I've said many things about Elite Dangerous on these pages, and I keep going on about it, so I have to admit I'm interested. I'm not happy about being interested, but one just has to watch the game being played or even see screen shots and you're instantly engaged.
As an old Elite hand and a Frontier Fervent Fanatic I have a series of expectations about the game, and in comparison to Eve-Online I had to admit the idea of paying once and not being a subscriber appeals.
One of the main problems I had with a subscription is that as a married man, working and trying to live life, the amount of game time I get is quite limited. In a week I might only get to play an hour or two, so paying to subscribe to a game for the other 166 hours that week annoys me, it is just such a waste.
I however do understand why companies need to fund their service, they need to pay the developers yes, but they also need to pay to keep the lights on, and server bandwidth is not free. It is cheap, but it's not free, energy is very costly also.
So, they're running their game server and you're paying.
However, this isn't the funding model Frontier Developments have seemingly declared for their title, they've stated that you will pay once for the title and play there after.
The multi-player information then does state that the connectivity will be a mix of peer-to-peer and server infrastructure, this makes sense as all the dynamic market elements and what players know as "Open Play" must have some short of server back-bone, despite what some players would lead you to believe.
My question to Frontier Developments, and I have posted this off to them, has been "How in the long run do they plan on funding the server", essentially I ask because the kick-starter funding literally funds the development to a point, and the amount funded is not huge.
One pays for the game also at purchase, either now for £50 in BETA or later for £39.99 (estimated), but that's it?
I can not really understand how a server is going to be funded without some sort of revenue, players will stop joining, sales will plateaux and fall.... So, might more micro-transactions appear?... Just as there are currently skins for sale?... Might a subscription be introduced for "Open Play"... Perhaps the game falls down to Single Player only, or Group play only?...
Personally I miss my adventures hosting the Frontier Club, where peeps sent in their disks with saved games, I copied them back to everyone else's disks and mailed them back... Good fun.