Close. Alpha, from the Greek word for the number 1, is literally the first stage of testing. If they happened to allow said testing to be done by more than just employees, so be it. Beta is stage 2, also from the Greek word for said number. It's not schematics at all. It's simple numbers.
Ooh, so close and yet so far.
Alpha and beta are the first two letters of the Greek alphabet - in fact, they are the source of the word "alphabet" to begin with.
"1" and "2" in Greek are "ena" and "duo".
What was their initial investment in this game, 30,000,000$? I don't know why that number comes to mind, I must of read something along those lines somewhere. So right now they're keeping servers, paying staff to work on the game, so the hole just keeps getting bigger, not to mention game sales probably earned them 2-3 million at the most. If you figure there will be about 30,000 active users come subscription time, that's 390,000/mth, so per year 4.7mil. Now of course that user base is expected to climb once ps3 see's it's release, so that number could climb quite high, and realistically triple.
Would I be surprised if SE scrapped XIV, very, would I be upset? Not really, I've put more hours into XIV then I do with most other games I paid 70$ for. Either way though, SE's lost a lot of money and needs quite a bit of time to make that money up and make this game profitable. I'm actually quite curious to see what happens with this game over the next year or so. Cause fact is, if it wasn't for the SE name attached to this game, it would have flopped a long time ago.
SE sold 650k boxes @ launch i believe. so at least $32,000,000 in box sales (@ $50.00 a box) , not sure what cut the retailer gets vs SE's share. so maybe SE took home less. So if SE spent 30mil on dev. for FFXIV then they have almost made up the cost already.
The estimates I've seen put the development budget of FFXIV somewhere around $30,000,000 to $50,000,000. The publisher only gets about 50% of the retail price, so assuming 650,000 copies at $50 each is roughly $16,000,000 of revenue, still leaving them $14,000,000 to $34,000,000 in the hole. Plus ongoing operating expenses.
having a successful MMO doesn't mean having 1million plus subs. Look at CCP and Eve online, it hasn't reached the 1 million sub mark in its life time, but it's a successful MMO. Or Age of Conan, Everyone here can say that game was a flop, hyped, released, buried. It's still kicking it's got people playing it's a successful MMO for funcom, it's making them money. Warhammer online. It's barely alive down to 2 servers I believe but what two years later it's still going. This is what you can expect from SE; they will perceiver.
"Successful" in this context means, in short, profitable. CCP made EVE Online knowing full well that they were targeting a smaller demographic, and so kept their development expenses low. Their development budget was a mere $2.4 million - for comparison, they now pull in more than that every month in subscription fees.
Age of Conan and Warhammer Online both pulled in enough revenue just from initial box sales that they made a profit before they even started collecting subscription fees - thus, both games have essentially been profitable from day one, and will continue to be profitable as long as their player bases are large enough to cover the cost of maintaining at least one server.
As mentioned above, FFXIV is still in the red, and every additional day of operation right now is making that debt grow larger.
Realistically, they can keep the servers running forever. You're forgetting that SE isn't some one-hit wonder like many of the smaller game companies, and in addition to making their own wildly popular games, publishes for smaller studios. It takes less than a million a year to run fifty separate worlds with full pay for the staff, so they can easily afford to take a little profit hit to keep up their PR and eventually rake in more cash once they finish fixing the game up.
Less than $1 million a year? Please be serious.
Back when FFXI had 32 servers, it was costing SE $2 million a month
to run them.
And, realistically, they CAN'T keep the FFXIV servers running forever. Sure, they have the cash flow to make it feasible, but they're a business, and businesses exist to make profit. The servers are only staying up for now because the execs believe FFXIV can be made into something profitable in the near future.
The only other reason to keep the servers up and running is to maintain the goodwill and brand loyalty of the current player base. If the player base is small (as FFXIV's is) and/or has a low overall attach rate (i.e. doesn't spend very much on other SE products), this is likely to not outweigh the cost of keeping the servers up.
If it looks to the owners (i.e. shareholders) that FFXIV will never be profitable, or will cost too much to get into a profitable state (i.e. has too low a return-on-investment), then one of two things will happen: 1) FFXIV is shutdown, or 2) several executives and FFXIV developers lose their jobs and FFXIV is shutdown. OK, theoretically there's a third option - cutting their losses by selling the game to a different developer - but I don't think that is particularly likely, and that requires finding someone who's willing to buy it. And a fourth option - having FFXIV operation subsidized by the Japanese government - but that's about as likely to happen as there being an invisible pink unicorn hiding in my liver.