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Mar 11, 2006



Free Style is street basketball, btw.


East versus West?

No more dualities... it hurts...


Forget about East vs West.

It's all about what the customer wants.

WOW happens to hit the right sweetspot for a lot of customers. FreeStyle's gameplay may work for the US (sports game), but the gameplay and overall model may not.

One key for WOW in China is The9 taking a big gamble and raising $100m or so in the US to invest in building the WOW franchise (~$75m deal with Blizzard spread over a few years).

Now, if someone raises $100m and then invest in FreeStyle in the US (a more competitive market), we might get good numbers for it :)

So, it's not that $30m development cost people keep talking about, it's that other $70m spent on marketing that gives it a kick. Spend a bit of time at sites like boxofficemojo.com and you'll see that marketing budgets for movies can be way bigger than the movie budgets.

Question for the business-minded readers: how big do you think Puzzle Pirates could be if they had a $50m expansion budget. Where would you want to spend that $50m and how? What would be your expected results?



No offence, HiveMind, but it'd be nice if we could expect that a blog populated by the sort of people that make up Terranova could get the difference between a "registered user" (which means almost nothing) and a "subscriber" (which means recurring revenue).

50 million subscribers in their dreams. It's registered users, assuming they're telling the truth. Why even report on such a completely meaningless number? I mean, reporting on registered users is the equivalent of republishing press releases, given that it tells you essentially nothing useful about the game or the business surrounding the game. There's a reason companies like this report registered users instead of something meaningful, like revenue: It looks big, impressive, and requires nothing to back it up.

Sorry to sound irritated, but I thought Terranova was past this kind of MMO-newbie error.



Reported registered users for many Asian MMOG's should be taken with a grain of salt; even more so for the free to play virtual asset games as the game is free to play and you can create almost limitless "accounts". In Korea some of the recent games do have limited procedures in an attempt to restrict players to a set number of accounts. Korean players must enter in a Korean National ID number when creating an account but at the same time these same companies give out "restriction free" access to their internet cafe partners thus blurring the accuracy of their "subscriber" numbers.

One thing that is actually relevant and also reported by HiveMind are the concurrent user numbers. There are strong correlations between virtual item sales and the number of concurrent users in virtual asset games. It would be even more helpful if we could see the Average Concurrent User numbers, Maximum Concurrent Users, and Unique Selling Propositions to get a better understanding of the potential revenue these games are garnering. Of course most companies aren't usually eager to share this type of information with the public. Still having 300-400k concurrent users in China usually means a fairly hefty return for a virtual asset based game.


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