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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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    1. 2D1651 - Datorspelsdesign - 21 nov 2005 Daniel Pargman Massiva multispelarespel massively multiplayer online games - MMOG

    2. 051121 - 2D1651 • Me • SvenskMUD (moderately multiplayer online games) • MMOG (massively multiplayer online games) • Money & economy • Roundup

    3. ?

    4. 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

    5. My interests Computer sciences Social sciences Human-Computer Interaction Design Systems development ... Sociology Anthropology Psychology ... CMC CSCW Communities Onlinespel Society Technology

    6. 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)

    7. SvenskMud

    8. Perspectives on SvenskMud SvenskMud (SwedishMud) is: • A game (adventure mud) • A computer program (systems development project) • A hobby

    9. 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

    10. SvenskMud

    11. 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

    12. Vad är detta?

    13. SvenskMud

    14. A window into a virtual world...

    15. MMOG

    16. 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

    17. 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)

    18. 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)

    19. Exempel

    20. Money and economy

    21. 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

    22. 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

    23. 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

    24. 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

    25. 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

    26. 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

    27. 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)

    28. 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

    29. 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?

    30. 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”

    31. 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”

    32. Exempel

    33. Roundup

    34. 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

    35. 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

    36. Onlinespel, spelcommunities och reklamspel, 5p

    37. www.dsv.su.se/utbildning/su/sp5.html 23 jan - 24 feb 2006

    38. Contact: Daniel Pargman pargman@kth.se +46 8 790 82 80 KTH/Media Technology 100 44 Stockholm www.nada.kth.se/~pargman/thesis