Remember, Cryptic received full pay for any STO game being sold. Prices are reduced to eliminate non-selling games, if nothing else, to make room on the shelves.
And full pay for a boxed copy of an MMO might be next to nil.
My suspicion is that any profits made on boxed sales were probably around $5 a copy and went entirely to Atari.
Not honoring CD keys as payment for gametime aside from the initial 30 days and the wrangling that ousted Atari from Neverwinter buth happened with the divestment and both, I suspect, were rooted in Atari jerking STO around.
Coderanger popped up on a game forum awhile back and said that Atari was trying to hold onto the Champions IP and charge Cryptic a licensing fee for it during the divestment as well.
I'm not saying Cryptic has always been smart or always delivered and a couple of times I've felt jerked around by them... But I think they were getting jerked around by Atari even harder, especially after the CEO change in late fall of 2010.
Yeah IIRC you can register one key for each retail version of the game. So you can register one CE, one Steam DDE, one steam standard version, possibly even one Amazon and one Amazon DDE.
When I first started the game I got 3-4 months playtime along with a bunch of preorder/digital bonuses by picking up retail versions of the game for far less than the cost of a monthly sub. The games were routinely on sale for like $5 each, so a month of game time for $5 was a good deal to start, and then add on top of those the digital bonuses.