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American McGee feels users should be compensated for created content

Wednesday, 22nd April 2009 21:42 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

alice1American McGee has told Geek.com that users who create content for games like LittleBigPlanet should be compensated for the added value.

“I seem to recall this being a ‘trend’ back in the Doom days,” he said. “The only difference now is that someone is trying to monetize it.

“That’s all fine and good, but I think if game products or publishers are relying on ‘outside the box’ content created by users to drive interest in their titles – then they should find ways of compensating those users for developing added value. That might even inspire the user content communities to step up their game.”

He also goes on to talk about the upcoming Alice game with EA, and his experience working on episodic gaming through Grimm.

Via GameDaily.

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7 Comments

  1. Gekidami

    So will their game allow user generated content? Putting his fine words to the test.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. anasui

    it would disgust me to interview someone called American
    “Mr American, what do you think…”

    he’s right, kinda, but only if a game’s primary focus is user created content while deliberatedly ignoring what THEY should do as developers, i.e robust single player experience, lots of added features etc etc

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Hunam

    He has a point. LBP’s main advertised draw is the user created content.

    There was a related case with BF2 where by the server hosts (clans) wanted to know why they weren’t being compensated for the in game advertisements that are being placed on their paid for server.

    Seems like it’s the usual case of the industry asking more than it want’s to give.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Syrok

    I’m not sure whether I would actually create more or better levels if I would get some sort of reward for it.

    PS: That’s not to say that I would say no to anything that reimburses me for several hundred hours I put into this timesink . :)

    #4 5 years ago
  5. DarkElfa

    As someone who spent countless hundreds of hours doing CounterStrike mods, I can see his point.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Shatner

    This is a complex notion.

    Firstly if a game offers creation tools that isn’t the same as saying “we’re relying on you to make content for us”. Self interested parties will be very keen to jump on that and only see the perspective of UGC that benefits themselves. If providing a level editor (traditionally a free bonus) is going to be treated by consumers as a game instantly owing them for their (usually) amateurish efforts then it’ll just be a lot simpler not to provide it in the first place.

    If a “game” shipped as just a set of tools and no playable content then it’s very clear that it is reliant upon users to create its content. If a “game” ships with a complete set of levels and a set of tools then the notion of reliance on UGC simply doesn’t stand up.

    Secondly, there’s a matter of determining value through quality of content. The instant you bring money into something you need to determine a rigid structure of payment. Someone making 100 shit maps might argue that they’re ‘worth’ the same as someone making 100 great maps. A clear set of rules / contract needs to be drawn up. It needs to be VERY clear as, typically, people don’t read all the rules – just the bits that benefit themselves.

    Finally, making games just for the money aspect is a bad decision and anyone doing so should think twice. There is a reason games take years to make and require dozens of people to make them. It’s a lot of hard work. As a game like LBP has demonstrated even something with a superbly designed set of tools doesn’t turn the process into something easy (and serves as a wake-up call to those that thought it would). No set of tools ever will. The worlds best pen won’t automatically turn its user into a brilliant writer.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Morrius

    Disagree with Mr McGee as per usual. Users know what they’re getting into when they purchase a game like LBP, indeed the creation side of things is the source of enjoyment for some.

    #7 5 years ago

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