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2D1651 - Datorspelsdesign - 21 nov 2005. Daniel Pargman Massiva multispelarespel massively multiplayer online games - MMOG. 051121 - 2D1651. Me SvenskMUD (moderately multiplayer online games) MMOG (massively multiplayer online games) Money & economy
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2D1651 - Datorspelsdesign - 21 nov 2005 Daniel Pargman Massiva multispelarespel massively multiplayer online games - MMOG
051121 - 2D1651 • Me • SvenskMUD (moderately multiplayer online games) • MMOG (massively multiplayer online games) • Money & economy • Roundup
Daniel Pargman University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics, Media/Computer game development • Senior Lecturer 2005- Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), School of Computer Science and Communication, Media Technology • Senior Lecturer 2002- HCI consultant • CR&T Department of Communication studies, Linköping university • Ph.D. thesis: ”Code begets community: On social and technical aspects of managing a virtual community (2000)” Computer and systems sciences, Uppsala university
My interests Computer sciences Social sciences Human-Computer Interaction Design Systems development ... Sociology Anthropology Psychology ... CMC CSCW Communities Onlinespel Society Technology
Aarseth, “Playing research” http://hypertext.rmit.edu.au/dac/papers/Aarseth.pdf Three dimensions characterize every computer game: • Gameplay (players, playing, motives) • Game structure (game rules) • Game world (content, design, artwork) Leads to three research perspectives: • Gameplay (psychology, ethnology, sociology...) • Game rules (computer game design - CS/AI...) • Game world (art, aesthetics, history, cultural studies, media studies)
Perspectives on SvenskMud SvenskMud (SwedishMud) is: • A game (adventure mud) • A computer program (systems development project) • A hobby
SvenskMud as a game/computer program • Takes place in a Tolkien-inspired fantasy world and in a Sweden of the 19th century • Contains 6000 distinct spaces (“rooms”) full of monsters, treasures etc. • Access limited to 100 simultaneous users at peak hours • Is officially a project at Lysator - the academic computer club at Linköping University • Developed for 13 years by 100+ persons • Consists of ~ 3 million lines of “code” • Developed as an open source project
TDZK • Browser-based MMORPG • Persistent online world • 4000-5000 registered players • Space adventure game • Gather resources, trading goods, upgrading your ship, fighting your enemies • Semi-synchronous • “Symbolic” interface • Very complicated, knowledge intensive game • Played in 4-month rounds
From MUDs to MMOG • Graphical interface = more accessible • Three of four magnitudes larger = larger breadth of player base • Lineage, World of Warcraft • Commercial enterprises = big business (≠ hobby any more) But - same social interaction and same social phenomena
Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) • Persistent worlds (PW) • Thousands of simultaneos players • Lineage 4.000.000 players in Asia (Korea, Taiwan) • Everquest 500.000 players in USA and Europe • Complex social interaction/sociala phenomena • Can be very captivating • Subscription model (10-15$ / month for unlimited online access)
Star Wars Galaxies • Sony Online Entertainment • Released in the US in June 2003 and in Europa in November • 125.000 subscribers the first week, 300.000 after the summer • > 3.000.000 posted messages on the official discussion forum on the web (spring 2004)! • Costs 15$ / month • Suffer from the same problems as other games (released too early = many bugs = bad press)
Master’s thesis on MMOG & money • Nine Master’s students at KTH, Stockholm • All looking at “money and economy in and around online games” • In Star Wars Galaxies, Eve Online, Dark Age of Camelot, Ultima Online, Ragnarök Online... • Master’s thesis = 20 weeks of full-time work • 10 weeks reading, preparation, analysis, writing • 10 weeks full-time study • Results will be published (on the web) during 2005 • Five finished this far
Perspectives on MMOG & money Money and economy in online games • The real-world/game industry economy • The in-game economy • The interface (E-bay) between in-game and real-world economies
MMOG economy (perspective 1) (Mulligan & Patrovsky 2003) • Costs (USD) for running a popular MMOG for three months. (100-150.000 subscribers, 30.000 simultaneous players.) • Server clusters 80.000 * 10 • Player relations 4.000 * 12 • Community relations 4.000 * 3 • Live development team 6.000 * 12 • Management 8.000 * 4 • Account mgm + billing 4.000 * 5 • Office space, furniture, PCs etc. 250.000 • Bandwidth 20% of previous costs • Network operations personnel 5.000 * 5 • Overhead costs 80.000 • Total > 2.000.000 USD
MMOG balance sheet (2002) • Development costs: 7 (average) and 10-12 (typical) million USD for AAA title • Launch costs - 3-5 million USD (and rising) + Can bring in millions of dollars for 5-10 years - 40-60% of revenue spent on running the game + A major hit (200.000+ subscribers in 6 months) can pay for development/launch costs in < 1 year
Game market players • Hard-core market (10%) Will do anything to play games. 15 million worldwide (2002) • Moderate market (20%) Money (equipment, fees) & time concerns • Mass market (70%) Play short, easy-to-learn games. 140-200 million worldwide (2002) Xbox 360
In-game economy (perspective 2) • Economic systems emerge spontaneously • Resources are limited • Nothing is free ∑ People need to barter/trade with each other in the game (e.g.the emergence of markets) • Faucet - drain • Tax vs service • Virtual inflation, cartels, rares, crafting/trade vs battle
In-game vs real-world economy (perspective 3) • Norrath (in Everquest) is the 77th richest country in the world! (Castronova 2001) • GNP per capita = 2226 USD, hourly wage = 3,42 USD (319 PP). • Hourly wage < 3,42 USD in China, India (Mexico?) • Black Snow Interactive set up a sweatshop in Tijuana to capitalize on trade between Mexico, USA and Norrath. • How can this be? ...because of E-bay • Norrath has production, labor supply, income, inflation, foreign trade and currency exchange (1 platinium piece ≈ 1 cent)
In-game vs real-world economy II • To whom does the fruits of the labor belong when someone develops virtual resources (“works”?) within a game? • The company that produce the game/owns the server? • The player (who produces the economy)? • Mythic entertainment vs Black Snow Interactive • Infringement on intellectual property rights • Unfair business practices • The online game “There” hired an economist to work full-time on in-game fiscal policy
Dark Age of Camelot commerce on E-bay • Data from mid-Nov to mid-Dec 2004 (4 weeks) • Info through Hammertap’s Deep analysis • 2350 sales - US$ 210.000 changed hands • Virtual currency (67%) • Accounts (31%) • Virtual objects (2%) • DAoC costs US$ 15/month - 30 servers (* 3 “realms”) • Trade in virtual currencey - three actors account for 85% of all commerce • Large scale advantages accept all major credit cards, trust, customer service, E-bay “powersellers” • Homework: Volume of E-bay trade in relation to the total subscription fee?
Example of an E-bay ad “Blade Of The Righteous - $210. Well it’s really the best weapon... Makes HUGE DAMAGE... So it’s a Super Slayer”
In-game vs real-world economy III • In-game market place • E-bay • Trader • Employer (small scale) Black Snow • Company <www.ige.com> ”IGE is the world's leading provider of value-added services to the players and publishers of multiplayer online games”
A short reading list about MMOGs and money • Thomson (2005), ”Game theories” http://www.walrusmagazine.com/article.pl?sid=04/05/06/1929205&tid=1 • Hunter & Lastowka (2003), ”Virtual property” http://www.nyls.edu/pdfs/hunter_lastowka.pdf • Burke (2001), ”Rubicite breastplate priced to move, cheap” http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/tburke1/Rubicite%20Breastplate.pdf • Castronova (2001), ”Virtual worlds: A first-hand account of market and society on the cybrarian frontier” http://ssrn.com/abstract=294828
Next thesis subject - Groups and guilds in online games Gemeinschaft/Gesellschaft - Tönnies 1887 Small (The village), rural, slowness, tradition Friends and enemies Group (projects), belonging, commitment Natural, unplanned organism Relationships as mutual, significant, long-term, informal, personal Big (The city), urban, speed, variation, fashion, fance Strangers and competitors Individual (projects), alienation, convenience Constructed, artficial mechanism Relationships as instrumental, convenient, transient, anonymous
www.dsv.su.se/utbildning/su/sp5.html 23 jan - 24 feb 2006
Contact: Daniel Pargman firstname.lastname@example.org +46 8 790 82 80 KTH/Media Technology 100 44 Stockholm www.nada.kth.se/~pargman/thesis