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for the game Domain of Heros. A web based RPG game, http://www.domainofheroes.com/. From 2009.
Source of Actual numbers: http://www.gameproducer.net/category/sales-statistics/.
quick image of game
Quick copy paste summary:
Release date: October 26, 2008
Development time: 8 months from conception to release. About 10-15 updates per month ongoing since launch.
First 6 months was sweat equity from two developers. Next 4 months was one lonely developer.
Once the revenues started coming in, the paid team has been growing about 1 person every 2-3 months since the start of 2009.
Approximately $150k in costs as of July 2009. (in other words all developement, and 9 months after release)
around $13,000 in advertising. $2,000 for initial servers. and a 'hundreds' a month for bandwidth.
around 36,000 registered players, with almost 1,000 paying players.
almost $100K after 9 months, using F2P methodology. Essentially can buy wishes for ingame benefits(start guild, more inventory, change chat color, change picture) at around 99 cents a wish. Cash bought wishes can also be traded ingame for game earned currancy(from browsing DoH website).
Further income around $20K a month(from comments on given website). current speculations really unkown.
Just follow the link it's the second game, amoung around 20 or so. You'd really be wasting your time and everyone else's in your team if you don't bother to in-depth-ly look at them all.
So this is a fun down to earth for the expense of making an MMO far below the expectation of most people posting here, and even my own future speculations. Even tempting to just stay the single player route looking at other numbers.
Really you can't rely on outliers listed here as most of them have some nice secret sauce like already knowing a publisher, having a small team of skilled people who're friends, and similar(of which aren't MMOs).
Most of these title are initiated from a programmer getting the project to 90% then finding other parts for expenses and other necessary resources to get the last 90% of the work done. I think a large part of this is because after you hire a couple programmers it's pretty easy to "quickly not be indy" in too many eyes and not want to share numbers.
Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.
"At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."