I actually tried searching for the initial development costs for FFXI and FFXIV before I typed that, and couldn't find it. Do me a favor, and link me your sources. I actually don't doubt your Star wars cost. However, your "probably" 150 million....I'd be interested to see that as well. What you responded with "sounded" great and all, but all you did was throw numbers around. I see your point, and you'd think that with 250 million, you would actually have enough content for people to enjoy. For a game to spend 250 million, and not have anything to do end game, is truly a poor allocation of money. Which is what people who have played the game seemed to mirror in countless posts. I'd say there's a a great difference in poor allocation, and total finances invested. In an ideal situation, a larger budget gives you more flexibility. Ergo, ARR being remade from the ground up, seeing as they have the resources to do so. A lesser (financially) company would have simply just scraped it.
I'm also very interested in how you're so certain about the subscribers ARR's going to retain. The safest assumption a person can make is, "it won't get WoW numbers." While we can draw "intelligent" inferences to come up with conclusions, it only makes sense after you've factored in everything. You still over simplify. 250 million dollars is a lot of money. Yet, you don't have the specifics on where they should have put more effort in. Star Wars shouldn't have failed, and they failed for the worst reason. Having nothing to do at the end game is careless. Seeing as people enjoyed the game till they had nothing else left to do. They made the mistake someone with a limited budget would. Your initial post actually suggested limiting that budget. You would put in less money, giving them less freedom. You truly believe this to be the best course of action?
Let's say you're spot on with 150 million. That is a huge gamble, yes. Do you care to explain why you think SE would poorly spend that amount of cash, simply to just let their flag ship flop a 2nd time? This is assuming that once they failed, they tried to fix what they did wrong last time. While I've always understood where you were going, your points are overshadowed by your lack of interest in ARR. Spending too much money, and not having people interested would obviously make it harder to earn it back. However, you supplied no real valuable information as to why no one would be interested in it. Only made it clear that you aren't a fan. Just sounds shallow.
Let's take Elder Scrolls Online as an example. I'm pretty sure that game will have a large budget. I don't like that series. I'm not interested. Yet, I'm not blinded by it enough to ignore that they have an extremely large fan base. The idea of people enjoying the feeling of their favorite RPG with others on a global scale? Wonderful. They have no excuse to botch this up. I actually hope they spend enough money making it fun for people. Looking at all the failed MMOs, they can actually use their financial/fanbase advantage to deliver. The failure of ESO would have nothing to do with how much money they spent, and even you know that. I do hope they put the money in the right places.
The development of Final Fantasy XI and the PlayOnline network service that power's Square's upcoming PlayStation 2 online RPG cost between 2 and 3 billion yen ($16-24 million), Square president Yoichi Wada confirmed today in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun. It will take four to five years to determine the success or failure of the venture, he said, since the business plan behind the game relies on long-term profits from monthly fees.
They spent $16-24 million and it took them years to make that back with 300-500k subscribers (which is very high sub numbers for any mmo btw so going into the millions is a major accomplishment very few every achieve), this is buying the boxed game and subscribing. If it took them years to make back the small FFXI development costs how can they ever make back $100-150m from the same subscription system without having millions of players? Answer is that you simply can't do it and no amount of working out the numbers will prove otherwise (keep in mind these games have quite large running costs too), which begs the question...why are they spending vast amounts of money to relaunch an already failed/bad rep MMO that has little chance to succeed again?
Answer is very probably the same as it was when they launched the game, cash shops and abusing the loyalty of their fans to make them spend vastly more than they would with a simple subscription. So they are banking on milking their fans wallets basically, there is no other way this game would of got the go ahead to be rebuilt and no other reason they would continue with it when the company is in such a bad financial position. http://www.develop-online.net/news/33514/Final-Fantasy-XIV-a-serious-WoW-rival-says-Wada
Wada went on to outline the subscription and microtransaction models that FFXIV will employ, adding the company is looking to improve on the Final Fantasy XI system.
“The basic model hasn't changed,” he said. “It's a monthly flat rate service with additional charges for items that users want to buy.
“For FFXI we didn't initially set up the item transaction model that well – although the demand for it was high. We thought that it would be a benefit for users, but that we wouldn't be able to charge.
“We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game. But there were too few items in FFXI – however we don't want to take it to the other extreme entirely for FFXIV.
A subscription game costing vast amounts of money will not make back the money spent unless it gets wow subscriber numbers, this game isn't anywhere near popular enough (interest is low in it), doesn't have system requirements low enough to attract vast numbers and bluntly isn't good enough as an MMO. It's not going to happen and pretty much everyone knows this, including Square. So it's going to basically fail and have to do what Square are already planning to do, go free to play (or keep a sub for extra greed) and add a extensive cash shop to get as much money as possible from the FF fanbase.
An MMO with a cash shop with RNG gambling items, cosmetics cash shop upgrade items make vast amounts of money from an invested and loyal playerbase (this is why a FF based MMO is perfect for a cash shop, the ff brand has a very loyal base to milk) and that is I think why the game has so much support from the company and why they are spending so much money on a game that under the current system will never make it back. It's not hard to see because they have given major hints in interviews.
If they aren't going to do this then they will never make the money it cost back and indeed I doubt they will be even able to continually update the game with a full development team so yes it will be a 100% failure like SWTOR that could ruin the company, unless as stated this current P2P phase is a rouse to appease fans till they get addicted to the game and have a plan in place to make money from micro transactions 6 months later (Yoshi recently stated a new cosmetic tab is coming...6 months after launch!). Launching with a cash shop would cause a riot, waiting till they are addicted and then adding it will work just fine. Edited, Apr 17th 2013 3:15am by preludes Edited, Apr 17th 2013 4:59am by preludes