I think that somebody really needs to have a little chat with the people running VRChat about their contests. Specifically, their contest prizes.
The recently concluded Decentraland Game Jam gave content creators the chance to win a share of prizes worth US$275,000 in total.
And VRChat? According to their Spookality 2019 contest page, the prizes in their avatar and world creation contests are…
First place receives a $50 Threadless Gift Card, usable at the VRChat Merch Store
First through Fifth place will receive a Limited Edition VRChat ceramic mug, as seen on our Dev Streams:
Now, I can understand that contest prizes can be a somewhat artificial inducement to get people to use the platform. (High Fidelity very much learned this lesson the hard way; once the contests ended, and HiFi stopped paying out prize money, people stopped coming.)
But, on the other hand, what kind of message do $50 gift certificates and $10 coffee mugs send? And this is from VRChat, a company that has raised US$15.2 million in three rounds of venture capital funding.
It’s hardly a rousing reward for content creators, who may spend hours working on their contest submissions. Sure, you get bragging rights if you win, but couldn’t VRChat have upped their game just a little bit? I’m sorry, but to me this just feels…cheap. VRChat, you can do better than this.