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micro, macro, why all the transactions?

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  • jandrsnjandrsn Minneapolis, MNPosts: 187Member
    I'm curious how much the liscensing fees are for these 250 million dollar games. That's a lot of 50 grand a year people over several years; without said IP would the same game cost even 25 million? Would a brand new world done by bioware as an mmorpg cost nearly as much as swtor did? And the extra bonus of avoiding lucasarts as a ' partner' ....
  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,473Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    My thought is that developers, regardless of how small or large have a plan (and hopefully it's good). And if they are smart they have a good business plan.

    They figure out their budget, they then figure out how much money they want/need to make and they figure out how to monetize their game.

    Then the fun begins.

    There are delays, maybe bad managment or maybe they run into issues where they find that what they wanted doesn't work or doesn't work well. They have to change their plans and that runs into delays whch then create budget issues. Maybe they figure out that they need a certain software product because what they want to do doesn't quite work  with the tools at hand.

    They might have to hire new people which costs additional money because of advertising, recruiting agencies and loss of productivity as the people interviewing have to stop what they are doing to do interviews.

    I can't tell you how many articles i've read about game developers that folded because they ran out of money. Honestly, the more I read about the industry the more I wonder why people continue to seek it out or continue to invest in it!

    Then they launch their game and they hope to get sales/subscribers or a good amount of people playing who "hopefully" will use their cash shop.

    Additionaly, when you see salaries you have to realize that the salary you see is not what the employer is paying. The employer is paying much more than someone's 55k per year. Payroll taxes, benefits, worker's comp, training, etc. I tall adds up.

    So when I see companies trying to figure out how to get more income, it doesn't come as a suprise. Espeically because 15.99 per month is not what it used to be because of inflation. It's not surprising that companies are desperate to find new revenue streams.

    Now, having said that I did say that there are some scummy companies and I meant it. There is a difference between paying what is not only fair but what is going to get a good return for their efforts and gouging the customers.

    I just wouldn't assume that just because a company is charing for  the box and has a sub and has a cash shop that they are automatically gouging you. It might just mean that they don't have enough players to keep the game afloat and the cash shop is a way to keep them running.

    Heck, even GW2 has a cash shop and they are the original "buy the box and play with no extra money" company.

     

     You are correct that they have a plan for the money flow so they can budget resources.  They can't just make a game then decide how to pay for it at release.  The monthly subfee is small compared to so many other hobbies and hasn't been adjusted for inflation.  Salaries have inflated and are often the highest fixed expenses for most companies.

  • evilastroevilastro EdinburghPosts: 4,270Member

    Its a business, not a charity. Some of the prices seem a bit off lately, because the industry is still new. Compare smartphone costs today to what they were when first released, not even in the same ballpark.

    Over time costs will lower to meet a happy medium between sales numbers and price, but it takes time.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,707Member Uncommon

    The number of bankrupt game companies in the last year has been fairly ridiculous.  If company survival was common and easy without microtransactions, they would be rare.  As it stands, a game with good F2P design doesn't ruin its fun and simply performs better, allowing that company to stay in business and keep making games.

    If you like a particular developer, you should want them to be as successful as possible so they can increase the amount of money they pour back into the system.  Games are a business venture, and companies will invest deeper on products likely to have a good return.

    Sorry to hear your sister's company doesn't focus on fun.  Doesn't sound like a successful plan, financially, though if that's her view internally.  I mean a lot of companies (mine included) are accused of not trying to make fun games, but certainly at all the companies I've worked for it's been my focus to make things as awesome as I can with the constraints I'm given -- otherwise why be in the industry at all?  When your job is entertainment, making boring things is the path to failure. 

    (Also if that's the OP after being edited for 'wall of text' I'd hate to have seen the post before!)

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Aerowyn
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Aerowyn
    is there such a thing as a P2P MMO without some sort of micro transactions? i can't think of any off the top of my head

    WOW. You can buy $10 pet and $25 mounts.

    i said "without".. yea WoW has tons of microtransactions besides just the pets and mounts.. last I remember you cna pay to change race, faction, all sorts of stuff

    Oh .. lol .. i read too fast. You are right.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by asmkm22
    You have to do microtransactions when so many players refuse to pay for subscriptions.  Everyone wants the game to be "free" to play.  We brought this on ourselves.

    A game has to be free to play first before anyone can refuse to pay for a subscription.  They're the ones who put the model out there, gamers were just stupid enough to fall for it.

    Yeah ... and it is totally good. Many of us can play parts of many games for free.

    I would bring it on myself again and again.

  • jandrsnjandrsn Minneapolis, MNPosts: 187Member
    Personally, I disagree with the whole economies of scale argument theory when it comes to anything 'artsy'. There seems to be a point where you go from 'this is how much I make an hour' into ' The absolute maximum amount of cash you can generate gets you a bonus'. Game companies seem to need massive immediate cash grabs instead of the slow and steady approach. 'Well, we need x programmers and x managers and x artists and x blah blah......' What happened to dropping seed money and giving it a few years to grow, mature, and then it can pay off? Any real world businesss I can think of needs return sales to maintain itself, why does our mmorpg business need this immediate cash grab even before it opens? Maybe the kickstarter peeps can change this, but there is really no accountability there.
  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member
    Probably because mmos requires infrastructure that cost a lot to maintain

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,938Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jpnz

    Probably because mmos requires infrastructure that cost a lot to maintain

     

    Ummm... no. Several devs have spoken about this at various times, including Raph Koster of SWG design fame. And he related that hosting costs for MMOs have gone down 90% or more since the "old days" in terms of cost for bandwidth and server functionality. If this were not so, so called F2P games could not exist. So, it is not the upkeep, which is why so many over the hill titles continue in undeath instead of being closed, because they cost almost nothing to keep running. To the main point of the thread, it is simply because the companies are greedy. A max of $15 per player is not enough for them anymore, and, no one has really wanted to break the $15/mo sub rate to the upside, because there is feeling the market will not accept it. So if they can't charge more up front, they must nickle and dime to get there.
  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,314Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Burntvet
    Originally posted by jpnz
    Probably because mmos requires infrastructure that cost a lot to maintain

     

    Ummm... no. Several devs have spoken about this at various times, including Raph Koster of SWG design fame. And he related that hosting costs for MMOs have gone down 90% or more since the "old days" in terms of cost for bandwidth and server functionality. If this were not so, so called F2P games could not exist. So, it is not the upkeep, which is why so many over the hill titles continue in undeath instead of being closed, because they cost almost nothing to keep running. To the main point of the thread, it is simply because the companies are greedy. A max of $15 per player is not enough for them anymore, and, no one has really wanted to break the $15/mo sub rate to the upside, because there is feeling the market will not accept it. So if they can't charge more up front, they must nickle and dime to get there.

     I am not a dev but even I know that bandwith and server functionality has never been the biggest cost in MMO dev houses.  Biggest houses in almost any company is always the cost of the devs themselves, humans their pay, penefits, pensions, taxes, and everything they need to do their job and those have gone up in 10 years.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,938Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

    Originally posted by Burntvet
    Originally posted by jpnz
    Probably because mmos requires infrastructure that cost a lot to maintain

     

    Ummm... no. Several devs have spoken about this at various times, including Raph Koster of SWG design fame. And he related that hosting costs for MMOs have gone down 90% or more since the "old days" in terms of cost for bandwidth and server functionality. If this were not so, so called F2P games could not exist. So, it is not the upkeep, which is why so many over the hill titles continue in undeath instead of being closed, because they cost almost nothing to keep running. To the main point of the thread, it is simply because the companies are greedy. A max of $15 per player is not enough for them anymore, and, no one has really wanted to break the $15/mo sub rate to the upside, because there is feeling the market will not accept it. So if they can't charge more up front, they must nickle and dime to get there.

     I am not a dev but even I know that bandwith and server functionality has never been the biggest cost in MMO dev houses.  Biggest houses in almost any company is always the cost of the devs themselves, humans their pay, penefits, pensions, taxes, and everything they need to do their job and those have gone up in 10 years.

     

    In the original games, the infrastructure costs were that high. That was the basis of the $15 in the first place. It has been mentioned that the COST of the infrastructure was running in the $5-6/mo/customer range for UO in 2000. So yes, with the level of technology and bandwidth at the time it was probably the single largest expense. Now it is less than 25 cents. That said, with modern games, personnel expenses are a much larger part... especially because "guided content", the main part of most games these days is expensive to make. Raph Koster hit this point as well, when he was talking about the making of SWG: for as deep and complex as the systems in SWG were, they were MUCH cheaper than doing tons of guided content out of the gate. This was a prime reason SWG was "cheap" in his words, to make. Now you need $75 mil or more to make a decent modern MMO, if you are wedded to guided content as the basis of your game.
  • jandrsnjandrsn Minneapolis, MNPosts: 187Member
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

    Originally posted by Burntvet
    Originally posted by jpnz
    Probably because mmos requires infrastructure that cost a lot to maintain

     

    Ummm... no. Several devs have spoken about this at various times, including Raph Koster of SWG design fame. And he related that hosting costs for MMOs have gone down 90% or more since the "old days" in terms of cost for bandwidth and server functionality. If this were not so, so called F2P games could not exist. So, it is not the upkeep, which is why so many over the hill titles continue in undeath instead of being closed, because they cost almost nothing to keep running. To the main point of the thread, it is simply because the companies are greedy. A max of $15 per player is not enough for them anymore, and, no one has really wanted to break the $15/mo sub rate to the upside, because there is feeling the market will not accept it. So if they can't charge more up front, they must nickle and dime to get there.

     I am not a dev but even I know that bandwith and server functionality has never been the biggest cost in MMO dev houses.  Biggest houses in almost any company is always the cost of the devs themselves, humans their pay, penefits, pensions, taxes, and everything they need to do their job and those have gone up in 10 years.

     

    Well there it is! We need non human devs, either robots or chimpanzees.... Personally I lean towards primates of some sort, but robots would be cool too.





  • GroovyFlowerGroovyFlower RdamPosts: 1,245Member
    Originally posted by jandrsn
    $500 dollars, US, gets you perferred housing in Richard Garriott's new Ultima-ish game. $200 gets you access to Drizzt in the newest Neverwinter game. SWOTOR has a cash shop to unlock content even for subscription players. Dead space 3 has day 1 microtransactions. Dark and Light sure took pre-orders. Are we as gamers that gullible that no other industry, at least that I can think of, are susceptible to these ridiculious cash grabs? I've never seen a pre-order car that has extras, nor a pre-order pair of pants, or anything. I get that small teams of devs (and by devs I include coders, managers, art people, etc...) might need a bit of cash infusion make a game, but why the constant hunt for 'big whales' to finance everything? At $15 a month US, plus a $50-60 dollar box sale, in three months I'm still around where I'd be at buying a used newish game at a gamestop type store at one a month, and most single player games don't hold my attention more than a month straight. Why do I need to get whacked with microtransactions on top of that? I get the fact that yes, some people will pay for anything once they get excited for something. But if a signed Peyton Manning jersey might sell for $1000, do you stop making unsigned #18's? Or half-ass the ones you do make? My sister got a masters in non-profit business management, and by almost random chance ended up as a video game tester for Warner Brothers. Every time we'd discuss gaming, a). She obviously knew more than I did about video games, since she got paid for it and I just have spent money on it for a good twenty years now, and b). It's about profit. My talk of fun and that sense of fulfillment didn 't register in her brain. I know that this will get flamed and ignored, but I can't play a cash shop game again. I won't get NGE'd again. I will buy a boxed game and subscription, but I draw the line at micro/macro cash transactions. *edited for wall o'text, sorry wrote this on a nook

    Its up to you eather go for it or not still plenty of games out there that dont have micro transactions.

    Don't want timesink but want fast gain and ezmode=cashshop

  • AkulasAkulas GoldcoastPosts: 1,615Member Uncommon
    Buying the boxed too and not doing the whole kickstarter thing but it would be nice to have a house it's just $500 could make me live in a real one for a couple weeks.

    This isn't a signature, you just think it is.

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