Last week, newly unveiled MMORPG Ashes of Creation explained that one of its seemingly unique features: the chance to make money from the game as a player. Here’s the deal:
“Q: Can I actually make money by referring people to play the game? A: Yes. We want to be able to give back to our community, especially leaders in our community who bring other players to our game. We feel the larger we get, the more fun everyone will have. So we have designed a referral program that allows our players to receive actual cashback. By using our referral system, players can share links to the game on social media, forums, or simply with their friends. If a person visits our game from your referral link, they will be identified by our system as your referral, and when they register an account with us, you will receive 15% of anything they spend (subscription, credits, crowd sourcing) as either; in-game credits, payment towards your own subscription, or choose to receive actual cash. As far as we know, this is the first system of it’s kind for a video game, and we feel pretty good about it.”
I wonder what our readers think about this. I’ve always been in favor of allowing player modders to potentially get a cut from their work if it’s selected for use in the game, not unlike systems employed by Daybreak, Valve, and Digital Extremes. But this is a bit different. What do you think? Is a cash-back referral system a good idea? Is it any different from an affiliate program? Should gamers be able to make money off MMORPGs?