Hero Engine, used to make The Old Republic MMORPG, will be free

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gillvane 101 Mar 08, 2011 at 18:34

http://mmorpgmaker.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=121&t=11398

It’s being released by IdeaSys with a 70/30 split, no upfront fees.

The release is scheduled for some time in April.

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alphadog 101 Mar 08, 2011 at 20:08

That is NOT a good deal.

Take the MMO posterchild Blizzard/WoW for example. According to The Economist, they have some pretty great profit margins @ around 30-50%. So, do the math. If out of $1mil in revenues, your profit is $400K and they take $300K, that leaves you 10%.

People need to think before they sign up.

Mmmmmmmmno…

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gillvane 101 Mar 08, 2011 at 20:40

The details have not been fully worked out, but I think they handle the server and credit card services, which is a cost you don’t bear.

Also, for someone with zero dollars to buy an engine, they’d have zero.

Using your math, 10% seems a lot better than zero percent.

Plus, if you want to handle the server, credit card transactions, and keep all the profits, you can do that to.

Just purchase the license that allows you to do that.

If you have the cash up front to do that, and that’s what you prefer, you can certainly go that route.

Also, this is your chance to make an MMORPG with relatively little risk.

What if you make zero dollars, because it turns out your game is not so hot?

Well, you’ve certainly got a lot of time invested, but not a lot of dollars.

I don’t think it’s a black and white, this is a bad deal, sort of thing.

It will be a good deal for some devs, a bad deal for others, depending on their situation.

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alphadog 101 Mar 08, 2011 at 23:55

@gillvane

they handle the server and credit card services, which is a cost you don’t bear

So, they will give you servers and bandwidth for free and maybe eventually recoup it? They will do this for every inbound indie and hobbyiest team? That’s a huge gamble on their part. I guess the worry should be not how much profit they gouge then, but rather how many months till they fold, or how much they oversubscribe games on their servers so as to not lose too much money.

Now, assuming you are the 1-in-100 that would make it, I’ve always said that hardware is the least complicated part of an MMO (assuming a scalable architecture). Virtual servers can be had cheaply with 30-day outs. CC processing can be had transactional at the outset; no charges, no bill. You pay a high per-transaction % but you can move it down as you gain customers.

And, once you get past the “my friends play it” stage, it’s the operations/HR that’s the killer.
@gillvane

Also, for someone with zero dollars to buy an engine, they’d have zero.

Well, if you want to play a specific game, sometimes you don’t have a choice but to ante up. Else, there’s the “Go Fish!” table with no pot to play into. :D
@gillvane

Using your math, 10% seems a lot better than zero percent.

Actually, that’s your math. My math, like any business deal I’m in, involves weighing what I get for the 30% they will take.
@gillvane

Also, this is your chance to make an MMORPG with relatively little risk.

There’s little risk in sweat equity and a 30-day-out virtual server lease. And, from what I have seen, all current MMO platforms have big, if different, issues. None of them are a slam dunk.

BTW, and in similar vein, most investors usually come in at below 30% equity share for first-round investing.

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gillvane 101 Mar 09, 2011 at 03:54

@alphadog

So, they will give you servers and bandwidth for free and maybe eventually recoup it? They will do this for every inbound indie and hobbyiest team? That’s a huge gamble on their part. I guess the worry should be not how much profit they gouge then, but rather how many months till they fold, or how much they oversubscribe games on their servers so as to not lose too much money.

Now, assuming you are the 1-in-100 that would make it, I’ve always said that hardware is the least complicated part of an MMO (assuming a scalable architecture). Virtual servers can be had cheaply with 30-day outs. CC processing can be had transactional at the outset; no charges, no bill. You pay a high per-transaction % but you can move it down as you gain customers.

And, once you get past the “my friends play it” stage, it’s the operations/HR that’s the killer.

Well, if you want to play a specific game, sometimes you don’t have a choice but to ante up. Else, there’s the “Go Fish!” table with no pot to play into. :)

Actually, that’s your math. My math, like any business deal I’m in, involves weighing what I get for the 30% they will take.

There’s little risk in sweat equity and a 30-day-out virtual server lease. And, from what I have seen, all current MMO platforms have big, if different, issues. None of them are a slam dunk.

BTW, and in similar vein, most investors usually come in at below 30% equity share for first-round investing.

Then this deal isn’t for you, which is fine.

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rouncer 103 Mar 09, 2011 at 04:21

do they handle the server setup for you?
Oh sorry I read that you said that, I wonder how that works…

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alphadog 101 Mar 09, 2011 at 16:25

@gillvane

Then this deal isn’t for you, which is fine.

Who is this a “good deal” for then?

To me, the only person this is a good deal for is the guy who a) can’t fill a form for a virtual server at about $10-20/mo starting, :) can’t fill a form for a cc processing account, and c) isn’t interested in commercial growth.

Do they do anything else for that 30% of your revenues? Billing, customer support, real marketing (not listing you with 1000s of others in some generic AppStore, that’s not true marketing), anything? If they do, then that does change the equation.

Seriously, that is a big chunk of change. And, I’m not pouting saying “I don’t want to share”! :D Most devs aren’t business-minded. They don’t realize that, for small businesses (not the Fortune 500s), you absolutely need a solid profit margin, not to line the CEOs pocket, but to grow the company. You often have to hire talent ahead of time, or you may need to buy technology before you get your ROI on it, or, or, or. Growth takes investment, and if you have no profit margin, it makes growth very, very difficult.

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fireside 141 Mar 09, 2011 at 16:41

If you consider that most MMO’s are a failure or don’t get off the ground anyway, it’s not a bad deal. I don’t picture it lasting very long because it’s going to attract even more people who don’t have the talent or know how to make an MMO, or just enough to make a bad one.

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Rofar 101 Mar 09, 2011 at 16:59

It is most certainly a good deal for some. I personally would not want to sign away 30% of any potential profits but I still don’t think it’s a particularly bad deal for indie startups that just don’t have the cashflow to go another route.

Also, you could say it’s a good deal from Idea Fabriks side of the argument. The 1 or 2 games that actually end up making some $ could net them a nice return.

As was mentioned the success rates of MMO games is very low (maybe slightly more for web-based browser MMOs). It’s not like developers don’t realize this and it can be risky entering into the business. This takes away that risk to some degree because there is small monetary investment involved. The risk changes from being risk of losing self funded $ to the risk of being successfull and losing revenue in the future. If you really can’t afford to take the risk of heavy personal investment in your project, then this may be a good deal…or at least the best deal on the table.

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alphadog 101 Mar 09, 2011 at 18:30

@fireside

If you consider that most MMO’s are a failure or don’t get off the ground anyway, it’s not a bad deal.

That’s interesting because I actually consider that a bad thing. Let’s say you are serious about your MMO and not a dilettante. You really want to launch a viable product. (I’m not talking about the 16-year old WoW player here, but a serious indie.)

Would you want your MMO lumped in with “over 9000” dilettantes, competing for attention, support, resources, etc? Do you want the dillettantes, which will outnumber you, driving the platform’s evolution, because it will, by sheer numbers.

I’m not a big fan of “NIH Syndrome” that affects many technical-types, but this may be one of those places where most people should go it alone.

Anyways, I’ve raised the flags high enough. If people think I’m full of it, well, I do seriously wish them all the best with this service…

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gillvane 101 Mar 09, 2011 at 23:11

@alphadog

Who is this a “good deal” for then?

To me, the only person this is a good deal for is the guy who a) can’t fill a form for a virtual server at about $10-20/mo starting, b) can’t fill a form for a cc processing account, and c) isn’t interested in commercial growth.

Do they do anything else for that 30% of your revenues? Billing, customer support, real marketing (not listing you with 1000s of others in some generic AppStore, that’s not true marketing), anything? If they do, then that does change the equation.

Seriously, that is a big chunk of change. And, I’m not pouting saying “I don’t want to share”! :) Most devs aren’t business-minded. They don’t realize that, for small businesses (not the Fortune 500s), you absolutely need a solid profit margin, not to line the CEOs pocket, but to grow the company. You often have to hire talent ahead of time, or you may need to buy technology before you get your ROI on it, or, or, or. Growth takes investment, and if you have no profit margin, it makes growth very, very difficult.

I dont’ know who it’s a good deal for.

That will depend on a lot of factors for each individual and development team.

I encourage them to investigate this engine as they would any other, and get their info from the source. Try it out when it releases. Take it for a spin and kick the tires.

Then they can make a decision based on their skills, resources, goals, and so on.

It’s not for me to say who this is a good deal for necessarily, and who it isn’t a good deal for. I”m just saying, it may be an option for some that are strapped for cash and can’t afford a better engine.

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fireside 141 Mar 09, 2011 at 23:40

That’s interesting because I actually consider that a bad thing. Let’s say you are serious about your MMO and not a dilettante. You really want to launch a viable product. (I’m not talking about the 16-year old WoW player here, but a serious indie.)

I agree. It’s a good thing for people who are incapable of making an MMO, but think they can, to give it a try and find out without losing a lot of money.

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gillvane 101 Mar 10, 2011 at 20:08

http://mmorpgmaker.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=121&t=11422

The developers of Hero Engine are recruiting qualified teams that will do contract work to build MMO’s using Hero Engine.

If you don’t want to make your own MMO, you can put together a team and build MMO’s for someone else and get paid for it.