06:21:04 PM »

Minecraft created an unforgettable sensation in the world of online gaming because of implied freedoms -- A server owner or mod developer's labors could in turn be sold for a profit, servers themselves offering exclusive benefits and abilities like spells, kits, and various other permissions for those who had the money for it. Early on, mods could be sold and up until now plugin developers were contracted to code various things that augmented the server to make their gameplay unique. Now, that very same community is at arms about Mojang cracking down on monetization.

My question is: Do you wish to promote such freedoms for your users, or do you plan to restrict them?
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pspeed
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2014, 08:58:00 PM »

Minecraft created an unforgettable sensation in the world of online gaming because of implied freedoms -- A server owner or mod developer's labors could in turn be sold for a profit, servers themselves offering exclusive benefits and abilities like spells, kits, and various other permissions for those who had the money for it. Early on, mods could be sold and up until now plugin developers were contracted to code various things that augmented the server to make their gameplay unique. Now, that very same community is at arms about Mojang cracking down on monetization.

My question is: Do you wish to promote such freedoms for your users, or do you plan to restrict them?

I've discussed this before but maybe not in the open forum.  Not only do I plan to allow it but I plan to facilitate it.

The idea of mods and plugins has been built into Mythruna from the ground up.  The plan since very near the beginning was to someday have a mod store where modders could upload their wares for others to purchase or get for free or whatever.  My site would take a small cut but the lion's share would go to the modder.

I also planned to facilitate server subscriptions in the same way.  If you have a registered server account then you get to list your server on the main mythruna.com lists.  You can also choose to optionally charge a subscription that mythruna.com will process for you... for a small fee.

This is all kind of in the 'far flung future' but it's always been the plan.  The next version of the game (whenever that is) already ties into the mythruna.com web site more, processing logins, validating plugins, etc..

In my imagined future, you could try to connect to some server but it will tell you that you need mods X, Y, and Z.  So you pop over to the store, add those to your account, pay whatever fees are required... and then you can login to the server.  The plugins will be downloaded and installed automatically... potentially specifically for that server, even.

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pspeed
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2014, 08:59:54 PM »

And actually, this was one of the prime reasons I wanted to write Mythruna in the first place rather than just modding some other game.  Based on the EULA, I couldn't legally charge for said mods.  I don't want others to be in the same boat regarding Mythruna.

In fact, I've architected the new engine to support "total conversion" even if someone wants to contract licensing for such a thing someday.

...all depending on actually getting the game past alpha, of course. Smiley


Oh, and thanks for asking!
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Rayblon
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2014, 10:09:46 PM »

So what is your opinion on things like microtransactions for items, permissions, etc?
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pspeed
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 12:35:02 AM »

So what is your opinion on things like microtransactions for items, permissions, etc?

Philosophically, I'm kind of against "pay to win" setups... but if some server wants to run their game that way then that would be up to them, I guess.

Truthfully, when the time comes to iron out the details, I will have to consult my lawyer and work out how to limit my liability should something go wrong or some shady server admin decides to do something bad.  But within those constraints, I don't think I care how a server decides to monetize.  I mean, presuming they go the easy route and do payments through my system then it's all revenue that keeps Mythruna going.  By then I hope I will also have had experience setting up a game on both Google Play and Amazon, so with luck I manage to take the best ideas from both of those systems.

Caveats also being that I've set things up properly so that players are aware that it's the server admin and not Mythruna in general doing the asking.  I imagine this will all be prominent information in the server list entries, ie: free, subscription, IAP, and so on.  If I could, I'd be as up front as possible to include showing average cost per user or something.  Probably infeasible but I think about this a lot having two young children who've been burned a few times by 'pay to win' games that weren't real up front about it.

I come from the Neverwinter Nights scene from long ago.  There were some truly excellent servers and custom content for that game.  I have to wonder if the popularity of the game could have been extended by half a decade if those servers could have charged subscriptions.  Beyond selfishly hoping to earn a living off of this game by eking out whatever revenue there is to be had, I'd also like to build a community that lasts a really long time.  The strategy stated seems to align both of those goals.
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Rayblon
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 01:40:10 AM »

A solid plan. I've spent the past hour trying to compliment each part of your gameplan separately, but I couldn't say anything that felt worthy of what you've told me. In terms of opinion, I agree with your statements in this matter wholly.

One idea I have to root out greedy or expensive servers: A sort of 'review system' or server review commitees(or some other volunteer kind of thing) may be able to flag extreme P2W servers. Much like Gamespot, Rotten Tomatoes, and many other sites that incorporate review systems, you can have servers evaluated by users and people you 'certify' based on checklists including things like how much it costs to actually join the server(the costs of mods, entry fees/subscription fees), gameplay, microtransaction balance, etc. It would not only root out bad servers, but give good servers a means and a reason to better themselves

 I hope that I may soon be able to make a more significant contribution to your cause other than a single idea... But until then, I pray my ideas are of use to you later on.

Thank you for your time, and such an earnest response. Dealing with Mojang... I forgot what it meant to actually be heard by the powers that be and... It's a good feeling. Even with such a small game, it really means something. Once again, thank you.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 01:45:14 AM by Rayblon » Logged

pspeed
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2014, 10:58:45 AM »

Thanks for the kind words.

Yeah, I will do whatever I can to keep people from feeling screwed over.  It would be interesting to see if a score could automatically be derived from the revenue the server takes in versus player retention, etc.... with a transparent break-out of exactly what the score means, of course.
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Moonkey
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 02:35:56 PM »

Oh wow. I remember you talking about mods, and addons you allow people to sell on your (future) market. But never so fully explained. This clears up a lot! Nice work Paul Smiley
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Mythruna: Don't you dare read any posts I made before 2014.
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