You forgot to mention the fact that unlike other games, MMOs have the additional cost of continued development over an indefinite period of time.
Sadly, I think such logic will be lost on the many folks here who wonder why this game can't just be like their single-player PC or console game.
Lets also not forget the costs involved in maintaining a data centre which houses the server clusters with costs to their Internet Service Providers based on the bandwidth requirements. And to those who want to argue that they already have an MMO that imposes such costs, remember that the bandwidth associated EVERY single users pc connection in both games needs to be charged for.
But, I didn't want to complicate the example with such things.
In the end, Dev companies employ human beings who, like us, like to get a wage at the end of the month / week / whatever. Development of any product doesn't come free. It takes time and a LOT of money to introduce AND maintain any product
Did cryptic not have the engine in place and all the models re-textured and so on from previuos mmo's they have done, fair enough some stuff had to be redone, but I doute 20 to 40 million was spent on sto, as it doesn't show if they have. But if you give me 40 million I'll buy the cryengine 3 lisence and get a team together an give you a game to cry for. No joke.
What I don't get is why everyone thinks this is some new thing or fail to realize they get free points with their retail key. Technically, you can blow your free points on just about anything you want in the C-Store. it was that way for CO and I bought costumes and various crap right off the bat. If I want all of the extra's, I can throw down 6.50 for another 500 points. As you can see, 500 points will get you a few things.
The amount of complaining is epic. It's just unbelievable that so many people have such little patience, caring, or lack of common sense.
I see micro-transactions, even within a monthly fee system, as totally honorable and valid. Some people say, "That's what the monthly fee is supposed to be for." And I think, "No. That's what some developers told you THEIR monthly fee was for. When you're dealing with different server tech, licensing fees, whatever, it can be for anything. There is nothing magic about $15 a month that makes it unfair to sell extras for more as long as the people paying $15 have a core product they enjoy."
But the more people complain about MTs, the more I feel like I need to buy one. But there's nothing for sale on the Cryptic store I couldn't do without.
I mean, Ferengi? Kinda cool. Starfleet Klingons? I already made one in the custom alien option. Aside from a racial ability (that I could get by rolling a Klingon Klingon), there's no advantage to it and it's more expensive than the Klingon Klingon.
But the more people say that MTs are dishonorable, shady or evil, the more I just want to yell back, "No they're not!" And then do a Microtransaction myself just to hammer home that I think they're a perfectly fine and noble business practice. Thing is, there's nothing I WANT yet. So all this anti-MT talk is gonna get me spending money on something I don't want.
Cut it out already. :-P
I hope you play this game for years and years and spend hundreds of $$$ at the C-Store, you and Cryptic totally deserve eachother.
Looks like Cryptic is taking business tips from Evony now.
Judging from the boards on other gaming sites, alot of people are cancelling orders after seeing the screenshot of races that must be purchased.
Others are very unhappy about the fact Cryptic lied in saying Ferengi where removed due to a graphical glitch, and then adding them to the C -store.
Word of mouth is a very powerfull selling tool, and it can make or break an MMO. Cryptic should sit up and take notice. You can pull this kind of thing with a 'no name' franchise MMO like champions online, but if you want to suceed with a Trek franchise, this kind of behaviour is unaceptable.
But the most important fact of all: Cryptic, if you look after the Trek fanbase, you will never need to worry about money ever again.
Seriously, there are millions if not billions of trek fans in the world, you could make serious money on subscriptions alone, this two bit shady dealing you insist on taking part in, just smacks of greedyness and unprofesionalism.
Its like the owner of a candy store stealing his own sweets, they dont need to do this kind of thing, simply look after your customers, and they will look after you.
They have a major franchise now, and they dont need to pull this money grabbing behaviour.
Ok, lets look at the amount of money being spent. £10.50 / month = £126 / year.
Multiply that by, say, 200,000 players for the sake of argument.
Which means that in 1 year the games income is £25,200,000 (£25 million) based on 200k players paying for 12 months. Which isn't usual in the first year of an MMO, but we'll ignore that for a moment.
Now that sounds like a lot, and it is. However, don't forget the costs involved in developing an MMO which typically can range between £20 - £40 million. This money is often given by the investors and publishers to the MMO company to help them build the product.
Why this much? Well, don't forget the outgoing costs such as overheads (lighting, heating etc), marketing, setting up distribution, costs for excursions, setting up exhibition stands, and not to forget the employees wages......In short, these things add up very quickly.
As you can see by my very crude example, that £25 million may go someway to pay off the investors, but at that point the company hasn't made any profit. And like all companies, the devs want to try to recoup the money they borrowed as well as in the long term make a profit. Make no mistake, Cryptic aint just making a StarTrek game because they like StarTrek. Just like Funcom didn't make a game based on Conan simply because they love Robert E Howards stories. All companies want to make a tidy profit.
And so, coming back to the subject of Micro Transactions, the cost of such transactions really aren't that much. However they supplement the subscription income to a degree.
Based on Cryptic's figures about how many employees they have, assuming they all average extremely low in the tech sector, there's no way their payroll on a single game is under 5 million USD. Assuming they have to be competitive with basic web maintenance jobs, that number could easily be over 10 million a year and the employees would still make below entry level wages for people experienced in networking and computing. lus they provide benefits.
Based on the lifetime sub differential between CO and STO, chalked up to license fees, it would appear that CBS is getting a hefty cut of the take. Maybe somewhere between twenty and thirty percent of the profits.
It's enough that 200k would be healthy but they were probably aiming low after CO and even City of Heroes.