Episode III News

SW Forums

Episode I
Episode II
Episode III
Episode IV
Episode V
Episode VI
Cut Scenes


Video Games
Video Arcade


Fan Fiction



Ralph McQuarrie Art
Fan Art
Featured Artists

Official Links

Link to Us

Site of the Month
Previous Winners
Galactic Fanatic
Featured Fanatics
Awards We've Won

Contact Us
Contact Jedi Power

Submit Stuff






Galactic News

Thursday July 31, 2003
Why pay for SWG?

stm4261 sent in some information about Star Wars Galaxies from Scomplink
that I think you will find interesting. If you have ever wondered why these types of online games require a monthly fee, 
this article explains it all.

"As Star Wars Galaxies first went public, it attracted a lot of interested potential players who were new to the world of commercial massively multiplayer subscription games. I wrote this series of posts to explain why there are subscription fees to play these games. Since then, it's been reprinted several times, and even incorporated into the FAQs for competing products!"

"I keep seeing this question recur. :) Here we go, guys, more than you ever wanted to know about what costs what, and why you have to pay a subscription fee for massively multiplayer online games..."

"Once upon a time there were muds (massively multiplayer text-based online RPGs), and they were free. And it was good. They ran on university computers like PDP-11s and early Unix workstations. They usually ran out of student, grad student, or even professor's accounts, and sometimes they were sponsored by the university's comp sci department or some such. The people who ran them did so out of the goodness of their hearts, and often put in many many hours a week. In the geek world of those days, that was good--it even looked good to other geeks when you put it on your resume. Why isn't the world still this way? Ah, the good old days... ;)"

"Fast forward--muds now often run on mudhosting services, where they pay a site provider for disk space and bandwidth. Many muds are abandoning the original licenses the software originally had, because the licenses precluded making a profit in any way. Muds selling t-shirts, doing fund drives, and even charging has become common. Over in another part of the Internet, some siblings of muds have become commercial. Running on online services most of you don't remember once existed, with names like The Source and GEnie and QuantumLink, these other games charged users. By the hour. Like, over $10 an hour. Seriously. Per-minute charges, in some cases."

"Then you get to the present day. What happened? Well, some execs decided to launch a major massively multiplayer game at a flat monthly fee. And now everyone does the same."

"How did all of this happen? The answer is simple. The basic building blocks of the Internet, which used to be fairly freely passed around a small community of hardcore computer scientists, have become commodified. These days you'd be hard pressed to find a university that would sponsor a mud and let it run on its Unix machines with unlimited processor, hard drive, and bandwidth usage. Heck, bandwidth is scarce enough that some time ago, Australia banned muds. From the entire continent. I kid you not."

To read the rest of this great in-depth article, go here. Thanks for the information stm4261.


Posted: by Jedi Power