I was down at my favorite watering hole the other day and ran across a fellow gamer. We talked games for awhile and it turned out his favorite game was Grand Theft Auto. I've never played GTA, but according to him, GTA IV included in the PC box a copy of the server. Apparently the idea was that players could set up their own private server, open it to the public, and people could join them there. Kind of a mini-MMORPG version of GTA IV.
And then Cyclops came along with his ambivalent request for "super villains at level one".
Free association as that thread unfolded brought to mind The Mighty Paladin wanting a game with no levels and nothing but endless street crime to fight.
Pieces began falling into place and I could not help but wonder.
Would it be possible, or even advisable, for Missing Worlds Media to include server software in their boxed product?
Assuming it is both possible and advisable, the server should allow for things like a world with no level progression but full access to power sets. It should also have the ability to use the character creator to create a custom cast of signature NPCs, both heroic and villainous. If possible, it should include map creation software allowing the private server to feature a completely unique map using the same building models with, of course, interior options where appropriate. Door assignment for instanced missions, and so on.
I know. It's crazy. How could MWM hope to profit from this strategy? Well, there are a couple of possibilities. They could sell advertising space for private servers in the main server version of the game. They could forge a link between the private servers and the ingame store at the main server so that people using the private servers would buy consumables and bonus products from the MWM store. They could charge a monthly fee for setting up a private server that would be a percentage of the normal subscription fee. Perhaps they could offer portals between the main Titan City and the private server versions that charged a fee. (Probably too difficult to implement, but it is an idea.)
One thing is certain, if the box included server software and the download did not, then it would provide an extra incentive to buy the box. It would also be the perfect solution to one of their stated goals: preserving access to the game even if MWM itself disappeared.