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Kotaku's Superannuation: The Elder Scrolls Online has cost $200 million

Apr 19, 2011
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Is anyone even excited for this game? I have yet to meet anyone that went "man I cant wait to play ESO!" and I have a lot of friends into MMO's.

I know a few diehard elder scrolls fans who want ESO, but then again they don't see anything wrong with Oblivion's combat so hey, standards.
 

Mashin Haters

Member
Jun 2, 2013
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Major publishers dumping huge amounts of money into MMOs, quite possibly the riskiest genre for profit, just seems like a bad idea every time. They can have high reward but usually the amount of resources going into them is better served just making four other games.

its funny how publishers never try to make new IPs because of "risk", but instead waste HUGE amounts of cash on MMOs which are even riskier!
 

gogosox8

Member
Mar 12, 2013
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NUMBERS

If they sell 7million (skyrim sold 10 in the first month) units with $45 revenue (consumer paying 60) a pop, they will have made a $115 million profit.

Month two, they make $105 million with no additional work, just on subs.

That's enough.

Doesn't that assume that the game would have enough content to satisfy people who got to end game within the first week? I doubt there gonna keep 7 million people as subs. If their lucky, half of the people will stay. The other half will just move on to another mmo or go back to the one they like playing the most.
 
Mar 3, 2013
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Italy
NUMBERS

If they sell 7million (skyrim sold 10 in the first month) units with $45 revenue (consumer paying 60) a pop, they will have made a $115 million profit.

Month two, they make $105 million with no additional work, just on subs.

That's enough.

NUMBERS

or how to be really bad at them but post anyway
 

Averon

Member
Aug 27, 2008
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And yet some still wonder why so many publishers and developers go under. Why is the concept of budgeting such a foreign one to so many publishers and developers?
 

syko de4d

Member
Nov 5, 2010
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Germany
NUMBERS

If they sell 7million (skyrim sold 10 in the first month) units with $45 revenue (consumer paying 60) a pop, they will have made a $115 million profit.

Month two, they make $105 million with no additional work, just on subs.

That's enough.

Nice, so they only need to get WoW Sub numbers in first month, get a magical 75% revenue out of each copy sold, get a magical 100% revenue out of each payed sub and have Servers, which runs at zero cost, to make money. That should be easy.
 

kswiston

Member
Mar 25, 2005
35,134
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Canada
People are calling it a bomb already? It´s an Elder Scroll game. It will make its budget and then some.

People don't treat MMO spin-offs of popular single player games as proper entries. Based on other examples, ESO will be doing great if it manages to get 10% of Skyrim's audience.
 

Busty

Banned
Aug 26, 2006
16,935
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Factor in the marketing costs and this could easily top $250m.

A quarter of a billion dollars.

A quarter of a billion fucking dollars.

That's just insane given the current MMO market.

Just think, somewhere there is a Bethesda executive picking out the perfect cardboard box to put all his stuff in when he gets fired.
 

kswiston

Member
Mar 25, 2005
35,134
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Canada
i hope this doesn't negatively effect the next single player elder scrolls when this game fails to meet their expectation

This is not being developed by Bethesda Game Studios. At worst, they will just shutter Zenimax Online Studios. All of Bethesda Game Studio's rpgs have been big hits.
 

Aaron

Member
Apr 12, 2006
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www.the-nextlevel.com
I'm having a hard time grasping how that's even possible.
Combat is basically pushing 1-10 on your skill tab and waiting for the awkward animation full of clipping to play out. You're locked in during these overly long animations, so it feels sort of like a pokemon battle. Only worse because it's not all that clear what your attacks are even doing.
 

Almighty

Member
Jun 4, 2010
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Sounds like we have another SWTOR on our hands. I fully expect that this game will follow a similar path as well. It will sell well for the first month or so, then start to collapse, then go F2P and find some happy middle ground where they are making some profit. It won't be the hit they planned, but it won't also be the giant bomb people are expecting.

I for one will check it out when it goes F2P.
 

Yager

Banned
Jun 9, 2011
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Nice, so they only need to get WoW Sub numbers in first month, get a magical 75% revenue out of each copy sold, get a magical 100% revenue out of each payed sub and have Servers, which runs at zero cost, to make money. That should be easy.

This post is perfect. Thank you.
 

cuyahoga

Dudebro, My Shit is Fucked Up So I Got to Shoot/Slice You II: It's Straight-Up Dawg Time
Apr 14, 2009
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We knew for ages it was going to be super expensive, no?

They announced this in late 2007.
Rockville, MD, October 25, 2007 – ZeniMax Media Inc. today announced the closing of a $300 million investment by Providence Equity Partners Inc. for convertible preferred stock of the Company. The proceeds of the investment will be used to fund future growth, increase game development and publishing, facilitate acquisitions, and finance massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs).

And Providence gave them $150MM more in 2010.
 

samurai1226

Member
Apr 19, 2013
1,232
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www.haloorbit.de
A themepark MMO with a fantasy setting (dwarfes, elves, warrios, etc), that has to be a gap in the market... *facepalm*

This complete game just looks boring, theres nothing that makes the game special. even old republic has some good ideas with the complete voiceover and the storytelling, and it was a disaster for ea. Im not getting who should buy Elders Scrolls Online. I guess some Skyrim players will buy it, but i bet the game wont have content for more than 1-2 months.
 

BoosterDuck

Banned
Nov 30, 2011
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People are calling it a bomb already? It´s an Elder Scroll game. It will make its budget and then some.

You mean like The Old Republic, Dragon Quest X, Final Fantasy XIV, Warhammer 40k, DC Universe Online, APB, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Star Trek Online, Marvel Heroes and Lord of the Rings Online?
 
Didn't TOR have a pretty big campaign? Even had a kickass blur gc trailer.

If we count the CG trailers it probably cost a fair amount, but the actual launch spend is relatively low compared to something like Battlefield.

I'm having trouble finding it anymore, but in one of their fiscal calls they explained that with a game like Battlefield your goal is to ship out 10-15+ million units up front, whereas with an MMO what you're trying to do is get 2 or so million players and then keep them coming back or getting new ones so you have a stable base at whatever your subscriber amount is, and then try to slowly grow that over time.

In theory you end up spending the same amount of money, it's just the timing of it that's different. However, if your game bombs, you might not actually spend nearly as much as you were expecting, whereas with a retail product chances are you've spent most of that up front already.
 

cuyahoga

Dudebro, My Shit is Fucked Up So I Got to Shoot/Slice You II: It's Straight-Up Dawg Time
Apr 14, 2009
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I was just staff counting and multiplying by the number of years and thought it was likely around $200 million as well, but yes, it's definitely something that was always going to be really pricey.
I think they were well under 100 for a good 2-3 years. And from ZeniMax Online's FAQ:
How are you paying for this?

ZeniMax Media recently announced a $300 million investment from Providence Equity Partners, and of course the massive success of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3 only adds to the assets that helped fund ZeniMax Online. Suffice it to say, we're covered.
 

cuyahoga

Dudebro, My Shit is Fucked Up So I Got to Shoot/Slice You II: It's Straight-Up Dawg Time
Apr 14, 2009
3,563
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They started making this game in 2007.
And continued development even though the market for uberexpensive WoW MMOs changed rapidly.
 

block tower

Member
Oct 14, 2012
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lol. i'll never understand why these companies love to just throw money in the garbage and think its called investing. if anyone thinks the Elder Scrolls MMO is going to do well, well...your delusional. itll have a modest launch and be free to play in 6 months, then spiral and crash and burn another 6 months after that.

 

Psychoward

Banned
Aug 17, 2011
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Not a big deal. The game'll do well, because it looks great, and I see this because I'm not a bandwagoning asshole.



It looks nothing like WoW, and the animations are incredible for an MMORPG.

Do you guys just get hard ons from making fun of P2P MMO's?

Animations don't make a game, and a lot of people including myself were able to play in the betas. It's trash.
 

Retro

Member
Dec 7, 2008
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I've jokingly commented that TESO will flop because the mod community won't be able to fix the game for Bethesda this time around, but it's actually not that far from the truth. The longevity and popularity of the ES games is in large part due to the mod community, which isn't going to be able to take root here.

I'm sure it will do reasonably well out of the gate, but that's pretty much normal for MMOs to have a large surge at launch. Lots of people will check it out, but very few will stay after the first free month(s). Most will wander back to their MMO of choice, but a few will stick it out and continue to subscribe. Then it will switch over to F2P (it wouldn't surprise me if they've already built the game around it, but are going sub-based to milk as much out of their loyalists as possible) and there will be a huge surge in numbers, after which it will probably maintain a respectable population for a few years. Then new MMOs and/or existing MMO expansions will bleed enough folks away that it either fades into obscurity (like a lot of SoE games) or closes up shop (Warhammer Online).

The real questions are, how quickly will it go F2P and how bad will their monetization scheme suck?

On the contrary! It should be free to play in less than a year.

Yep. The first three months will be decent, then the population will nose-dive as people hit the limit on content, free months expire and people follow their friends back to other MMOs. Probably less than 50k within 6-8 months, then the switch will happen close to the one year anniversary.
 

hipbabboom

Huh? What did I say? Did I screw up again? :(
Aug 22, 2013
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All that Skyrim money squandered :'(.... home some hotshot exec doesn't conclude "ES franchise doesn't make us money... lets ax it!"
 

Delusibeta

Banned
Feb 18, 2012
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delusibeta.tumblr.com
I'm amusing myself by how many times Dragon's Crown can be developed over with that money (spoiler: approximately 200 times).

I suppose that's the problem with publishers these days: big projects require big budgets, while you can get more and (arguably) better games done by spending that money on smaller projects. I mean, 20 games with $2mill budgets isn't to be sniffed at.

I suppose that's why Devolver Digital is so successful: if they fund a flop or two, it won't sink the company.