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About SpatialOS pricing

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pricing

#22

If the game is even an extremely modest success and has hundreds players active, then it seems difficult to imagine that $15 per player will cover the fees that it appears SpatialOS will be charging for all that play time.

This is a fair concern! From our side you can imagine we’re incredibly driven to make sure SpatialOS is a cost-effective way of running even free-to-play titles - it’s probably our most important goal. We’ll follow up soon with much more detail, but we’ve found even high-fidelity worlds that have even hundreds of Unity workers, and thousands of connected clients have costs that work for our customers. I’d imagine a traditional MMO would be even more feasible.


#23

Thanks for the extra information @rob! I am looking forward to more details on this as well. Even though I am very supportive and confident that things will work out, as an independent developer without an investor I also have a sharp budget to work with :slight_smile:

I was wondering, and perhaps this is more of a feature request, will you also create a calculator to predict costs or even during alpha measure billing information, even though it is not billed, so that devs can tweak for a certain budget?


#25

Yep - we are working on a usage viewer that will show you worker-hours and user-hours usage for your cloud deployments. This should help you understand and plan the cost of your game. This will be your billing data once you start being charged. Also as @rob mentioned about the Google program kicking off soon: the usage viewer will give you info about your credits, how and on which deployment you are using them.
We are also working on a more synthetic pricing calculator so you can plug in numbers of workers and users and explore various scenarios and how costing changes based on the parameters you enter and the unit price for the various types of worker-hours and user-hours.


#26

I don’t know if you have it already planned but it would be awesome if the usage viewer would automatically translate the worker-hours and user-hours into dollars/euros as well.


#28

Yes that’s what we are shooting for.


#29

Love the idea of a calculator @draconigra !


#30

Thanks @mathieu!


#31

Some kind of automatic projection on the “metrics” page would be useful.


#32

Upon further reflection, I realized that the revenue constraints are even lower. That $15 would be reduced by taxes and engine fees by about 30%. If we further speculate that staff and other operating costs would be a further 30% and suppose a profit margin of %10%, the final piece of the pie available to pay for Spatial would be in the vicinity of $3.50 per month per player.

As your revenue model is based upon usage:

Neglect, for the moment, all calculations of fees for persistent, non-player workers, even though the number of such workers in a large open world would be significant.

Assume launch month obsessive compulsive behavior. A hypothetical average player would play approximately fifty hours per week for 200 or more hours per month.

Lets further presume that our game is a niche, low population game with 1000 active subscriptions.

If my math and assumptions are anywhere near correct, that’s 200,000 hours of playtime for $3,500 per month.

That’s 0.0175 US cents per hour per player.

If the piece of the pie available to Spatial were even less, say 10%, then per player hour revenue for Spatial would only be 0.0075 US cents and total revenue only $1,500.

If, in month two, players spend half as much time logged into the game, then while subscription revenues remain constant at $15,000 per month, metered Spatial costs due Improbable would fall by half, more or less.

It will be interesting to see how your actual charges plug into this speculative formula.


#33

Here’s some thoughts from the department of armchair speculation:

One thought I’ve had is that Improbable will know that it has won when people can make MMOs as small or ‘lifestyle’ businesses. A long tail of creative people would rely on SpatialOS to make their dreams come true, similar to how there’s a long tail of millions who rely on other platforms to make e-commerce/blog sites, profitable YouTube channels etc.

I think of it in terms of the 1000 True Fans model.

Let’s say an MMO had only 1000 customers who pay $12/mo and nothing else. That’s $144,000 a year, which is enough to support a team of two with a solid median U.S. salary ($50-60k). And it would leave $24k-44k to pay out as fees to Improbable or partially as fees and partially as reinvestment into the virtual world.

Or, this revenue would support one person quite nicely at $80-90k with some part-time offshore support and still leave a margin for Improbable’s fees.

Suddenly, making an MMO and living off of the revenue becomes a middle-class opportunity, just as spinning up a Steam game on Unity, making a Squarespace store, or writing a niche Wordpress blog is now a middle-class possibility.


#34

Hey @zachc ! Some very good armchair thinking there. :grinning:

Putting aside the “math” part, as the pricing is not yet available, I do think that you get exactly some of the things we want to enable with SpatialOS. It is of course great to be “The Platform” that is used for a AAA game, and we definitely would like to be, but we also really want to enable much smaller teams to be able to reach much larger scales with even simple games. A very good example of such scaling, beyond the game itself, is Lazarus (for reminder they are only four people, including arts & other responsibilities besides programming).

In the mean-time do keep all your feedback coming regarding pricing, the things you’re wondering about & ideas of what you would expect for how you’ll be priced!


#35

Transparent pricing of the resources used in the underlying cloud plus a kept share for SpatialOS.

The share should be a SpatialOS base fee (perhaps several packages) + a percental fee (just one fits all, coupled to the cloud usage). This will result in predictable costs and earnings on both sides.

Example with EC2: If I run my own images on EC2 I get the original pricing. If I use an image from someone else with added functionality I pay its fee in addition.

BTW:
We need a “run our own private cloud” license where you can take all the SpatialOS functionality behind a firewall inside a corporates closed network running completely on company owned servers. Otherwise several commercial use cases will drop out.


#37