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  1. #41
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    Famitsu Interview with Matsui and Saito - Vana'diel Project

    I never said they were right, the only ones who knows the actual numbers are the people at SEHQ that manage budgets.

    But when people like Sho just stick their fingers in their ears going "LALALA NO YOURE WRONG LALALA" and offer absolutely nothing in regards to correcting the numbers i posted because "theyre sillyness" is absolutely fucking retarded.


    Answer this: if XI is indeed losing money (and not even on the hemmorhaging scale Sho believes), why wouldnt they just pull the plug right away? Why would they give it another 12 months of full dev support, and then continue to let the servers run after that point? Because "theyre afraid of upsetting people? All of a sudden they have a conscience? Where was this conscience when my XI sub fee was paying for XIVs redevelopment and XI was given a skeleton crew? Wheres this conscience when they havent lowered sub fee, despite cutting down on dev costs, and even now saying "theres no plans to reduce fee even after we put the game on life support"? Theres no conscience at all there.

  2. #42
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    Also, doing a google search (see: http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/avera...ity-prices-kwh)

    Japan's avg cost is 26c/kwh, compared to the US's 12c/kwh. Having worked in a utility company for a few years doing a lot of data analysis, including billing data. Assuming a small 2 story office building, with a server room (it's likely bigger than that - but trying to take just what FFXI is using up for comparison's sake), I'm thinking the bill would be somewhere between $8500 and $12000/mo where I used to work (not 100% sure on these numbers, can't really think of a comparable business but I think that should be near the ballpark... Also, ~14c/kwh for residential customers where I worked. Commercial rates are different, but assuming the same ratio, which I think is an ok assumption, that means the bill in Japan would be about 1.85x that amount), so I'll go ahead and take the $10k estimate you gave. Electricity now costs somewhere around $18500/mo.

    And that doesn't include other things such as property tax on the building or maintenance costs for the devkits. Also to take into account: How much time does HR, payroll, IT support, and other departments spend supporting FFXI employee related tasks? Also purchasing of office supplies. There's probably a ton of other types of expenses as well, but I'm not going to try mathing all of that out...

    Again, personally, I think they're making some money, possibly breaking even, but with decreased subscriptions that number is getting closer and closer to break even/loss. Eh.

  3. #43
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    You guys are kind of looking at it backwards (in terms of costs) when SE is really going to be looking at it in terms of potential profits. They aren't necessarily trying to minimize costs. They're trying to maximize profits. FFXI doesn't have to be technically in the red for it to be discontinued. Their decision to drop FFXI indicates that the resources they allocated to FFXI are not returning the profit they hoped for. Departments can get axed for "underperforming" even when they're technically still in the black.

    For instance, Tanaka is a good producer. Could he produce something that makes more profit than FFXI if he didn't have to spend so much time on FFXI? Maybe. Lets say that all the costs associated with FFXI total $2.5mil/yr and they take in 3mil/yr in subscription fees. That's a 20% return on their investment. In contrast, Tomb Raider cost ~$100mil and probably made them over $180mil (>6 million units * $30/game). That's an 80% return on their investment.

    In the absence of real numbers I can't say what their threshold for acceptable profits are, but I can say that this is almost certainly the calculation they're doing. I strongly doubt that FFXI is grossly unprofitable. I bet it's just not giving them quite the bang for the buck that they hoped.

  4. #44

    Quoted to continue what Byrth was saying about potential profits:
    Quote Originally Posted by dasva View Post
    Except by dropping console support and merely reducing the current tempo of updates they could cut costs a ton and probably lose no one. Even if they were barely breaking even know which I doubt they could easily make cuts without cutting all content.
    I don't recall the exact number, but it was something to the tune of 1/3 of the JP playerbase is PS2 people.
    Which means a potential loss of 1/3 of the Japanese sector.
    Because they probably don't think that people will go out and drop 2,000 yen on a PC JUST to pay SE $12 more a month for FFXI. (Especially when PS2 sales in Japan are and have been beating the shit out of PS3 and PS4 sales... Japan is weird.)
    So dropping the PS2 version isn't a cost cut, it's a detriment that they have to cut costs to make account for.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaeQueenCory View Post
    Because they probably don't think that people will go out and drop 2,000 yen on a PC JUST to pay SE $12 more a month for FFXI.

    I like when people bring this up, speaking as if PCs are still some mythical magical box that only the upper class have. Keep in mind you're making comments about a society of people that is fixated on computer technology more-so than probably any other country in the world, only other one to rival it is probably Korea. For PC you could add a full ffxi w/ all expansion licenses for $30 (3,600 yen) so by your statement of PCs costing 2,000 yen ($16.60) I think they could cover the cost of a PC just fine.

  6. #46
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    In the words of my physics professor: you all must have a computer, it's unthinkable to not possess one in this age anymore.

  7. #47
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    I'm confused that they keep lamenting that it was impossible to do anything with the game but give it a swan song and kill it since they didn't want to keep dumping money and dev time into it. However, in the next breath say "Sup guys, check out this new phone game we're making with the assets!"

    Wait, I thought they couldn't rationalize more dev time without making a new game so they aren't. . . except that they are?

    Are they really just trying to wring their hands of XI proper so they can move on to something else? Just seems like we're hearing two different stories here.

    I haven't actively played XI in close to 3 years even though I've still been subbed the whole time; I honestly don't know if it would be worth my time to try to catch up and do the new stuff instead of just watching videos of it on YouTube or something at this point :/

  8. #48

    Mobile games largely aren't as demanding for development. For example, PS1 emulation IS possible on today's phones, but I wouldn't call it great or flawless. As a result, I'd probably put current phone tech around that level before factoring the likely ties to bandwidth needs. We bitch a lot about PS2 limitations, but imagine a totally unmodified game with PS1 limitations instead... With whatever retrofit they have in mind, expect corners to be cut. What animations there are will likely be both blocky and choppy. Lots of stills and flashy graphic effects will likely be employed to pick up the slack. Might even revisit the ol' first person perspective RPG mob dynamic where they flash and wiggle a little to signify an attack. Bluntly, do NOT look to their mobile version as a technological step forward for XI and think, "Why couldn't they do that for PC?" You'll be asking for an inferior product. Why are they still doing it, though? A mix of the mobile market being untapped, brand recognition, a strong backbone to base content on, and the ability to be cheap about it while wiggling in whatever premium expenses they deem fit.

    Personally, I'm not gloating that XI is going down. During late-ToAU/early-WotG time, I was one of those people frustrated with XIV leeching away vital resources just for Tanaka to produce a wicked smelling turd. That favor never really did seem returned despite ARR's current success, and while firmly I believe Abyssea delayed this scenario by 1-2 years, it was still an eventuality without the needed resources and affection coming back. Hell, Tanaka coming BACK, even if temporarily, was enough to get me to nope out of the game prior to Adoulin. I've obviously still followed it and milked out the freebie time when they do happen, but despite the good QoL additions and other long-term needed fixes that have happened over the past year or so, there are still some key ones that will just never seemingly be fixed due to the tech or this being an aged/niche game. Trusts helped on some level, but merges need to happen. At the same time, they can't because "instancing" is shit. The complete lack of matchmaking services makes their current party content more a matter of difficulty in accessing it than winning, nevermind alliance-sized.

    I look to the private scene with cynicism. Said it in another thread, but retail pretty much needs to get flawlessly cloned before before people start getting fancy, as people trying the "fancy" now are dropping the ball on some fundamental levels, both in how people play games today and how certain design decisions were made back then with specific population sizes in mind. There's no room for personal bias like, "CoP was the best time!" and forego anything after that. Any "hand holding" measures SE themselves put in can not be ignored, as they were done so for good reason(s). A bunch of little servers with maybe 10-50 people really isn't a future for this game. No, they need to be better consolidated while run by people who don't go SE circa-2005 Ostrich Mode when people speak up about something being broken, or worse, not fun.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auspice View Post
    I'm confused that they keep lamenting that it was impossible to do anything with the game but give it a swan song and kill it since they didn't want to keep dumping money and dev time into it. However, in the next breath say "Sup guys, check out this new phone game we're making with the assets!"

    Wait, I thought they couldn't rationalize more dev time without making a new game so they aren't. . . except that they are?
    I think there are a couple major factors there. First, they aren't doing the mobile version. Nexon is. The way it was stated in this interview seems to say that SE was in negotiations to have Nexon make a mobile MMO, and FFXI was the IP that got picked. They're likely building it, at least in part, on top of engine/infrastructure that Nexon already has.

    Second, making it a separate deal means they can do what they need or want to do. They could (and likely will) scrap entire aspects of the current game. Stuff that would cause an outcry were the game being marketed as an immediate replacement, but that can be rationalized as making it work on an new platform.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byrthnoth View Post
    In contrast, Tomb Raider cost ~$100mil and probably made them over $180mil (>6 million units * $30/game). That's an 80% return on their investment.
    Except that money doesnt flow in monthly. Thats a one time return.

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian View Post
    How much time does HR, payroll, IT support, and other departments spend supporting FFXI employee related tasks? Also purchasing of office supplies. There's probably a ton of other types of expenses as well, but I'm not going to try mathing all of that out...
    Out of the entire staff at SE, how much of them are strictly exclusive to FFXI? I'd wager a very very small amount. I highly doubt the HR and payroll people are really stressing over the XI skeleton crew making them do so much extra work. IT support is company wide. If you want to say that XI GM's have their own expense, but I'm 99% sure that the XIV and the XI GM's are the same staff, based on this.

    And really? Office supplies? Cmon man lol

  11. #51
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    You're still needing to retain more GMs to cover both games, or decrease the quality/increase wait time of their service.

    Even if FFXI is break even or making a small profit, it makes more sense for SE to use those resources elsewhere at this point. If they didn't FUBAR the game with the ilvl system maybe they could have kept it going a little longer, but now? Nah.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by NynJa View Post
    Except that money doesnt flow in monthly. Thats a one time return.



    Out of the entire staff at SE, how much of them are strictly exclusive to FFXI? I'd wager a very very small amount. I highly doubt the HR and payroll people are really stressing over the XI skeleton crew making them do so much extra work. IT support is company wide. If you want to say that XI GM's have their own expense, but I'm 99% sure that the XIV and the XI GM's are the same staff, based on this.

    And really? Office supplies? Cmon man lol
    dont assume that different departments in the same bigcompany do something for free. If you demand a new Ws animation from the SE graphical department the ffxi team will get a bill for it they have to pay with their budget. big companys do that so they have all the numbers to see which departments are profitable and on which tgey have to cut expenses. this is just an example.

    game service department prolly bills the 14 team and 11 team althougj they do the same on both games and its a department of SE.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byrthnoth View Post
    You guys are kind of looking at it backwards (in terms of costs) when SE is really going to be looking at it in terms of potential profits. They aren't necessarily trying to minimize costs. They're trying to maximize profits. FFXI doesn't have to be technically in the red for it to be discontinued. Their decision to drop FFXI indicates that the resources they allocated to FFXI are not returning the profit they hoped for. Departments can get axed for "underperforming" even when they're technically still in the black.

    For instance, Tanaka is a good producer. Could he produce something that makes more profit than FFXI if he didn't have to spend so much time on FFXI? Maybe. Lets say that all the costs associated with FFXI total $2.5mil/yr and they take in 3mil/yr in subscription fees. That's a 20% return on their investment. In contrast, Tomb Raider cost ~$100mil and probably made them over $180mil (>6 million units * $30/game). That's an 80% return on their investment.

    In the absence of real numbers I can't say what their threshold for acceptable profits are, but I can say that this is almost certainly the calculation they're doing. I strongly doubt that FFXI is grossly unprofitable. I bet it's just not giving them quite the bang for the buck that they hoped.
    This is a more clear way of explaining what I was trying to explain. I could have been less convoluted and not have gone as far as say they are hemorrhaging money, but still. Fact is, the game isn't producing to the level that they want, so they asked Matsui to cut costs. It's interesting to note that (if this article is to be believed) the execs did not tell him to discontinue the game. They told him to cut expenses and he made the decision on his own to opt for giving the game a definitive end instead of spreading out content over small patches.

    Regardless, that does not discount the fact that they as a team of SE are given a budget that can increase or decrease depending on how well the game does, much like any other division in a big tech company. It's hard to take any one serious who's throwing out random numbers based on conjecture, because a budget is always fluctuating for good or for bad, depending on the success of the product. However, you don't need rocket science or maths to be able to realize a product that's not doing too well. You also don't need numbers to realize what will inevitably happen. It's easy to say "Oh, Team X probably has Y number of people doing Z, so Team X should be sufficient in their upkeep of product W," but without any actual numbers of Y, Z, and W, one can't be sure how well the team should be doing at all.

    TL;DR: I'm more willing to believe the Producer who put out a PR statement on the status of the game, rather than random people (including myself) making up numbers on what they should believe should be sufficient enough for the game's upkeep in any aspect.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sho View Post
    This is a more clear way of explaining what I was trying to explain. I could have been less convoluted and not have gone as far as say they are hemorrhaging money, but still. Fact is, the game isn't producing to the level that they want, so they asked Matsui to cut costs. It's interesting to note that (if this article is to be believed) the execs did not tell him to discontinue the game. They told him to cut expenses and he made the decision on his own to opt for giving the game a definitive end instead of spreading out content over small patches.

    Regardless, that does not discount the fact that they as a team of SE are given a budget that can increase or decrease depending on how well the game does, much like any other division in a big tech company. It's hard to take any one serious who's throwing out random numbers based on conjecture, because a budget is always fluctuating for good or for bad, depending on the success of the product. However, you don't need rocket science or maths to be able to realize a product that's not doing too well. You also don't need numbers to realize what will inevitably happen. It's easy to say "Oh, Team X probably has Y number of people doing Z, so Team X should be sufficient in their upkeep of product W," but without any actual numbers of Y, Z, and W, one can't be sure how well the team should be doing at all.

    TL;DR: I'm more willing to believe the Producer who put out a PR statement on the status of the game, rather than random people (including myself) making up numbers on what they should believe should be sufficient enough for the game's upkeep in any aspect.
    Well that is the biggest I've seen in quite some time. How do you go from "FFXI is hemorrhaging money" to "I meant to say it's not making enough money for them to continue support"? Not to mention you argued with several people that XI was not making ANY profit at all.

    GTFO of here with that shit man.

  15. #55
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    *tinfoil* Yoshida was recently moved up in the ranks and now takes part in SE's decisions. This is all his elaborate plan to have more developers for his team and more players for his game!

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuishen View Post
    Well that is the biggest I've seen in quite some time. How do you go from "FFXI is hemorrhaging money" to "I meant to say it's not making enough money for them to continue support"? Not to mention you argued with several people that XI was not making ANY profit at all.

    GTFO of here with that shit man.
    My dude, I'm not afraid to call myself on bullshit, so don't talk to me like I'm some kid.

    I still believe the game isn't doing well, even willing to say it's not profiting at all regardless -- you have to be a complete idiot to not see resources dry up, funding decreasing, and people quitting for something better (or all together).

    You can spend however much time you want arguing over what I said; have at it if makes you feel like King Shit for the day. I don't mind. Anyways, aside from using the word "hemorrhaging" the meat of what I've been saying has not changed at all since I started posting.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sho View Post
    My dude, I'm not afraid to call myself on bullshit, so don't talk to me like I'm some kid.

    I still believe the game isn't doing well, even willing to say it's not profiting at all regardless -- you have to be a complete idiot to not see resources dry up, funding decreasing, and people quitting for something better (or all together).

    You can spend however much time you want arguing over what I said; have at it if makes you feel like King Shit for the day. I don't mind. Anyways, aside from using the word "hemorrhaging" the meat of what I've been saying has not changed at all since I started posting.

  18. #58
    YOU BLACK, MIDNIGHT, EVIL MOTHERFUCKERS!!! BLACK MAGIC, DARKNESS!!! YOU RAW, DARKNESS!!! YOU, FUCKING, DELIRIOUS MOTHERFUCKER!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuishen View Post
    I bet you had that shit gif queued up as a slick response all day, lol.

  19. #59
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    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Jennifer+Lawrence+ok+yeah

    It's funny because you claim to be willing to call yourself on your bullshit, but then suddenly when I do it, you resort to the most basic of internet tough guy responses.

  20. #60
    YOU BLACK, MIDNIGHT, EVIL MOTHERFUCKERS!!! BLACK MAGIC, DARKNESS!!! YOU RAW, DARKNESS!!! YOU, FUCKING, DELIRIOUS MOTHERFUCKER!
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    Too petty, too petty. Instead of continuing down this line of back and forth derailing -- I'd rather ask a question to you and Nynja (and whoever else would like to respond).

    What would you dudes have done to keep FFXI afloat if you were in Matsui's shoes?