Prosperous Universe will give players a say in planetary economic development


When you usually hear about voting systems in MMORPGs, they are usually tied to some cumbersome political system that most players will never get to participate in directly. With Prosperous Universe, however, voting isn’t just about putting a guy in office — it’s about everyone’s money.

Enter the Chamber of Global Commerce, a new idea that the team is working on to give players a direct vote and say in how business is structured and run on any given planet. This expensive building allows players to vote for a week-long economic program that gives buffs and boosts for certain sectors.

“The weight of a player’s vote depends on her workforce: the more workforce she has and the happier it is, the more it counts,” the team wrote. “But everything has a price. The CoGC will have a constant upkeep that has to be paid to keep it running. Just as with the building costs, everyone on the planet can contribute to it.”

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I want to believe this can work, but I have some reservations.

Whenever the playerbase gets involved with directing a game’s progress, it seems like you get a core group of players who are genuinely interested in seeing the system work as intended, but you also get a another group of players who are simply interested in analysing the system so that they can exploit any vulnerabilities to give themselves, and their followers, the most in-game advantage possible.

In the case of Prosperous Universe, I could see wealthy players forming cartels to “put a lock” on in-game policy that is always to their liking or benefit.

Then there’s the third group — let’s call them the despoilers — who want to mess with the system because they find it amusing to break things and to screw up other people’s enjoyment. That’s how they feel powerful. Cartels of chaos here, I suppose.

So, if the devs can implement a system which encourages gameplay as intended, while foiling or discouraging gameplay as unintended, that will be very interesting.

I can’t imagine it will be an easy process, however, and I wish them the best.


PU could treat it the same way as ATITD did. By giving the devs power of veto over any vote or proposed law.

That way if any cartel tried to influence the game in a way the devs didnt like it would be vetoed. Make it clear from the outset that certain policies wouldnt be accepted and some angst would be mitigated.


Devs tend to be in the third group but think they are in the first, i think they would support the most insane ideas right until players started leaving in large numbers.


Like I said, it worked in ATITD, but that game did have a fairly dominant personality at the helm. You’d also need to lay down what was and wasnt acceptable before release.