Its really funny osu! rules even bother to bring Featured Artists up lol. There is basically a staff run group called Mapper's Guild that gets first "dibs" on the music that osu! is allegedly buying, but isn't that demotivating for overall mappers not in that group to try and map that content?Mapper’s Guild was a community effort from the outset. Anyone else is welcome to join or start an effort like this and we will give them suport where possible. There is nothing special about this group – they just started doing stuff and continued on a regular basis (see project loved, which is completely the same). This is how osu! works. Basically everything you see happen is done by the communtiy, not some internal team.
I’d argue against the concept of “dibs” because multiple beatmaps can of course be made for the same tracks. To us it’s giving FA release a bit more traction and showing people how the artist can be mapped. Generally mapper’s guild map like 20% at max of new releases and it doesn’t even happen every time.
Calling it elitist is a cop-out and a disservice to people lookinjg to try new things.