City of Heroes Players Outdo Developer

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User-generated content has taken MMOG City of Heroes by storm, with players creating more content in a single day than developer Paragon Studios has in five years.

City of Heroes recently launched the Mission Architect, a system that grants users the ability to create their own full-fledged missions with the game to share and enjoy, effectively making real the thousands of roleplaying scenarios that have lain dormant within players’ imaginations for years now.

And when we say thousands, we mean thousands. The response for the Mission Architect, which went a little over a week ago, has been, as Paragon’s Matt Miller wrote, “astounding.” According to Miller, within an hour of release, there were already 360 entire “Mission Arcs.” By midnight that day there were 2600, and exactly a day after the feature went live, there were 3800.

“We did some data mining of our own, and 3,800 surpasses the amount of content that we, the developers, have made for all of City of Heroes and City of Villains combined. In just one day our users did more than we could in almost five years,” Miller said.

There are currently 20,000 published and playable Mission Arcs.

The content has also fostered a vibrant sub-community based around user-created missions, says Miller. People gather in the forums to critique each others designs, and have created their own posters, comics and even machinima to promote the content they create. “We never expected anything like that even in our wildest dreams when designing the feature, and I think that is totally cool,” Miller said.

The staff at Paragon are completely overwhelmed by the response, Miller says, and are still trying to process what it means for their game and for the MMOG genre as a whole.

“Players and the press have been calling this revolutionary, and I think we at Paragon Studios are just bringing our heads up to see exactly how revolutionary it actually is,” he said.

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