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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:48 pm 
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The methods I see which are most interesting are the one-time payment (similar to the Kagi key purchase for Until Uru), the donation method, or a cost per Age method. Personally, I like the donation and the cost per Age methods the best.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:24 pm 
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That's an interesting post. I could see a use for all three - one-time payment to Cyan for the client / data for existing ages, donation to the shard for its upkeep and a micropayment for anything new.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:02 pm 
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"I have to agree. Seeing as how Cyan couldn't get enough profit when they had most of the fan base paying them, I don't see how one could expect to gain anything from just a fraction of the fan base."

I have done the math on this. I can probably make money with a modest monthly fee structure.

Anyway I am no fly by night or rogue.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:27 pm 
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Herohtar wrote:
Dachannien wrote:
If you intend to make a profit doing this - or even to recoup your expenses - you probably shouldn't bother running your own server or shard. There are no guarantees, and I suspect that for most of us, the only people we would be willing to pay up front would be Cyan.

But if you are prepared to take a 100% loss, and you consider anything better than that to be a bonus, then have at it :)


I have to agree. Seeing as how Cyan couldn't get enough profit when they had most of the fan base paying them, I don't see how one could expect to gain anything from just a fraction of the fan base.

It will be a matter of how much horse power the servers need and the bandwidth costs divided by the number of fans playing. All of which only a few have the experience to estimate server requirements and costs. Any of us can only guess at fan participation. With around 13,000 signups here and 100 active posters… it is really hard to know what to expect.

Cyan’s, or even GT’s, big cost was the creation of new content. With fans creating content, that is huge decrease in operating costs. So, this OS thing could work well. In which case, it may be a matter of what Cyan allows in regard to charging for use of their content.

jmdoggett wrote:
I have done the math on this. I can probably make money with a modest monthly fee structure.

I’m curious as to how you figured the costs and the possible income and fan participation…

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:02 pm 
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Just as you outlined above! Very insightful post btw. The unknowns are the number of paying subs and the hardware, but I have a few server machines and infrastructure components already.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:56 pm 
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Don't underestimate competition either :) With every dog and their uncle planning to set up a server, I would imagine yours won't be the only one... but if it is good enough, players will flock to it and readily pay what you will be asking :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:17 am 
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I'm curious as to how you plan to implement monthly fees - paypal, and some front end process that verifies people's payment status, as part of the authentication process? Just curious. I'm also curious as to what seems like a good "small" monthly fee, but I completely understand if you don't want to divulge that now.

We do have the history of how it worked with all the other venues. The first time, Ubisoft, people had to buy the box game but it never got to the monthly fee part, because the MMO game was cancelled - per Ubisoft, not enough subscribers. For Until Uru, that was one time small fee, and some shard owners collected donations. Gametap had a monthly fee. The number of Gametap subscribers seemed small to me - I guessed in the thousands (lowish thousands), but I don't know. Divide that up by the number of Uru instances (though if free or cheap I'll bet people will instance hop) and it gets murky.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:04 pm 
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I am thinking in the 3 to 4 dollar a month range, if the math works.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:57 pm 
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Something to keep in mind is you will be competing with folks that will charge nothing to use their Shard and there were several during UU that were successful.

To get a feel for the number of Shards in the UU days check out semplers' shards. We didn't make it into all of them but I think we have listed most all that were around. As you can see their were a lot of them.

I also realise that this go around will be a little more difficult to set up than UU was so there will be fewer Shards this time.

[off topic]
On an off topic side note we need a poll for how many days after release the first drop into the desert happens. Tally Ho! :P
[/off topic]


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:18 pm 
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jmdoggett wrote:
I am thinking in the 3 to 4 dollar a month range, if the math works.
Now that's interesting.
I'd have no objection to paying $5 per month for whatever becomes my home shard. I just about got monthly donations to Tapestry by Paypal worked out by the time Tapestry folded. :)

And ... when does a regular donation become a subscription? :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:40 pm 
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Good question! $5! I figured people would lynch me if I suggested that much. I want to have a good environment where folks can play and I can create some new content, and Uhhh buy food and catfood.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:41 pm 
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Rusty_Russell wrote:

And ... when does a regular donation become a subscription? :)


Aslong as you do not make it too regular it stays a donation.
I think a "committed" donation will be the best solution for now. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:47 pm 
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A periodic donation is a "subscription fee" when people can't play unless they pay. If someone stops their monthly payment, and can still get on and do everything they've always been able to do in the game, then that monthly payment was a monthly donation. If people can get on, even if they never make a payment, then payments are donations. If people can only play if they pay, then it's a subscription fee - a one time fee, or a fee for a certain amount of time, depending on how you do it.

It's all about what you have access to, in Uru. If access is not dependent on payment, what you pay is a donation, otherwise it's a fee.

Yes - I'd love to see the metric - how soon after an instance of Uru comes up is there the drop in the desert!

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Last edited by mszv on Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:11 pm 
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The advantage of a not regular "committed" donation is that those who made a donation can play for a certain time. So if someone donate say $15 he can play for 3 months. If he wants to continue to play, he makes another donation. This time for 6 months or longer.
Than it stays a donation in a legal way and there will be no tax involved.
With a subscription there will be a tax issue.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:25 pm 
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When money changes hands... taxes get involved. If there are profits (any income over cost) involved, then filing becomes mandatory in many countries. Donation or required payment does not make a difference.

One can set up a non-profit. But there are still required tax filings to show where the money went. So, whoever runs the shard will have some accounting work to do. One can keep it on a personal level and show it as income or loss.

If someone knows the section and paragraph of the tax code that excludes donations, I would love to have the reference.

I am curious what Cyan will write into their Content License regarding income from its use.

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