Sustainable Donation System via User Support

#1

Just as the title says, this would be a system that would allow PMU to be less reliant on specific people’s pockets (staff, rare consistently loyal $$ players) by encouraging the playerbase to donate when possible, even in small amounts.

It should be a simple system with few drawbacks.

Each month, if players as a whole donate $[x] amount to server costs, everyone gets a weekend of bonuses. That could be extra exp, specifically better item drops/unique item drops, unique random spawns in dungeons, slightly better encounter chances for hard recruits/hidden eggs, even a “donation” dungeon that you could enter once per met goal, etc. The bonuses wouldn’t be drastic (very slight increases, and the unique goodies would still be hard to get), but the general idea is that it would provide advantages to everyone on the server. This prevents an economic gap between those who can donate and those who cannot (no pay2win elite), while still providing incentive and general good-will. Essentially, it would be an automated celebration of meeting goals with the project, which isn’t something to sneeze over when you have a community as close-knit as this one.

#2

It would be a nice system but does anyone donate to PMU? :joy:

#3

The problem of giving benefits in exchange of money (even if it is meant to keep the server running) is that we would be getting profits from the game. And since PMU is uses copyrighted content…well, it could result in the game being shut down.

I’m not sure if this is how it works, but gaining money from copyrighted content would probably have negative consequences.

#4

Depends. You can close donations once that month’s needs have been met. This means anything over that wouldn’t be possible, hence no profits.

(Sidenote, Nintendo isn’t so hugely picky afaik. Just don’t use money for personal reasons and it shouldn’t be a huge problem that results in an immediate lawsuit. As long as you aren’t using PMU to pay for your groceries or the latest release of Call of Duty, why people are donating is less important than what the money is being used for…and if the project in question is actually hurting Nintendo’s profits enough for them to want to pay their expensive legal team to go after you. It is going to be the same donate button, after all.)

#5

I donated 20 a few months ago because I think this game is really fun and honestly how many times have I bought horibble poop games from the store for 60? Too many. But I’m really nearly out of money right now so I cant donate anymore- gotta eat, buy meds.

But of course you get much more donations if you offer incentive. People will say its play to win and some dont like it but the fact is, look at a site like subeta, or the recent flight rising. They’re earning tons because they constantly have new items and content that you can get faster for real money. (Actually I kinda hated how it was on subeta, it was like so much you had to be rich or have no other life to collect all those items before the month was over.)

I don’t really see it working without a huge amount of new content and players. Pmu feels more like a hobby than a comercial type thing sorta?

And I guess it could have the risk of nintendo noticing and putting a stop to the whole thing. But I mean if its just to cover the server costs…I dunno. Also I can see much player rage and fighting if the whole thing was based on a team effort.

#6

[i]Donating should not be a thing of an expectation to get back content or consideration of return, there"s a reason why its called “donating” if you have the money and you feel generous then sure, with out feeling obligated to do so, then its all good, sure it may not be an effective way, but at least it will save a few headaches just in case the donating player base doesn"t get what it deserves month after month, ultimately leading to possible legal cases since money is involved, PMU is kinda already sensitive since its already borrowing sprites and other programs to make it run.

I kinda feel like I"ve donated my fair share and not once have I ever asked for anything in return, if I did wish to be paid back id be agreeing with you all the way, sadly my moral are different (I know its not all about morals) and when I say that I mean that my reason to donate is because I don"t want to see the only PMD online style game being discontinued for a lack of fund"s, if the day comes then there"s a chance it may be advertised for the sole purpose to continue the project.

In the end of it all, if we were to roll with your idea then everyone who has freely put in the time to create and add more stuff to the game would probably expect their fair share too…[/i]

#7

Guys, with all due respect, that is not how things will look from a legal perspective. While being non-profit certainly makes Nintendo care less about actually enforcing their copyright on projects such as this, they still could sue you even if nobody is making a profit because this is an unauthorized use of their copyright. In this instance, PMU would be thanking its playerbase for meeting a donation goal, which is not unheard of and is not “extra” illegal. Non-profit is not as strict as you may think; for example, there are people who work for non-profit organizations that can and do get paid…not that I would encourage it for PMU. But for instance, would cancer research foundations be considered “For profit” if they hosted a bake sale to bring in extra cash for their goals? No. Nor would PMU stop being “non profit” by giving people an incentive to meet that month’s server costs.

Furthermore, this game is not covered under fair use, and the only real way to be arguably “safer” is by hosting the game from a country that doesn’t [i]enforce[i] copyright laws (Ex: China). I haven’t run into a place that has the infrastructure to host an MMO that has compatible copyright laws that would make Pokemon fangames like this one “Fair use” or “safe.” Being non-profit is unfortunately not a magic bubble that prevents Nintendo from calling, it’s just an extra reason for Nintendo to not find it viable to go after you all. When the cost to shut you down wouldn’t be made up for even if they win in court, it becomes a bad business decision.

Even then, it can still be at the whim of Nintendo as several other pokemon games have been shut down because they share a similar name to upcoming game releases, or just because Nintendo could send out Cease and Desists in a crackdown effort in order to protect their IP so that trademarks aren’t nullified (which they are legally obligated to do in certain countries).

Encouraging people to donate by rewarding the entire playerbase with a small weekend celebration if $26 was met that month, and then closing further donations until the next month, is not going to result in a sudden barrage bureaucratic/legal nightmares. I promise. xD

#8

Zebra has a point.

Another online-browser MMO called UnovaRPG(formerly known as Pokemon Indigo) as far as I remembered had a similar thing, except it was for the individuals who donated. There was an incident with another online MMO, PokeMMO. However, even though people claimed because it was because the money they made, it probably wasn’t. It was because it was encouraging pirating via ROMs.

PMU already makes “profit” in a sense. I highly doubt Game Freak, or Nintendo, wants to attack PMU, and if they wanted to, they would have already. I really don’t see the reason why the staff

[spoilerJokes on You GF/Nintendo:15cqzzog]The funny thing is though, if PMU did get shut down the source code was made public, so we"ll just have more private mini-servers popping up everywhere.

[/details]

#9

Another option would be going to nintendo and making this an offical game :heart:

#10

Sadly…

They will pretty much automatically decline you, unless you are an established game company. The licenses to legally use the Pokemon brand alone probably cost thousands upon thousands of dollars…if Nintendo would accept (This is how Chunsoft was able to start off the spinoff PMD series legally). I worked with a Pokemon-affiliated project (their Symphonic Orchestra series) for a single night showing, and the restrictions on how to market/advertise for it were extremely strict, including a list of youtubers you weren’t allowed to contact to advertise the game. You weren’t allowed to post any images other than what they gave you, so no creative injokes with the Pokemon community to help make things go viral/etc.

This means PMU’s team would have to be competent and wealthy enough to get a bid to produce the next game instead of the game company currently under contract for the PMD series ( this is all when PMU’s team barely meets our own standards). That would be if they could get the contract to create an MMO series…

which Nintendo won’t do until their home consoles OR the Pokemon franchise itself is nearly dead, because selling game consoles and having other people pay to sell 3rd party games on said consoles is a lot more lucrative than selling a single franchise.

I’m sorry to be the crusher of dreams here, but if we’re looking for ways to avoid copyright issues…it is pretty much impossible. I don’t see a reason to not implement my suggestion as the point stands, given that I’ve already noted how creating an incentive won’t push the game “over the edge” legally. It’s already over that edge; the more productive questions to ask would be if such a system created balance problems within the game and if the staff are able to do it.

Legally, all fanmade Pokemon projects are screwed if Nintendo decides to exert their power.

EDIT:
To be extra clear -
Hosting copyrighted content without express permission by the copyright holders / without the content falling under fair use [PMU does not fall under fair use] can get the game shut down. The fact that PMU is small, poses no real economic threat to Nintendo, is not hard to distinguish from official games, and the people running it are not making any viable income from PMU [Ex: Drake/Nuxl/Coki/Erl etc are not worth suing] is what is keeping Nintendo away. There is no reasonable way for PMU to become legal, so the best course of action is to keep PMU up and of good quality indefinitely until Nintendo sends a cease and desist letter. $26 or less a month from the playerbase to keep ends met is not going to do anything that hosting a nonliscensed Pokemon game hasn’t already done.

#11

…I don’t see what’s wrong with thanking the entire community for meeting the amount of donations needed. It’s not like we’re profiting off it. And it’s not like we’re selling buffs to people, either. It’s basically a celebration. Isn’t it worth celebrating paying the rent if you’ve been pressed for money? This is basically the same concept, is it not?

Of course, I’m probably not the best person to comment on this kind of thing, but whatever. Even if my opinion doesn’t count, it feels nice to say it.