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MMO Money Magazine

Writings on the business of fun: Virtual Worlds and Real Money Makes Online Gaming a Big Business. My economic view on the world of online games - without the hype.

Author: Inktomi

Update: Bill Roper sets teh bar for Champions Online.

Posted by Inktomi Monday May 25 2009 at 4:16AM
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Champion Bill 

I recently posted a long blog about Bill Roper's attitude towards the amount of subscribers that are feasible for a standard MMO. However due to recent announcments the release date for Champions has been pushed back to September 1st. This is confirmed, however I found on this website some new information on some upcoming content , which to me is a good sign. The original article by Bill Vauhan can be found on 

“The big news this past week is the shift in our release date to September 1st. We've been getting some great feedback from all of you, and you've been seeing us implement changes based on it. We now have the chance to take the time to get things done right. This means adding a few last things to really smooth out the play experience, as well as doing huge amounts of balance, tuning, and polish.

- Courtesy

  Meanwhile, while on the subject of super heroes: Recently I have been gaming with my younger nephew and he has gotten me into Spiderman:Web of shadows.  The game itself is okay and a steal for $30, but the most important thing is that we are having a great time together while playing it. Then one day I fired it up after he went home and played by myself for a bit, I said "Hey, this is pretty fun!" This made me consider looking into the old City of Heroes/Villains, but right now I can't bring myself into another MMO becase I'm "playing the field" with games right now. And I can't see myself commiting cash to a new game unless I am either going to own it or play it long term. I also couldn't see myself playing a super-hero MMO, but then I said "Why not?" like Dana Massey asks us all the time, let's "Throw out the rulebook!"

     It seems that Bill is and might be onto something BIG and it seems that he has learned some old lessons about rushing a release. He details some of the fix's and tweaks that the dev's are working on. Some of the highlight's include upgrades in travel and crafting. He also describes Patrol Mission's which sounds to me as instanced dailies, but that's my speculation. also has a Hands  On Preview of Champions that you might want to check out also. 

 I sometimes have an intuition on things, I was the one who raved about Fallout 3 Pre-release to my friends that are diehard XBAWX-shooter types. Yes you Mr. Halo-head and Mr. Left for Dead or bust the guys who rolled their eyes at Elder Scrolls:Oblivion; they are the ones who are still playing FO3 long after I gave it a rest.  When I confronted on why they love it: Because it was different to them was thre reply.   And that is what this community is looking for, something we haven't done before. Am I right?

The Thirty Million Dollar Free Realm   

  This is supposed to be a financial blog and I am doing my best to uphold that. Even though I believe that it is the attitude of the company and it's developers that can make or break games at the end of the day. It does take alot of money to create these games and I nearly fell over when I found out it took $30 million to create "Free Realms" that has blew up the 1 million subscriber  number in one month that took Runes of Magic months to do. 

It’s going to take a pretty large- paying user base to break even on “Free Realms,” which cost between $20 million and $30 million to make. But Smedley thinks “there’s a lot of money to be made from this market, and that we’ve made an awesome game.” - Courtesy MSNBC

 The bottom line is that it cost's millions to make these games and I could just imagine the budget that's going into Champions Online. All I hope for is a compelling game that forces me and millions of other people to drop a $50 bill and commit to a $15 a month bill each month. Personally, I feel that this is a gamers market right now. With the Onslaught of new games set to be released by the end of this year it will give the average gamer tons of choices and the right to say "I don't want to play this!", which is the risk that many game companies face. 

Striking Oil Online

  I don't know if anyone realizes this but creating a new mmo is sort of like the old west gold rush days and the oil drilling boom's of texas. These companies raise and invest millions into IP and creative talent; the staff to actually create these games along with equpiment not to mention the  thousands of man-hours in pay. Hoping, HOPING, HOPING and PRAYING that this is the big one! That the game it took them years to create will catch the hearts, minds and wallets of the millions of people out there. That their games have a long shelf life and be succesful enough to not only break even, but to keep the doors open for another year or two. If not someone loses mliions of dollars and many people lose their jobs; we have seen our fair share of game studios close in the past few months.

  At the moment we are in the era of expansion for online games, this is not a new space by a long shot and has been around for many years now. But in recent reports state that more american's are playing video games than going to the movies, this was stated in a recent articel from Gamasutra:

NPD’s study “Entertainment Trends In America” said that 63 percent of Americans have played a game in the last six months. Just 53 percent have gone out to see a movie during the same time period. The group said that the audience for gaming is expanding as consumers can access games through new outlets such as social gaming networks or digital storefronts. - Courtesy: Gamasutra.

Also stated that in a 3 month survey that the average gamer that was used in this study spent $38 dollars a month for the average of 3 months. I don't think they count in buying software, do they?

Dear Mr. Roper,

     I've been inadvertantly playing games that you have had a hand in for many years from Starcraft all the way to Hellgate:London. Which I loved and could've puked about what happened to that game, but I've decided to put the past in the past because I can see how much effort your putting out there for CO. Not only for what's going on behind dev's doors but the publicity drive you have been making to almost every popular MMO website on the internet. You are not only putting your name on the line but you are the face and the frontman for Cryptic Studios, which is more than most game studios ever do. Hat's off to you and I wish you all the luck.

Play safe,


PS on Random Stuff

- I haven't been able to buy Darkfall Online, I made the account and sat there with my credit card for an hour friday and some time tonite. I can't find the game anywhere online or Ebay, it's nuts.

- I've just finished playtesting two more free to plays and one of them is going to surprise you. It didn't come from and  I am not surprised why it's not on this website because it qualifies as MMO.

- Muhahaha! I found Freespace 2 for only $6.99 on, but I'm still too cheap to buy a joystick. LOL! If I can pull a good one for under $20 I'll do it, any recomendations?


Disclaimer: I am always open to constructive criticism, if anyone feels that I can improve or have any ideas for content please feel free to hit up my email. writes:
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