Economic Unrealities

Polycount pointed me to this article over on that puts a damper on my enthusiasm regarding Xbox’s proposed Marketplace and Micro-payment features. While admittedly speculative, the possibility exists that Xbox 2 will harbor a closed economy for “modders”. That’s not to say it can’t and won’t be circumvented, but I’d personally hoped MS would embrace the possibilities of a more open virtual [game] world in a manner not too different from how Valve has handled Half-Life conversions and now supports new community efforts via Steam. Given some other pieces to the Gates Empire puzzle that I’ve collected over the years, and the assumption people in Redmond aren’t entirely unaware of how the Soviet Union’s stifling economic policies effectively lost them the Cold War, there’s still a possibility something more ambitious will be announced. So until we hear specifics, let’s leave it at that.