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