Myst-Uru & Money

Eder DUru Guild Hall Replica

Eder D'Uru Guild Hall Replica

Being an international game Myst-Uru has players from the world over. There is a mix of players from different countries with different philosphies about money. With the coming of Myst Online open source (MO:OS – acronym from an inside Uru joke) the fan community is looking at hosing the game in commercial servers and finding ways to pay for the bandwidth needed for game play. Many fans want the game for free or to cost just enough to cover expenses. How that funding saga plays out is likely to be a reflection of real world financial philosophies played out in a virtual world. Whichever philosophy is yours, the choices will likely decide the fate of Myst-Uru. Consider and take your stand.

The Uru fan base is respectful of intellectual property (IP) rights. Not that fans don’t abuse them, just that on a whole they respect them more often than not. Violating them can get a fan pretty much ostracized. The community has divisions from issues regarding how Second Life replications are funded. Not a good thing for harmony and unity in the community.

With open source servers likely to soon start popping up more questions are waiting on the owner, Cyan Worlds, Inc., to say what they will allow fans to do with the game to cover server costs. Will one be allowed to charge a sign up fee or accept donations and use Cyan IP? If not, how does one pay for the servers? What if they actually make a profit, intentionally or otherwise?

No one can decide on a funding plan without Cyan’s licensing agreement, which is to be released this ‘Spring’. Nor will we know if one can legally make a profit operating the game.

Many seem to think making a ‘profit’ is evil. I think profit is the most simulating creative force every thought up. So, I see it as Myst Online’s likely savior.  However many think the community will need to decide whether it is ok to profit from open source and if so, who can profit from it and how. I am not at all sure the community at large has a say. I see it as Cyan permits it or not by how they write their license for game content. If it is allowed then I think whoever pays the bill and puts up a server is going to have THE SAY.

What we do know is projects tend to make money or lose money. And if the the game is running on donations there will likely be more or less money than needed. So, if there is more donations than cost, is that a profit? Who will watch over the money? Does Cyan get a cut? How about the age builders? If there is less than enough, who makes up the difference?

Second Life has grown from fans being able to profit from their work. Everyone is making something and selling it. But many Uru fans seem to think some other game model will work. It is hard to build an age (game area/region) for Myst-Uru. It is serious work. The people doing it now are devoted, hardcore fans. Will they eventually burn out? What will attract new builders? Would allowing to profit from their creative work keep them working and draw new builders? If not, other than love of the game, where is the incentive? What is there to attract new builders?

Also there are Second Life the Myst-Uru replicas living in their own regions that need to be funded. How will the coming Cyan licensing affect them? What happens if those operators want to make a profit and expand the sims? What about the shop owners selling wears in Myst-Uru areas?

So… are you one debating these issues or have you come to the conclusion I have that once Cyan puts the license out, those that put up the moeny will run the show?

Have you added your two cents?

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