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LOTRO made $104 million last year


Ilodid
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Where's Wilfred? Those figures deserve a Wilfred.

 

happy to oblige:

 

tumblr_n8rglmnonl1setwdzo1_500.gif

 

Also, copying the post nosam referenced earlier in case it gets nuked:

 

 

user-offline.png2013 Council Member
 
Join Date Jun 2011 Location Hobbiton Posts 1,101

I've obviously no idea how accurate a figure that is but lets assume for a bit that it is reasonably accurate. But isn't that figure a bit depressing? Lotro is bringing in 3 times as much money as my second MMO (Rift) and yet we are frequently told that, for example, housing couldn't be updated to the standard we would like within the budget they have. 

Lotro must be an incredibly inefficient game to develop if, even though it takes in 3 times as much money, it doesn't seemingly have the resources to invest back into the game to develop as much new content as Rift. In Rift they continue to develop traditional instance content, landscape group content, new regions, new souls (think trait trees), frequent updates to housing (a housing system that is hugely more advanced than Lotros), frequent and varied new cosmetics, mounts and pets, new content for world events and festivals, updates to crafting (with unique icons :O ) among other stuff. It's great to see U14, and I am enjoying it a lot so far, but I do wish there was more to it. Lotro must be a beast of a game to run and develop and the profit margins must be tiny when you look at the difference in income and the differences between what is still being developed between Lotro and a game with a 3rd of it's income.

 
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Firstly what hasnt been really highlighted here is that this 'report' before we even discuss whether its credible or not is talking about revenue and not profits.

 

So profits are going to be a lot lower. Who can guess at what is actually required to generate that revenue, staff costs are probably the biggest one, they might not have as many developers working on the game, but theres probably technical staff, and i know they have a whole store sales team - probably shared between lotro and ddo. Point being there are costs incurred in generating that revenue that we can all only speculate about.

 

Secondly if the figure given for lotro revenue is accurate, which i cant believe it is but lets assume it is for the sake of argument, then how much must have been generated when lotro was in its prime when servers were heaving.

 

I find it hard to believe lotro is capable of making huge numbers yet Turbine have reinvested the least cash back into its development since its release.

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Firstly what hasnt been really highlighted here is that this 'report' before we even discuss whether its credible or not is talking about revenue and not profits.

 

So profits are going to be a lot lower. Who can guess at what is actually required to generate that revenue, staff costs are probably the biggest one, they might not have as many developers working on the game, but theres probably technical staff, and i know they have a whole store sales team - probably shared between lotro and ddo. Point being there are costs incurred in generating that revenue that we can all only speculate about.

The post just above comparing Rift to LOTRO remains significant though.  IF one assumes that the operating costs for running an MMO (staff, servers,and overall 'cost in generating revenue) are comparable from game to game, it begs the question all the same how TRION can do so much for so little with RIFT, or how Turbine can do so little with so much for LOTRO.  If the costs are not comparable, that would seem to point toward a massive inefficiency in Turbine.  

 

My guess is that post gets nuked.

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Choon has a great followup post too.

 

Denial is amazingly powerful.  You've got the good ship LOTRO having just shuddered while passing very close by an iceberg, crewmen readying lifeboats, the front of the ship sitting lower in the water, but because the band is still playing on deck some of these loyalists refuse to believe the boat is sinking.

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The post just above comparing Rift to LOTRO remains significant though.  IF one assumes that the operating costs for running an MMO (staff, servers,and overall 'cost in generating revenue) are comparable from game to game, it begs the question all the same how TRION can do so much for so little with RIFT, or how Turbine can do so little with so much for LOTRO.  If the costs are not comparable, that would seem to point toward a massive inefficiency in Turbine.  

 

 

Its possible that because of the way Rift has designed their in house software development kits or whathaveyou they do make a big difference in the costs/speed associated with creating new content (bit of a stretch probably) They always seem to have frequent high quality content updates, wheras lotro update schedule ive always described as being glacial and the quality has been all over the place and the quantity has been up and down but normally on the low end.

 

Perhaps Trion just has better people. I remember reading an article how one of Trions developers created a minimally functional working prototype for their housing system (players place, scale, rotate objects) within a day on their own initiative.

 

Perhaps Turbine really are that incompetent and poorly managed, I remember when Turbine used to boast that they create content faster than teams twice their size, that couldnt have been the case after Moria. Or perhaps it was and a small team managed to accomplish great things.

 

Maybe a lot of that money goes straight to Warner Brothers, maybe the figures for many of those games are woefully inaccurate or all of them.

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Its possible that because of the way Rift has designed their in house software development kits or whathaveyou they do make a big difference in the costs/speed associated with creating new content (bit of a stretch probably) They always seem to have frequent high quality content updates, wheras lotro update schedule ive always described as being glacial and the quality has been all over the place and the quantity has been up and down but normally on the low end.

 

Perhaps Trion just has better people. I remember reading an article how one of Trions developers created a minimally functional working prototype for their housing system (players place, scale, rotate objects) within a day on their own initiative.

 

Perhaps Turbine really are that incompetent and poorly managed, I remember when Turbine used to boast that they create content faster than teams twice their size, that couldnt have been the case after Moria. Or perhaps it was and a small team managed to accomplish great things.

 

Maybe a lot of that money goes straight to Warner Brothers, maybe the figures for many of those games are woefully inaccurate or all of them.

There are still some good people at Turbine.  I do see the lack of evolution in development.  They could have brought in top notch devs to make lotro the number 2 mmo on the market.  But they did not.  IF they had brought in better folk it could have raised the bar of the current team.

 

I look at that chart and honestly it's from last year.  I'm sure they rooked some players into buying HD to boost that number.  The chart has no bearing on what is happening to the game today.  If we get a chart like this next January I expect Lotro to be closer to the bottom. 

 

I think Turbine is willing to live with the players who only stay for the IP. 

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There are still some good people at Turbine.  I do see the lack of evolution in development.  They could have brought in top notch devs to make lotro the number 2 mmo on the market.  But they did not.  IF they had brought in better folk it could have raised the bar of the current team.

 

I look at that chart and honestly it's from last year.  I'm sure they rooked some players into buying HD to boost that number.  The chart has no bearing on what is happening to the game today.  If we get a chart like this next January I expect Lotro to be closer to the bottom. 

 

I think Turbine is willing to live with the players who only stay for the IP. 

 

SD from Dec 2011

 

 

 

What”s clear about new media economics is that they are more akin to fan economics rather than mass media consumption. After all, it”s only 2% of users that actually pay.

 

SD from the OP Graph/Report 2014

 

 

The pay-to-play MMO market has been shrinking since 2010, dropping from 30.6 million monthly active subscribers worldwide to 23.4 million this year. To offset the loss of revenue, several key titles have incorporated or switched entirely to a microtransaction-based revenue model. In the past five years, the percentage of revenue for subscription-based MMO generated via additional in-game microtransactions has roughly doubled from 14% for 27%. In addition, the average digital spend, in addition to the monthly fee, has tripled from $16 to $46, worldwide. Despite the overall decline, this category has so far managed to maximize their ability to monetize a shrinking yet loyal player base.

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Here he is being quoted in USAToday by a USAToday writer, maybe that's legit enough. 

 

I'm surprised drul that you haven't read through the SuperData site, there's some interesting stuff there, esp. for someone interested in the business and market aspects of gaming.

 

They may be full of shit but they do it well if they are. I'd like to see the detailed reports they do. These are the guys you see at the industry conventions that the companies hire to do their metrics and help shape business plans.

 

One thing I found interesting is that they say on average that F2P is supported by only 2% of the players. Which is something that's been suspected here about LotRO and "whales" According to SD that's actually normal for the F2P industry.

 

I did read. Not through whole site yet, but I did.

 

I am just trolling a bit. Sorry if I am not being too clear about it :)

 

 

Anyway - yeah most F2P titles are kept afloat by very small % of players.  More long term issue is that games will have to motivate whales more and more.  That is why in i.e. 2010 lockboxes were non-existant in western f2p mmorpgs and now they are norm.  That is why 2 years ago selling ANY kind of armor / weapons with statistics in Cash Shop was taboo and now it is starting to be normal, gold selling in cash shop was something unbeliveable and now it is present in many f2p titles (either almost directly like in GW2 or little less direct like in many others - in which you can buy cash shop item for $$$ and sell it to other player for gold), etc

 

 

Last but not least - yeah I would very much like to get my hands on SuperDataResearch  FULL report, including sources, methodology, etc 

 

I don't have few K$ to spare though.

 

 

 

In addition, the average digital spend, in addition to the monthly fee, has tripled from $16 to $46, worldwide. Despite the overall decline, this category has so far managed to maximize their ability to monetize a shrinking yet loyal player base.

Very nice find Spiteful !

 

Yeah. That is what whole mmorpg industry is doing.  Increasing $ / per player.  That is what ultimatelly f2p is about and mmorpg with microtransactions especially.

 

Situation in which there is less players is additionally leveraged.  Less players = remaining players expecting less content or worse quality of content or both.  If those remaining players are stomaching   worse quality of service then they are logically very attached and ready to pay MORE.

 

Additionally in mmorpg's generally and microtransaction ones especially the more "addicted" players is, the higher chance is that he/she did spent more in cash shop.  More money alrady spent = less chance he/she will leave.

 

Money and time works similarly in this matter.   Many WoW players do keep coming back to play WoW because they did already spent so much time there, they're attached to their characters, they have nostalgia to their past years of playing, etc

 

Spending without ceiling in games with microtranactions can allow to keep players attached faster and for longer. Not only more you spend = smaller chance you will leave because of some change but ALSO spending on cash shop item feel like you OWN something, even though you don't own it at all :)

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One thing that would be nice to know is how much do Turbine pay for the LOTR licence. I bet it is not cheap

But that is probably revenue dependent to a major part.

(ignoring the problem whether the license to give licenses is valid in the first place)

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But that is probably revenue dependent to a major part.

(ignoring the problem whether the license to give licenses is valid in the first place)

I suspect there is a fixed fee per year, and then perhaps a percentage of profits on top of that

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I suspect there is a fixed fee per year, and then perhaps a percentage of profits on top of that

Yes, there always is. I just think that in the case of the video game license it probably is a larger chunk in the latter.

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All this talk about numbers and statistics reminds me of an episode from one of my favorite shows: Penn and Teller Bullshit. This scene in particular.....

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0Z0raWIHXk

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