Server Cost Estimate

How much is it going to cost to run the servers at launch? Are they Amazon servers? Assuming about 1000 concurrent users peak, what ballpark are we in? $10/ month? $100? $1000?

Totally understand if this is a question the devs do not want to answer.

Speculation is welcome.

For just the servers + bandwidth you’re probably talking around $2k/month for 1,000 concurrents. Of course the vast majority of the cost of running the game is not the server hardware, it’s the salaries of the development team, support staff, etc. If hypothetically all you needed to do was keep the servers online and not provide any support, develop new content for the game, etc. then it could be run quite cheaply most likely.


Wow, that’s a lot more than I expected :open_mouth:

Man I know tat life haha. We have 12 servers and 2,000+ sites we run across them. But with a good staff (which with what I have seen so far i’d say you probably have) you guys can easily pull it off. Though with growth of the game and community your staff will grow as well. I may not speak or all of us on this, but I would for sure be happy to pay a subscription if it ever came to it.

I wish you guys the best and I can’t wait to start playing!

I’d pay the sub cost for this game, just sayin.

I would pay the subscription fee too, but I think I agree with Riley’s logic in this interview:

“My biggest fear is that, I think when you have a subscription, like, say you’re going to charge everybody $15 a month… what that leads to is people who say ‘Okay, well if I don’t play at least 20 hours this month then I’m not getting my money’s worth so I’m not going to log in,’ right? Or [they say] ‘I’m going to cancel my subscription.’ So you have a lot of activity when the game launches or the big expansion comes out, and then like half the player base disappears after the first two or three months, because who wants to be paying $15/month just to log in and fish for an hour or say ‘hi’ to somebody? I really feel like with a small community, like we’re going to have, it’s really important that as many people as possible have the option to just log in whenever they feel like it.”

I think they’ll be fine with this model. Let’s assume (conservatively) that only 2% of headset owners buy the game. SuperData reported that in 2016 670,000 Vives and Rifts were shipped. 2% of that is 13,400. Multiply that by the cost of the game ($40) = $536,000. Minus the estimated yearly cost of running the servers ($12,000) and you’re left with $524,000 to pay your 6 employees with (data also taken from the above interview). Now that may not be enough to buy everybody a shiny new Lamborghini… but it would be sustainable, and I think more than 2% of headset owners are going to buy this game. I think 4% or 5% would even be a more realistic prediction.


Yeah, you are right, I guess I still have a bad taste in my mouth about PlanetSide2. But because this is VR that does limit the audience, so yeah it being free with vanity micro transactions wouldn’t be totally bad.

I just always get scare when I think of MMO’s that go to Free To Play. :sweat_smile:

Talking hypothetically how to monetize this game…

if it is around $2 PPU to run the servers and you have a decentralized team of:

5 developers
$500005 = $250000
1 product manager
1 = $50000
2 marketing specialists + marketing budget
$350002 + 35000 marketing budget(? a bit low maybe) = $105000
1 artist
1 = $40000
n amount of contractors
$800001 = $80000
3 sales agents
3 = $90000

total yearly revenue required $615000 to pay a whole product team fully.

Now… if lets say subscription per month was $9 and you need to earn 615000 per year…
9*12=$108 PPUPA.

615000/108 = 5694 paying users per month to break even.

but wait! the server cost… 5694212 = 136056…

615000+136056 = ~751000

751000/108 = 6952 monthly active users to break even… That is pushing it a little bit I think…

But look… we are not poor users… we all have a HTC Vive/Oculus… Realistically $19,99 would still be acceptable right?

19.99*12 = $240 per paying user.

751000/240 = 3129 monthly paying users…

Okay that looks more realistic as a break even amount for the next year onwards… As soon as the next generation of vives come out the market cap will increase dramatically and a massive influx of players will appear…

Lets assume that Riley and team can come up with an IAP strategy that is not pay to win but gets the break-even costing they need along side this! Then we will start to see a triple A setup forming ;).

Simply put:

1) game purchase price from influx of users
2) subscription model if required
3) clever in-app purchases. vanity but no pay to win.

With the average user willing to spent $19.99 per month on a combination of the 3… its likely to exceed that cap and fuel smart expansion for riley & team.

But look… we are not poor users… we all have a HTC Vive/Oculus… Realistically $19,99 would still be acceptable right?

That is a bad reason to charge more. This game is already going to suffer from the fact that VR isn’t that huge right now. The average person doesn’t have it, yet. Charging a sub fee when your playerbase is already niche is a good way to potentially lose a good portion of it.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this but I bought into this based on what Riley has said so far. No subscription model. If I waste $50 to find out it gets a sub later then so be it. I understand that things change and it is a possibility for the future but I will not be here for it.

Paying monthly to play a game just is not the way things are done anymore and I’m very happy about that. Pay once to play like Guild Wars is really nice. ESO takes it a step further and it is buy once to play and then they have a sub for extra stuff you can do if you want that. I’m not a huge fan of locking content like that either but it really depends how it is done. MMOs like WoW that are on the sub model are ingrained at this point and will not change but I feel like that model is dead.

Completely agree. VR is super physical and players have to pace themselves/ put aside time to setup their rig and put the effort into playing. It isn’t as simple as sitting down and tapping keys. Adding a sub to a game like that could deter people even further than just “I don’t play enough to justify the cost” I would guess the average player will not sink in the time you’d put into a traditional mmo because of the extra time and effort it takes to login each time. No 5 minute quick login sessions for Orbus

That’s another thing I didn’t even consider, how physical it is. This isn’t going to be a game that you have many people dropping 8-12 hour days in as they easily can in other MMOs. Some will at first but that is going to be very taxing on them. The first time I played Robo Recall it lasted a while and I was dying from sweating. That and the climbing games. I have a very physical job and I could really feel the burn from climbing games if I kept playing.

I just hope this game remains as open and accessible as possible for a long time and I feel like it is in a good spot for that with the current plans. The $50 cost is nothing, it is the same as most other current VR games but the content is going to far outshine any others. When it comes out it will be like $40 so even better.

The reality is this is a brand new thing and is just as likely to fail as it is to succeed simply because nobody knows what is going to happen. Nobody knows the population this game might see on EA release or even a year from now. The last Oculus sale no doubt helped a lot and when Christmas + tax season rolls around you will see more people with VR. It’s uncharted territory and actually really interesting to watch the market grow and evolve.

Super interesting to hear these responses.

The big question is How can Riley & team ensure that the outgoing costs are not as high as the incoming costs?

Maybe clever in-game purchases can cover the costs? Advertisements? Bitcoin donations?

I don’t know. Something has to.

I guess the follow up question to that would be How can Riley & team reduce technology costs.

It’s also possible that some of the game content could be created and donated by the community. Artwork, modelling, lore, help pages, there’s a lot of content that would cost development time, but dedicated community members could contribute to.

I’m really keen for OrbusVR to succeed, and I’ve loved the little I’ve seen to date. I’m sure others feel the same, and the community on these forums has a positive attitude (often true in closed beta groups), so there’s no reason that instead of considering dropping some $ on a subscription, those of us that are keen to support can contribute in other ways.

It’s definitely a challenge to produce commercially viable games for a system with a limited install base, so getting the community to support seems like a reasonable way forward, although designing the mechanisms for support can be tricky and can end up offending people whose stuff doesn’t get used!

Yeah, while I don’t necessarily agree that subscriptions are a dead business model (as many people prefer that to piles of microtransactions), I do agree that for a game that relies on a critical mass of players to be viable, they want as few barriers to entry as possible.

I think one thing they could leverage is just how invested a subset of their users are. I know there are probably at least a few dozen of us that would be eager to invest into the game further monetarily to help support it, if given the right vehicle to do so. Maybe it’s an optional “premium” subscription, or some type of collector’s-founder’s-edition-upgrade at launch, real life physical collectibles, or even just some crazy/custom/cool in-game cosmetics with high price tags.

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we could just do a poll on the situation, different price ranges or not at all or a donation Style

Cosmetics I think are the way forward without disrupting adoption towards critical mass.