Monday 26 July 2010

How many Mythic devs does it take to make an expansion?

As people talk about WAR’s future, or lack thereof according to some posters, you often read comments about how Mythic couldn’t afford to make an expansion, that the company is too small now. I don’t know about this, it seems to be packed with assumptions and I’ve never seen any real evidence to confirm either way. So the thing I’m wondering about this is this…

Back in the old DAoC days Mythic brought out a lot of expansions, all of these were of considerable size and impact, but one of the earlier ones in particular stands out: New Frontiers. Mythic completely changed the ENTIRE ORvR landscape, the zones had the same names, but the graphics, layouts, structure and how they worked were utterly transformed. Which leads me to the following question:

Was Mythic a smaller company with fewer resources than today when they made the huge "New Frontiers" expansion for DAoC?

I suspect they were smaller then, but I don’t know for sure. Certainly this was before WoW launched and MMOs truly exploded and if Wikipedia is to be believed (don’t laugh :P) subscription numbers were around 250,000. Mythic now have UO, DAoC and WAR, but subscription numbers are not available. Not that sub numbers alone would indicate if a company has more or less money to throw around. Of course in the past they also didn’t have EA’s backing, nor Bioware’s involvement, which I presume puts them in a better place today. Of course those comments are just based on my own more positive assumptions...

So I wonder, have the naysayers assumed too much or is Mythic really in a worse place than in its regular expansion making past? Could Mythic surprise a lot of people and deliver what many consider impossible? I've heard a lot of interesting stuff recently, stuff I can't confirm and as such don't want to post, but if rumours and "stuff" are to be believed, Mythic have got something up their sleeve and it smells of warpstone…

Unless its all bollocks and we're doooooomed! DOOOOOOOOOOMED! Need more rats for the doom wheel!



  2. Well...lets see...

    How much did it cost to make DAoC?

    How much Technology was involved in DAoC's backend?

    How much must Mythic pay GW for the license to develop for WAR?

    Also, the final question....and it all boils down to this.

    How much money did it cost back then to develop, compared to today...and how about cost of running the servers...?

    A lot of questions that can lead to a different ball of wax when discussing how many people it takes to screw in a lightbulb in the past compared to today.

  3. Rank-n-Ville - Good points, but any answers we think of are still speculation, we just don't know how capable Mythic are of making something big. Some choose to assume they can't, others assume they can.

    It could even turn out that Mythic have had the expansion ready for months and were working on a summer release, but GOA bailing out shafted all their planned release timings and now they're trying to avoid Blizzard's launch. Or perhaps not and nothing will happen. Have to wait and see ;)


  4. And, whaddaya think, third faction, or not? :p

    If i count by only 100k subscribers, and if they pay about 10 euro/person, thats one million euro per month. Thats like the total development cost of a medium-sized (not AAA but not very bad either) console/PC game or so - and they get this every freaking month.

    Even if they use 80% of it of just sustaining servers, paying GW, paying back loans, etc, it is still pretty much enough to keep up a healthy dev team of lets say 20-30 devs, and 20-30 devs are more than enough to keep making new content to the game.

    Ofc my numbers might be off. Maybe they have less than 100k subscribers. Maybe their developers are overpaid compared to what i know of. Maybe they have to pay much more to upkeep. I dunno.

    My bet that the xpac will come about 3 months after cataclysm. Thats just the time ppl will get bored of it, and will begin to seek for new mmo-s.

  5. Hey Boots. Dunno if you remeber me from way back then.
    Came across your blog as I was googling around the interwebs reading up on warhammer again and considering going back.
    Just wanted to say it is a good read :)

  6. well with the last letter talking about more info at the end of summer, and mythic coming to GamesCom in late august im confident well learn more between 18th and 22nd :)

  7. Think the titel is a bit wrong there boss... The good stuff have only happened after bioware arrived and up to that point its been a long run of major league fuck ups by mythic.

    The question at hand would be how many Bioware Devs does it take to make a expansion...

  8. Tunry! Lo dude ;) WAR is pretty damn good right now, still needs work ofc, but we're all having a good crack. Loads of people resubbed after the free 2 weeks we just had. If you start up again just yell.

  9. Daevas :P I do agree though, things are on the up after a rocky start.

  10. I don't think it was when Bioware turned up. I think they were on the right path, they just weren't far enough along it. Bioware just turned up at a point in time, where it was preceived they had some influence.

  11. I think it's not about how it could cost, it's rather all about how much they will eventually earn on releasing some expansion.


About Me

My photo
Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.