You’re not familiar but that’s exactly what Roblox does with servers.
All you do is create the gamemode and upon publishing it shows on their game library, whenever someone clicks play there’s an automatic matchmaking that finds a game for you (this is similar to what s&box wants to do), hosting a new game if no servers are available (upside to this is you don’t have to pay for server costs if you just want people to play a game you made. Core does this too, which is basically a Roblox UE4 clone), but there’s also “private servers” that game developers can decide if they’re free to create or paid. Private servers are very limited in customization and are more like a way to play with just your friends without letting you modify anything from the actual game.
The obvious “downside” to this is that the concept of a gmod server vanishes and instead, gamemodes take the highlight spot (which I honestly prefer but whatever). This makes gamemodes be their own ecosystem/game. Afaik Garry still wants this to be a thing (which is why you register gamemodes on the backend and so on) but the community, coming from gmod, values the server community a lot. It’s two different takes, and garry probably wants both to be a thing within s&box, so we’ll see how it’ll all play out.
As per unified monetization, that wouldn’t work for s&box since I don’t think facepunch has the moderation power to prevent devs from simply setting up a paypal link to donate or whatever, unlike Roblox.
And f2p wouldn’t work because of that. If facepunch can’t ensure that they get their cut, they won’t do it. There’s also no easy way to monetize it with skins since every game is different and will use their own stuff, including player characters but who knows.
@WYVERN I think f2p goes way beyond targeting children. It’s a way to get people to spend way more than what the game would initially cost using microtransactions. Of course it attracts more people by nature, but hooking them so they spend money is the ultimate goal. In sales, it’s not uncommon to give free samples so that people “feel bad” and buy the product in the end (heavily summarized but the point remains), so I assume there’s a similar strategy to f2p games. Or do you honestly believe Dota 2 is a children’s game? It’s a valid marketing strategy and shouldn’t be so easily dismissed, and Roblox making as much money as it does is proof of that. But as I said, s&box isn’t the correct game for that due to the difficulty it will have generating microtransaction revenue, unless they prove me wrong. But even if they have microtransactions, I doubt it’ll be f2p, at least not initially.