Who I pay as employees in the real world will I be able to design/build my own unique items with my branding from raw resources in my territory to produce goods/service at a profit?
Fallout 4 had mods so I'm hoping Bethesda builds the mechanics of exchange right in there. The potential for progressive Atomic production is endless. We can rebuild...and make money doing it.
The product might be the items I produce using the in game technology fuzzy physics and the services (drop box circulation, caravans etc). For example I've got some great ideas for using Atomic tech to augment players with travel conveniences. I'd start with a designer jet pack or levitation platform with my Verboten logo on the back and bottom. 5000 caps. Many items would work in collaboration with other Verboten items for enhanced visual and practical effects. Just imagine players looking up into the sky and seeing one of my uniformed, branded, delivery carriers dropping off an item some player desperately needs in pinch.
Production in the hands of players is a good thing. A video game provider controlling all the means of production is inferior to capitalistic open market approach. Bethesda should offer the visuals, ad policy, and the game mechanics as capital, and let player producers cultivate content and support services. Police their own domains.
Let's say I have a studio in Preeceville, Saskatchewan and I want to pay locals to represent my brand, Verboten, operating in the game. A couple times a week or so a roaming band of merchants will "stock" the wasteland peddling our studio designed branded goods. Visiting drop boxes and settlements. If it truly is a persistent world then I'm betting I can get a business cycle going using the game as an interface with the real world.
But will it be big enough or persistent enough? Will the ads destroy the fun? Anywhere there're creative people exchanging and interacting there's an opportunity to provide uniquely attractive goods and services that enhance the experience for everyone who does business with the Verboten brand. That is if the creators of the game haven't deliberately set it up otherwise.
Years of watching Social Media companies has demonstrated that all digital platforms can be gamed by their owners like a crooked casino. Drudging the value away long before it enters the pockets of the participants. I'm not going to spend my real dollars paying studio talent to design awesome content with Fallout Atomic tech if I can't get a return on that investment. It's the rare platform that genuinely provides the honest trade opportunity for its players. As we all know, not all games are built the same. Just because many people are in one place (digitally or otherwise) doesn't mean they can produce anything of further value under the conditions or rules of the operating theatre.
Misapplied advertising is only one of many pitfalls. Some experiences are, by design, purely entertainment. No reasonable opportunity for derivative production. Interactive but still essentially a passive media. A reflection of yesterdays production with yesterdays return already spent. Others are a launchpad for cultural phenomena. Informing the emerging zeitgeist with levels of audience participation and a consistency that allows for fresh cycles of prosperity and engagement.
I think retail is moving to the game world and I want to be part of it.
The "rebuild" narrative of Fallout76 is a strong call to an audience hungry for new content in a familiar world with familiar rules. As a capitalist maker of real things I have something to offer and I'm willing to take my chances in the open market if allowed the opportunity. A market with clear rules. Those who make valuable things should be encouraged and low quality dumpers should be discouraged. Yet, simultaneously respecting greater personal risk of assets often yields greater profit.
To avoid a spam effect I think only in-game items and services should be advertiser friendly. The inflationary effect of allowing out of game content of any kind diminish the game immersion and erodes the value our studios have generated in game as we've all seen in other platforms. Vendors like me should have to pay Bethesda for raw materials that make sense in game, perhaps we should hold deeds to certain territory for a fee, and Bethesda should work hard to make sure we get a fair return on our investment (if we in turn also work hard to give players what they need). Let nature take its course without deliberately blocking all the good profit opportunities.
The keys as I see it are IP publishing rights(some kind of non-transfer of rights while maintaining Bethesda's abilities to capitalize), quick transference of information to and from the game world, persistent state conditions, every character is a human being, and reliable rules for operators. Bethesda can be a powerful 21st century partner for generations of talented producers ready to rebuild the wasteland and eventually new game worlds not yet conceived.
If all of these conditions can be met than an opportunity for new value is possible that builds upon the hard work put into the core game rather than against it. And building is the theme of Fallout76 so why not start there? The design and development of new items... hybrid creations with multi-world elements... costs managed in the real world where capitalization binds our activity to our bank accounts even as the products are tested safely in the game. It's very exciting!
Once we've cultivated our market share we can leverage that audience to even greater practical real world returns. Offer real money collaborative opportunities, custom quest organization(think 1980's live theatre without the danger), we can make money building props and costumes, membership options for a fee to grant access to private territory and the services within them. Some examples might be in game talent collaborations for generating content intended for other mediums. I can pay real people to operate in game characters using a library of studio owned character scripts and special items...if only Bethesda sees it as an opportunity for a better game.
Maybe I spend some real money building a trade vault. A special, amazing, mysterious, attractive mercantile bazaar protected from raiders and ghouls. A place everyone want to be a part of...for a fee. Why not? Interested?