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Are We Expecting to much from MMO’s? Hell no!

We Fly Spitfires posted a good questions. Do We Expect Too Much From MMORPGs Now? And I honestly we are not. Mainly because the amounts of that MMO’s make.

Currently Star Wars: The Old Republic is rumored to cost roughly 150 million bucks to make. Average cost to make a movie is 109 Million. While the number is huge, it not all that big compared to the profit the game will make.

Let pretend Star Wars the Old Republics does roughly equal to most MMO’s. (I’m using number roughly equal to Warhammer number when it launched)

In the first year they sell roughly 1.5 million copys of the game.

And they end up with roughly 500,000 subscribers.

1 million X 50 bucks = 75 Million bucks in game Sells

500,000 X 15 X 12 = 90 Million Bucks in subs.

They come out of the year with making 165 Million bucks. (Roughly 15 million bucks in profit). Now unlike the core game, expansions are much much cheaper to make, where talking roughly 15, 20 Million bucks for an expantion. Expansions tend to be bought by the majority of the subs, and by people wanting to retry the game again.

Cost of an expansion 20 Million

750,000 X 30 = 22.5 Million

450,000 X 15 X 12 = 81 Million

This year in year in profit they make roughly 80 million bucks. You keep this up for roughly 6 years you have 1/2 a billion bucks in profit. Mostly from maintain the game, and adding a new expansion every 15 or 16 months.

So now a days i expect more from MMO’s because they can make huge amounts of profit, just by making the average. And these number i put up here are about average for today Triple A titles. I can see some MMO’s over there life span making over a Billion bucks. (I believe WoW, and Everquest 1 have both pasted that mark).

5 comments to Are We Expecting to much from MMO’s? Hell no!

  • Thing is MMOs don’t necessarily make more money than non-MMOs. Thus we really shouldn’t expect more of them. GTA IV is a perfect example of this. It was a single player game, no free on-going content and would only last the gamer about 2 weeks. Yet, according to Wikipedia, it’s likely to sell 16 to 19 million units in it’s lifespan! Let’s look at the maths:

    19 million x $70 = $1.3 billion

    That’s way more than any MMO. Plus they don’t have ongoing operation costs.

  • True, but MMO are still a small part of the market, and really only on PC. GTA IV is one of the top games and it made 1.3 billion.

    If we take the top MMO.
    Blizzard has 10 million people playing it
    10X15 = 150 million a month, that 1.8 billion a year, on sub’s only. As more and more people get in to MMO, it wouldn’t be that uncommon to see 1 million people in an MMO. With 3-4 million buying the game to try it out.

    Most those MMO will end up making 500-1000 million bucks their first year, and ya for thouse MMO i’d expect more.
    And if you want to compete with the top dogs in the MMo market you have to match close enough to there quality and fun or you’ll get left behind like Vanguard and others.

  • amara

    only US/EUR WOW subscriber pay $15 permonth and theres only 2 million US WOW player and 2 million EU wow player (according to blizzard). the biggest WOW subscription is in China (mainland), about 6 million and they dont pay monthly fee but they pay hourly (totaled less than $5 per month) and currently WOW China is embroiled in legal battle (google it) and currently WOW is FREE TO PLAY in china (Pending legal matters)

    And even then your calculation is $gross$ / revenue not net profit.

  • You’ve also got to consider that WoW has on-going server and staff costs whereas GTA: IV has almost nothing to maintain once it’s been released.

  • But it cost only about 1/2 the monthly fee to pay for those, the rest of that money is just pure profit.

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