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Author Topic: How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?  (Read 8608 times)

Offline Zach

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We have had polls about how many users/subscribers we think that Star Trek Online might get, however this is a more serious twist on that poll.

How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?

What i mean by that is - what is the bare minimum amount of subscribers that STO will need in order to remain profitable enough for Cryptic Studios to keep up and running post launch?

Many MMORPGS that launch these days do not have huge amounts of success and end up closing down after a year or two.

Most of us would like STO to have a shelf life of at least as long as WOW - and of course, to this day, WOW remains the most profitable MMORPG in the world and of all time - so realistically, in order to acheive the lifetime we all want for STO, how many subscribers are they going to need?

Offline Blackfire

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Re: How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?
« Reply #1 on: 10 December 2008 10:28 AM »

 There are a lot of trek fans out there and I see no reason not to see a million subscribers in the first week the game goes on sale.  What is important however, at least IMO, is to keep those numbers there and obtaining more subscribers afterward. If it is a really great game, then word of mouth will do the rest. I'm still concerned about cryptic being bought up the way it was, but if no changes are made or interference occurs, then I see no reason for it not to succeed.


Offline Hamilton

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Re: How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?
« Reply #2 on: 02 January 2009 07:15 PM »
What i mean by that is - what is the bare minimum amount of subscribers that STO will need in order to remain profitable enough for Cryptic Studios to keep up and running post launch?
And that unfortunately depends on what the budget/investment is for STO by Cryptic and other parties (ie: Atari).  As well as, what is the cost to the users (client price, monthly subscription rate, in-game advertisements, free-to-play model, etc).
Assuming it is in the double digit millions (more than $10m and less than $30m USD), with $30 to $50 USD price for the client and a monthly subscription of $10/mo...
I'll guess at a minimum of 300,000 for the first year and must have growth in the following year.

However, if the business plan was set to have the same projections as WoW, then STO will be canceled.  WoW is an exception and hopefully Cryptic understands this. 
If the monthly subscription rate is at $15/mo USD...  I think the subscriber count will be disappointing, given the current global economy.  I'll say under 200,000 subscribers for the year ($5 USD does make a difference).


Basically this is what I'm getting at.
Should STO business model follow the path of Eve-Online, then I think STO will be successful (seek long term growth).  If the business model is setup to be like the majority of AAA title MMO's or of WoW (short term gain), then STO is likely to under perform.

Fortunately STO has not had the major investment as compared to Tabula Rasa, so even at 150,000 subscribers, STO should still be operating.
Sign off,
Hamilton

Offline Random Redshirt

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Re: How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?
« Reply #3 on: 02 January 2009 10:03 PM »
I am still on the fence as to whether or not STO can even have a shot at being successful. Not to be a negative nelly, but there are major factors in the market that indicate that STO could fall, and not because of it's own doing.

I posted this today on the Warhammer Alliance forums today:

Quote
You know, as long as WoW remains up and running, I highly doubt that any fantasy MMO will survive. Sad as it is for me to say that, I can't imagine that anyone will beat them at this point.

And unless you beat WoW, you can't win. Regardless of our feelings on WoW (love it or hate it), WoW is the undisputed heavyweight champion of MMOs.

Look at Age of Conan for a moment. Had the best chance at first to unseat WoW as champion. however, it was rushed out, incomplete and full of issues. Players left, most of them going back to WoW.

Look at Warhammer. Warhammer had one of the smoothest launches to date, and way fewer bugs than Age of Conan. But the end game is borked at the moment. Less than 6 months from release, WoW pops out an expansion and suddenly Warhammer servers become ghost towns.

So long as WoW is there to offer gamers a fall back when the new MMO they try doesn't live up to hype, has technical issues, or simply doesn't work, then no MMO will ever have the chance to succeed.

Let's look at EVE for a moment. EVE is the exception to the rule....for now. Being the only real sci-fi MMO choice at the moment, it has an edge over games like AoC or WAR. That edge being they don't have to directly compete with WoW. However, even EVE's days could be numbered, as 3 major sci-fi IPs have upcoming MMOs (Star Trek, Star Wars and Stargate) and that most certainly will make the sci-fi MMO competition cut-throat to say the least. And the competition for players will likely doom all 4 of those MMOs (EVE, STO, SGW, SW:TOR) because they all have something in common: they share fans in the WoW universe.

For the foreseeable future, so long as WoW is alive and kicking, I can't see any MMO not running into issues of loosing customers, nor being truly considered "successful" since the deck is so heavily stacked against them.

The part where I discuss the upcoming sci-fi MMOs is the main point I am getting at in regards to STO.

It is very possible that the upcoming sci-fi MMOs will "cannibalize" themselves through competition which could cause all of them to succumb to their wounds, and eventually get finished off by the beast that is WoW.

The reason I say all this is because of experience. Having tried out Warhammer, the game is quite fun and entertaining, and with the exception of the end game issue, it's a fantastic MMO. But all it took was a WoW expansion to come out to draw fans away within the span of DAYS.

Now, think about STO for a moment. Let's say STO launches as cleanly as Warhammer. Great initial numbers, lots of happy players. But then something comes up, perhaps the launch of SW:TOR. That draws away players who aren't 100% dedicated to the Trek franchise, the STO population drops. Then perhaps a WoW expansion comes out, and not only does it draw away players from STO, but draws them from SW:TOR and SGW and EVE as well. That leaves 4 sci-fi franchises competing for the fans that didn't leave for WoW, and eventually all 4 games end up with similar low subscriber numbers and ghost town servers.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage

Offline Zach

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Re: How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?
« Reply #4 on: 13 January 2009 11:10 AM »
You make some good points Random Redshirt

Offline Falin

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Re: How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?
« Reply #5 on: 13 January 2009 03:22 PM »
the only way a new MMO will break away from WoW's hold is to benew, innovative and break out of the formula every game is doing. when a player picks up a game, plays it for 2 months and says "meh this is just like wow, but not as fun", what else are they going to do but go back to it.

the level/gear/loot system is not working, we see that. yet the game companies still try to make games form to it and they all flop.

Star Trek screams for an open system that's skill based, yet they are going level based (even if you think they're not they are, all indications are there, tier 1/2 ships that you "rank up" to inprove), screams for a prestige system that goes forwards as well as backwards (shot the Klink while at peace and you get negitive points, maybe demotion).

screams for advanced IBM cell technology, advanced AI and player driven world (ie you destroy that klink ship, if enough points accumiplate, the klinks start a war), Yet they want to "dumb it down" for the masses to play and to grab some of those elusive WoW players.

Star Trek screams for top of the line graphics, yet they show us graphics that look like they're from 20 years ago. heck the new Star wars MMO was just recently announced and the screen grabs from their Alpha blow away anything Cryptic has pumped out recently. I'm sorry but saucer that should be round looking like a hex don't cut it, asteroids tht have been labled as "spacde floating poo" and asterroid based that look out of place on the rocks and lok like basic primitives wiuth textures applied, avatars that look like 12 yr old boys with giant hands, just don't cut it as cutting edge or advanced to me.

If cryptic or any other MMO maker wats to break away and ebcome the next "Big" thing, they need to break away from the mold, and do like the early days of games, expiriment, take risks and produce new ideas!
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Offline Kinneas

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Re: How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?
« Reply #6 on: 13 January 2009 07:37 PM »
As always, Falin nails it.

So many big people with their fingers in the pie and yet nothing advanced for STO when we have been asking 'specifically' for these kinds of things. 

We may be divided...but we are not THAT divided to know what the polls have shown over the years.
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Over $125 million in box sales on day one (by lunchtime)
Over $800 million by the end of the first year.




Offline endie

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Re: How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?
« Reply #7 on: 17 January 2009 12:28 AM »
around 500-800 000 is good , i think many forgets the inpact battlenet had on wows sucess they already had a group of fans that was 100% gamers witch star trek doesnt i bet there is alot of the st fans that dont play games and that makes it harder.

Offline CherryTerri

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Re: How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?
« Reply #8 on: 16 February 2009 05:58 PM »

 There are a lot of trek fans out there and I see no reason not to see a million subscribers in the first week the game goes on sale.  What is important however, at least IMO, is to keep those numbers there and obtaining more subscribers afterward. If it is a really great game, then word of mouth will do the rest. I'm still concerned about cryptic being bought up the way it was, but if no changes are made or interference occurs, then I see no reason for it not to succeed.

I agree with this.

Though I come from EQ2, we have not as many players as WoW, but going on 5 years we are still a success.

Offline Zach

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Re: How Many Subscribers does STO Need to be Considered a Success?
« Reply #9 on: 17 February 2009 10:13 AM »
I just thought about all those ST Fans in the West, China and Japan.....oh boy, we could easily see over 1 million