Woot! Despite the nay-saying to my presentation last year at MUD-Dev conference [6.3MB.ppt] *cough cough Raph cough* where I argued that MMOG designers would do well to provide web-based content-development tools to the people who actually create the majority of their content for free (i.e., the guild leader 'hubs' of the social networks on each shard), it seems Sony Online has finally moved on it.
In conjunction with EverQuest 2, they now offer a new online service called Station Players that includes, for an additional $2.99 a month (in addition to the normal subscription fee), website tools for guilds which include functions such as new articles, screenshots, and forums. Oh, and look! A guild 'Wall of Fame" as well! Finally... a game company that recognizes that the 'service' they provide can potentially go beyond what's there between login and logoff. For many of us, our games goes well beyond it, so it's nice to have the 'service' go beyond it as well.
Now, I realize that this can be construed, in one light, as a way to make more profit. And so it is. But if that profit comes for providing a much-needed service, then I say so be it. Instead of complaining that '98% of all player generated content is crap,' it would do us well to actually honor what the purchasers want. All this is to say: Support actual gamers' practices. They ain't so dum. Trust me.