Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Numbers and complaints.

Here are some numbers to chew on. You've probably seen them before, but here they are anyway.

$15.00 per month
10,000,000 subscriptions
=$150,000,000 per month

$150,000,000 per month
12 months
=$1,800,000,000 per year

That is a nice chunk of change. And it is low. I used the nice round number of 10mil subscribers rather than the current 11.5mil.

Here is an article from 2006 that estimates the average development cost of a platform game is approx. $20mil.

Here is an article that shows Grand Theft Auto 4 cost over $100mil to develop, making it the highest costing game ever.

Here, Tobold shows World of Warcraft may have cost from $25mil to $100 to develop.

So, let's put these numbers into some perspective. World of Warcraft currently makes enough money to develop a block buster MMO every month of the year. Now, I'm not saying that the current team(s) involved with World of Warcraft should be making these other games. There is an overhead cost to keep World of Warcraft running and evolving as it does, those programers and artists are not cheap to keep around. But, World of Warcraft does make enough money, every month, to start a new project, with new teams of artists and programmers and to see the project through to completion.

Every month.

It just boggles the mind.

So, where is all the content?

Currently it feels as though the more people play, the less of a game we get. Consider the recycling of gear and Naxxramas. Sure, we WANT to see the old instances get a facelift, but not at the expense of new content. Sure, we WANT to have more epic items available to us, but not at the expense of uniquness. We now have raid content that anyone can do, and everyone IS doing it. That's great for scrubs like myself whose last guild only downed two bosses outside of Karazhan, but I don't feel like I have anything to really work toward now.

Maybe it's just me, but it feels like we have less new content now than before, but World of Warcraft is making more money than ever.

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