Mark Jacobs on Warhammer and Micropayments

Mark Jacobs, general manager and VP of EA Mythic, chatted with Gamasutra about the idea of changing the monthly fee for MMORPGs. Some companies are arguing that micropayments are a better way to go than a flat monthly fee, familiar to DAOC, Everquest and WoW fans. Mark disagrees, and thinks that a monthly subscription fee is the way to go. An interesting article, but what really caught my eye (as I’m not so patiently waiting for Warhammer) was this quote:

“We already have 700,000 people signed up just to test our game in closed beta,” he recounts. “The nice thing about our model is that you can do very simple math with it which is what I like ’cause I’m a very simple guy. If we get a million subscribers each month and we charge 15 bucks a month, that’s $180 million a year.

Two interesting points: 1) 700k signed up for beta (didn’t Age of Conan just ship 700k units?) and 2) $180 million a year. I so need a better job 🙂 What a fantastic business model! I wonder how much DAOC made in its prime. I can’t imagine what WoW is making right now. How big is the market, though? How many people are going to be able to play the latest MMORPG and sustainably play it. What’s WoW at, 2 million? How many of those folks will change, or is this an argument where the potential number of subscribers is basically unlimited. (e.g. in the restaurant industry, one might believe that opening a restaurant near an already successful one is bad idea jeans as the number of patrons is limited. In fact, most people see an increase when restaurants are in the same area).

That’s just my $0.02. Interesting read at Gamasutra, though!


As seen on BoingBoing, some very clever folks have created a flash based side scrolling WoW-like game that’s heavy on teh funnay.

Most interestingly, they have an SDK called !. I’m looking forward to checking that out!