PlayerStudio — Player Made Items for the EQ2 Marketplace

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Player Studio

SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCESNEW INNOVATIVE USER-GENERATED CONTENT PROGRAM — PLAYER STUDIO™

Online Gaming Leader Expands Player Marketplace with New
Program Designed to Unleash Players’ Creativity
and Share in the Sales of Their Items

SAN DIEGO – Sept. 6, 2012 –  Sony Online Entertainment, LLC (SOE) today announced Player Studio™, a new program that offers players the opportunity to create in-game items that can be sold in the marketplace of their favorite participating online game. The company also announced two new expansions to its long-running, landmark EverQuest® franchise with EverQuest®: Rain of Fear™ and EverQuest® II: Chains of Eternity™.

SOE’s Player Studio invites players to download sample geometry for actual in-game objects and through the use of third party art tools, learn how to develop, design and personalize items of their own. Players will be encouraged to name and create a description for their item, explain how the item fits into the prospective game’s ongoing narrative storyline, and submit it to SOE for review and possible inclusion in the SOE Marketplace. If selected, SOE will share 40 percent of the net amount it receives from the sale of these items with the player that created the item.

“For the first time in SOE history, players will be able to build and sell their own items, truly creating a unique, customizable online marketplace within our games,” said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. “At SOE, we believe everyone is a gamer at heart, and our goal with Player Studio is to provide a platform on which our players can further explore their inner gamer while showcasing their passion for the games they love. We are looking forward to seeing our players’ creativity come to life in an entirely new way.”

Players and fans of the franchise will also be able to continue their Norrathian adventures with new expansions to the EverQuest franchise. Rain of Fear is the 19th expansion for EverQuest, now in its 14th year of continuous development. The ongoing story that started with House of Thule and the death of Cazic-Thule, will now take on a new twist in this upcoming expansion. Rain of Fear will offer new content for players to explore with all-new features, character customization, in-game items, and will now allow characters to level to an unprecedented max level of 100!

EverQuest II: Chains of Eternity is the ninth expansion of the franchise’s lauded title. This expansion will offer brand new features, including level increases, prestige abilities, adornments that become more powerful with players’ characters, and a new level cap of 95. The content in this expansion will feature two spirit-realm versions of overland zones to explore, as well as new dungeons; additionally, exclusive new in-game items will be debuted and will only be available with this expansion.

“Following two very successful transitions to free-to-play, we knew it was time to give our EverQuest community a rich offering of new content,” said Dave Georgeson, executive director of development of the EverQuest franchise. “The EverQuest team is committed to keeping the community enthusiasm high through continued content updates that dial up the player experience; the new features in these expansions are proof points of that continued commitment, and we have no plans of slowing down anytime soon.”

Preceding the launch of the two expansions will be SOE Live, SOE’s annual player celebration. Registered attendees of SOE Live will be treated with a complimentary copy of the standard editions of Rain of Fear and Chains of Eternity when they become available this November. SOE Live will take place at Bally’s in Las Vegas, Oct. 18-21, 2012.

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Comments (35)

  • EVR

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    Wait… this is the big announcement? I really hope not.

    Reply

  • Chuina

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    I love this idea. As an avid ex second life player I simply love creating and being able to affect the world I love playing in while making cash is simply fantastic

    Reply

  • JesDyr

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    this is the big announcement.

    I think it will piss off more people than it will make happy.

    Reply

  • Ragefighter

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    cash or station cash as reward? hmm.

    if its cash i will learn how to use GIMP better lol

    station cast i will just mess around and see what happens.

    Reply

  • JesDyr

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    It is cash (I keep hearing 40%) … but items will have to pass by SOE’s approval and I doubt they will let tons of items get in (every item would need to be patched into the game with it’s artwork)

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    OK…looked it over.

    I am laughing my fool @$$ off.

    This…I don’t even have words for this. I see what they’re doing and know why, and it has exactly zero to do with the game.

    I’ll rant on this later, but for now…just…BWAHAHAHAHA!

    Reply

  • Taka

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    Can we make fancy-dope and stupid-dope mounts? Complete with those kinds of names? Not all bad I suppose.

    Reply

  • Kralus

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    This is actually kind of a big deal, especially for new games that will be coming out. Have people make items for your game, only giving the creator 40%, win for SoE.

    Reply

  • Seffrid

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    Volunter players for customer support in Europe, volunteer players for item design in America. There’s a pattern emerging which doesn’t look too good for the employees of a loss-making subsidiary of a loss-making company.

    Good luck proving the patent on your designs!

    Reply

  • camelotcrusade

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    I’m not sure I’m glad this is our “big announcement” but I do like the idea a lot. There many item categorizes hurting for an art expansion (same old hammer..) and hopefully enterprising players will pick up some slack.

    Unfortunately, though, the barriers to entry are high. Your average player won’t have the 3rd party programs or the skills to use them. So in reality I think we’ll only have a few more people to beg for new items besides the devs.

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    The examples on the site are ‘cloak’ and ‘house item’. I’m thinking that’s going to be the extent of it for now on the EQ2 side.

    But yeah…they’re saving on payroll and compliance expenses by farming work out to a theoretically large and dispersed pool of independent contractors (read: players). It gets them off the hook for coming regulatory hassles as well as immediate expenses. It’s cynical, but it’s also sly from a business perspective.

    It’s also funny as all get-out, but that’s beside the point…

    Reply

  • Seffrid

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    @Camelotcrusade: “So in reality I think we’ll only have a few more people to beg for new items besides the devs.”

    Player-made items won’t be available from players, whoever designed them will submit them to SOE for consideration. If approved, they will be finalised including any stats etc by SOE and put into the Marketplace.

    Looking at a variety of sites, some players seem to think this is open season for player crafting and sale of ingame items. It isn’t. It is volunteers designing some items for SOE who will then split the proceeds with the players (60/40 in SOE’s favour of course :)!) IF those items are approved and put in the Marketplace.

    Reply

  • Madcat

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    very bad news

    Player trying to make monay with game is what is killing the game since more 10 years.

    They have so fews skill for create thing they want hire players :P

    But no worry, they ll do like usual, like the group finder, the dungeon maker… once released, it will never be updated (but nerfed due to some exploit), bugged and borken.

    Dont look they want put effort to make the game better by themself :(

    Reply

  • name (required)

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    MMO changing? valve is doing this since a long time.

    Reply

  • striinger

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    With players outraged that SOE artists and developers are spending too much time on fluff for the marketplace and the popularity of the Apple iStore/Google Play… I have to admit, from a financial perspective this is a pretty brilliant idea. If this works, then we may see a day where a substantial part of new EQ2 assets are player designed and created with a small backend group of people on QC, balance, and engine/core development. If they fine tune their item generator then stats for those may be hands free too.
    As a player it feels a bit like throwing on the towel on EQ2 as a AAA MMO, but as a second life cross-over with a Play store it has some merit.

    Reply

  • striinger

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    @Seff: your comment is an oxymoron, sorta. If the volunteer is paid, then they aren’t really a volunteer. :-)

    Reply

  • Kwill

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    Just like with itunes apps … Apple vets all of them before they get published.

    Not a terrible system.

    Reply

  • Atan

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    Going Second Life is somehow industry changing?

    Reply

  • Seffrid

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    @Striinger: I know what you mean, but players will volunteer to devote time to designing these items with no certainty of payment, they’ll have to submit items, have them approved, have them put on sale, and then have other players buy them if they are to see any payment.

    Ignoring seasonal discounts etc I think it works out that they’ll get paid about 32 pence (GBP) per 100 SC, no idea what the items will be priced at or how many they’ll sell, but this is voluntary labour for pocket money, no-one’s going to be giving up the day job to do it ;)!

    Reply

  • Common Sense

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    “MMO changing? valve is doing this since a long time.”

    Yeah and it destroyed TF2 imo. The Mannco update back in September 2010 was the biggest blow to the game. Hardly if at all play the game now.

    Reply

  • items4groups

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    How about a set of items that gain abilities if used by players wearing them in a group? I’d like to see something that encourages grouping.

    It could be a set of rings that are all the same and get more bonuses based on the number of people in the group. Or it could be 1 item specific for each class (weapon, shield, bow, wand etc).

    But I guess if the shared class buffs aren’t reason enough to get people to group this won’t help either. (zerker skill that inc’s str/agil/multiattack)

    Reply

  • Grugg

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    Linden Lab is not an MMO company. SOE is an MMO company. SOE is the first MMO company to open up the creation of virtual goods to players. We’ll see if SOE can mimic or do better than Valve in this area. If SOE is successful, you can bet that their competitors will certainly follow their lead.

    Reply

  • Badfae

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    One thing no one has seemed to hit on is that they are saying THEY will be adding the stats to the item. This says to me that for the first time we will actually have items in the marketplace designed for us to pay real-life money for in-game items that are more than fluff. There is nothing truly comparable on the market already that is purchased with SC. With all the people screaming bloody murder at even the idea of pay-to-win, and alot of them pretending to believe that the stuff on the marketplace already is so they have an excuse to scream, this seems to be actually the first real step in that direction.

    Reply

  • Gaealiege

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    Anyone who thinks this was designed to “enhance” gameplay rather than revenue is live under a rock naive.

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    Anyone who thinks this was designed to “enhance” gameplay rather than revenue is live under a rock naive.

    It seems a way to keep a steady stream of items to the Marketplace without having to devote as many dedicated people to it. It’s an interesting plan, and something we’re likely to see more of with the changing economic landscape.

    Reply

  • Flatley

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    “Initially US-based”. Oh, look! I’m from the UK! Stuffed again, then. Oh well, I’m used to this type of thing now and prolly wouldn’t use it anyway. Ho hum.

    Reply

  • Noctew

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    Not sure if great idea or just clever cost cutting plan, but I don’t think the artists who are currently doing this full time are very happy that part of their job is being crowdsourced.

    Reply

  • Loch

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    Not sure if great idea or just clever cost cutting plan, but I don’t think the artists who are currently doing this full time are very happy that part of their job is being crowdsourced.

    Then hopefully all that free time can be used to make new items/monsters/etc. for the game that aren’t for the marketplace.

    Reply

  • Malade

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    This is designed to make stat items in the marketplace more attractive to EQ2 populations. The players gets a piece of the pie, so they won’t mind that $OE is selling stat gear on the marketplace. With no proof any actual player designed any of it. They are fricking genuises.

    Reply

  • Dark

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    Copying another game is industry changing according to SoE.. derp.

    Reply

  • Trueflight

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    So their huge industry changing announcement is that rather than paying game designers and creating jobs, they want their paying customers to do their work and pay them piecemeal instead of paying the going rate for quality designers.

    Reply

  • Murfalad

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    I believe this change has come in due to the Prosieben deal, done right this could be a good deal for EQ2, although I assume that they mean the items being sold in the store will be appearance and thus not really have stats beyond the default.

    What would then be interesting would be if an item came up that was so cool that SOE wanted to put it in the game, I wonder if there is a deal they could make then for the creator?

    Reply

  • Linda Carlson

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    I am having trouble seeing the downside in this. I know I was incredibly excited when we started talking about it internally months ago. It is HUGE for us, and the first time we have explored any profit-sharing measure. Collaboration with the player base and user-generated content is something we feel pretty strongly about fostering.

    We have some super-creative folks out there, and we’re offering to let them design cool stuff for the game AND to make some money on it. I believe the cut we have announced is higher than what Valve offers to its contributors as well.

    The items are definitely going to go through an approval process for quality and… let’s just say… suitability. =P

    Player Studio has nothing to do with the ProSiebenSat.1 deal, and as I’m sure you’re read, at this time EU residents can’t participate (although we hope to find a way to include them in future). Tax laws are challenging and often frustrating, to say the least. So sayeth the Dwarf every April.

    We are starting very slowly. A couple of simple pieces, while we review the process and what works best for contributors and SOE. We should have something to show and discuss at length at SOE Live.
    ~Brasse

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    I wish there was another way for other players to acquire items that I design, but getting paid for my work is a nice thing. I think we’ll see a lot of designers come out of the woodwork. Hopefully there are quality controls.

    I don’t see it as just a copy-paste of Second Life because EQ2 has 8 years of professionally designed content, quarterly Game Updates, and annual Expansions. Second Life was “here’s an open box, players come and make stuff!”.

    Also look at what Player Studio is limited to — Cloaks and House Items at first.

    I have long been an advocate of player-made content. Quests, Dungeons, Items, Cloaks, House Items, Paintings, etc. As long as we continue to get updates from SOE, what harm can some extra fun items do?

    If we are allowed some day to create weapons and even armor (Yes I realize there are numerous pitfalls and SOE would have to expose and document the snap-on system for aspiring designers), then they would undoubtedly be appearance items which we can add to whatever items we actually have equipped.

    Reply

  • Brasse

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    Cloaks and a house item or two does seem rather dull, but consider it a sort of “beta test.” It will take a bit to work out the kinks in the submission process and production pipeline, but I know the intent (if players like and use it) is to expand the offerings… A LOT.

    I am very curious myself how the approvals process will work, balancing what players create with the standards our art teams maintain. I have seen some INCREDIBLE player made art out there.

    Sharing revenue with collaborative player efforts? I have to admit I am a HUGE proponent of this idea.

    ~Brasse

    Reply

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