Derek Licciardi kressilac at home.com
Fri Dec 14 18:56:52 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matt Mihaly
> On Wed, 12 Dec 2001, Derek Licciardi wrote:

>> This is hard to stomach.  I am not saying that someone with money
>> to burn and a passion in his/her heart won't do this but the
>> current economic model surrounding game development won't let
>> this happen.(forget that we are in a recession) MMORPGs take
>> between 5 and 10 million dollars to produce.  I know because I
>> just finished our financials for our next project.

> The fact that current graphical MUDs cost between 5 and 10 million
> to produce is not a comment on the inherent cost of producing an
> graphical MUD. It is a comment on the cost of producing one of the
> graphical MUDs that exist today, or, in your case, is a comment on
> your particular project.

> What you're saying is like saying "All movies cost 50-100 million
> to make."

I agree with you to some degree that the use of an implied "all" is
probably not a good choice.  Certainly most MMORPGs that hope to
compete with AO, DAoC, EQ, ... are going cost at least as much as
their predecessors to produce.  Rising costs over three years, a
maturing feature set, increased customer demand most certainly force
this to happen.

>> ps Perhaps the market will grow large enough such that niche
>> MMORPGs are possible, then again this would just be a more
>> populated mass market.  Fact is you still need nearly
>> 100,000 at 10/month subscribers to be successful in the MMORPG space
>> given the costs to build them.

> Well, if you define massively multiplayer as over 100,000 then of
> course, you're right by definition. Otherwise though, you're
> not. And I'll tell you I know that because I've done the
> financials for one that needs considerably less.

The trend has certainly been in the upward direction.  Now, if you
can get a next generation MMORPG done for less money than what is
currently out there, then you have a SIGNIFICANT business plan and
if you let it go without acting upon it.....  We digress though.  My
point was that the financials of a Niche MMORPG were not possible,
given the costs, the current market, etc.  Certainly, if you can
significantly lower the costs you can find a smaller market that
might be a niche market.  Facts for me have shown a different
picture, when you plan on 24x7 customer support, a datacenter
capable of handling the game, and the actual development of the
game.  I define massively multiplayer as the number of players I
need to justify the cost structure of the project I am working on.
That number happens to float around 100,000 subscriptions for a
project of 8 - 10 million dollars.


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