Will The Real Master Chief Please Stand Up

Here’s the thing about user generated content…it has a gnarly penchant for mixing, mashing up, and re-mixing without much regard for traditional boundaries. These two highly polygonal Master Chief models from Bungie Studios’ Halo 3 are a tantalizing example of what could be in store as console games start opening up and letting devoted players tinker with the bits inside.

User generated content for console games is still in its relative infancy compared to PC titles. (By the end of the year, however, that will have drastically changed.) One interesting milestone is Epic Games’ Unreal Tournament 3. The Unreal series of first person shooters has been around for nearly a decade now and the community of players creating levels, modifications, and character models is tightly-knit. This latest version, which was released last fall, includes the ability for PS3 users to use the user generated content of PC players, a rather innovative feature.

Enter our Master Chiefs. To the right we have Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) official, sanctioned, and heavily copyrighted incarnation. To the left, we have the product of creative and talented Unreal modders. In other words, thanks to user generated content the company’s much-prized, exclusive hero is crossing over to Sony’s (SNE) Playstation 3. (If you own the game, you can download the model here.)

Of course, this is just one character model in a completely different title. Still, it’s a harbinger of things to come as gamers get more control.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.