Analyzing The MMO Industry For IP Potential

Gaming has become much more accessible to the world, both in terms of players getting the games they want and new developers being able to develop great games with smaller budgets. Online gaming--specifically, Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games--go a step further from selling game copies and can deliver revenue based on months subscriptions, extra purchases for in-game items with real money, and expansion to the game that add more content to the existing adventure. If you're considering a game for your intellectual property (IP), here are a few things to watch out for while keeping your idea and branding both true to your word and viable in the market.

MMOs Are Continuing Stories

The difference between online games and single player games or complete stories is that players expect new content for their online gameplay. These games aren't designed to be "beat." Rather, there are specific modules within the game that can be beat, and players expect to take their growing, persistent world character to new challenges.

This can be an issue for stories with clearly defined endings. One argument within the IP usage world is whether the original creator should create new content, supervisor content creation by game companies or simply sell their IP as a license for the studio to work within limits. This creates a continuing story beyond something that has already completed, which can either be a great delivery of new stories for fans, a way for fan fiction (fanfic) writers and readers to get any related content in a new form, or a source of rage if it doesn't get the story's feeling just right.

Some studios work within the bounds of the existing story instead. Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO), for example, takes a well-known series of novels and successful, mainstream movie trilogy and stretches between Frodo being tasked to destroy the ring and the end of the series. Most players know how the story ends and even many points along the way, but LotRO creates stories for untold heroes represented by the players that could have conceivably existed, such as being in the different nation armies, working with Strider, or being another agent that assists the Fellowship of the Ring in continuing their journey.

Ensuring The Integrity Of Your Brand

It's hard to tell how well a studio will treat your ideas until some of the project is already done. Even if the writing samples from accomplished storytellers are compelling, you need to keep in mind that part of what makes your story great and unique is the way you tell it. Beyond basic quality control, it's probably best if you had some involvement, even if you don't have total control.

Adding a consultation clause to your writing can allow some say into the story's development, which can be good for both you and the game studio. Relinquishing some control is necessary, and you can run the spectrum from being a lightly involved consultant to an employee of the creative department depending on prior arrangements.

As MMOs progress, it's necessary to create new challenges and ideas. This sometimes defeats the purpose of some stories, especially those rare classics that manage to end before the story becomes ruined. For expansions to any MMO that is successful under your name, consider what you would do if you were to make a new novel, comic or movie.

By consulting an IP attorney, you can be better prepared to secure your rights when new creative work is done under your story. Contact an attorney to begin telling the legal story of your IP as well. Contact a firm like Mohajerian A Professional Law Corporation for more information.