Home » Why is it so expensive to develop an MMO? [closed]

Why is it so expensive to develop an MMO? [closed]

Solutons:


The first problem is that the software itself is very complicated, particularly for a new or inexperienced game developer. You have to maintain (at the very least) a client and server application while providing more content than you would expect for a “regular” multiplayer or single-player game.

Even on their own as a single player game, an RPG with the complexity of a World of Warcraft would take professional teams years to develop to the same level of polish: an enormous content investment, lots of work up front and afterward with balancing and playtesting, and some of the most complicated interactions of any game genre. These are commercial-level games, and while yours might be smaller, it will still require a lot of effort just to be a good game before you pour in the extra work to make it become a good multiplayer game.

Networked game development is not trivial; there are large obstacles to overcome in not only latency, but cheat prevention, state management and load balancing. If you’re not experienced with writing a networked game, this is going to be a difficult learning exercise.

Building it shouldn’t be your sole concern for manpower and money, either; also consider the costs of running it after it’s developed. Even a small massively multiplayer online game will need constant improvements to its hardware/software to keep up with demand and staff to manage the game and provide support for your players.

Think about the following:

  • Hosting – Where are you going to host the servers? How will you pay for the bandwidth? How will you load balance players between servers and keep a minority of players from monopolizing the resources of the game? You’ll need people to keep an eye on the condition of your hardware and software hosting the game in order to make sure that it will continue to work well.
  • Technical support – Not just getting the game to run, but dealing with problems between players and handling player feedback in a way that will keep them loyal. If you’re charging money (say, for a subscription), the billing system will be even more complicated (and most likely require legal assistance and possibly international representation and banking/processing fees). People who deal with these things need salaries.
  • Security – Not just of their game accounts, but you have to consider cheat prevention and doing frequent repairs and community maintenance effort whenever a new exploit is discovered by players.

World of Warcraft has:

  • 5,500,000 – Lines of code
  • 1,500,000 – Art assets
  • 33,681 – Production tasks
  • 70,167 – Spells
  • 37,537 – NPCs (non-player characters)
  • 27 – Hours of music
  • 2600 – Quests in the original World of Warcraft
  • 2700+ – Additional quests in WoW: The Burning Crusade
  • 2350+ – Additional quests in WoW: Wrath of the Lich King
  • 7650+ – Quests total (how many have you finished?)
  • 4,449,680,399 – Achievements earned by players since their implementation (this figure is already a few days old, and therefore outdated)

Patches:

  • 4.7– Petabytes (4700 terabytes) of data delivered to players through patches
  • 126 – Different versions issued of every patch, including those streamed to players and issued as self-extracting executables
  • Half – Of every patch’s size is audio

Servers:

  • 13,250 – Server blades running WoW servers, with a total of
  • 75,000 – CPU cores, and
  • 112.5 – Terabytes of RAM

Support:

  • 179,184 – Bugs tracked by Blizzard (most of which have been fixed, according to the presenters)
  • 2,056 – Game masters
  • 340 – Employees in the billing department
  • 2,584 – Total customer service employees

International:

  • 10 – Languages into which WoW is translated

Blizzard Online:

  • 12,000,000+ – Battle.net accounts
  • 900,000+ – Files on WorldofWarcraft.com

Source: World of Warcraft by the Numbers by The Game Reviews

The thing to remember is that an MMO is literally the most complicated piece of software one can make. Take every single problem that exists in software engineering, and you have it in an MMO.

A) Every problem from a normal game.

1) Resource streaming for an open world.

2) Particle system running on 5 year old commodity hardware

3) Physics system to handle projectiles (Even if it’s not havok you still need something for the characters falling from the sky.)

B) Every problem that a business app would have.

4) High availability clusters

5) Billing systems

6) Massive databases

7) Customer Support back end

8) Call center support

C) Every problem that ‘internet companies’ have

9) Latency kills

10) World wide datacenters mapping 1:1 and 1:many architecture pieces

D) Some nice unique problems for MMOs only

11) Cross server object replication

12) More hackers targeting it than they would some banks.

Related Solutions

Extract file from docker image?

You can extract files from an image with the following commands: docker create $image # returns container ID docker cp $container_id:$source_path $destination_path docker rm $container_id According to the docker create documentation, this doesn't run the...

Transfer files using scp: permission denied

Your commands are trying to put the new Document to the root (/) of your machine. What you want to do is to transfer them to your home directory (since you have no permissions to write to /). If path to your home is something like /home/erez try the following:...

What’s the purpose of DH Parameters?

What exactly is the purpose of these DH Parameters? These parameters define how OpenSSL performs the Diffie-Hellman (DH) key-exchange. As you stated correctly they include a field prime p and a generator g. The purpose of the availability to customize these...

How to rsync multiple source folders

You can pass multiple source arguments. rsync -a /etc/fstab /home/user/download bkp This creates bkp/fstab and bkp/download, like the separate commands you gave. It may be desirable to preserve the source structure instead. To do this, use / as the source and...

Benefits of Structured Logging vs basic logging

There are two fundamental advances with the structured approach that can't be emulated using text logs without (sometimes extreme levels of) additional effort. Event Types When you write two events with log4net like: log.Debug("Disk quota {0} exceeded by user...

Interfaces vs Types in TypeScript

2019 Update The current answers and the official documentation are outdated. And for those new to TypeScript, the terminology used isn't clear without examples. Below is a list of up-to-date differences. 1. Objects / Functions Both can be used to describe the...

Get total as you type with added column (append) using jQuery

One issue if that the newly-added column id's are missing the id number. If you look at the id, it only shows "price-", when it should probably be "price-2-1", since the original ones are "price-1", and the original ones should probably be something like...

Determining if a file is a hard link or symbolic link?

Jim's answer explains how to test for a symlink: by using test's -L test. But testing for a "hard link" is, well, strictly speaking not what you want. Hard links work because of how Unix handles files: each file is represented by a single inode. Then a single...

How to restrict a Google search to results of a specific language?

You can do that using the advanced search options: http://www.googleguide.com/sharpening_queries.html I also found this, which might work for you: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/how-to-see-google-search-results-for-other-locations/25203/ Just wanted to add...

Random map generation

Among the many other related questions on the site, there's an often linked article for map generation: Polygonal Map Generation for Games you can glean some good strategies from that article, but it can't really be used as is. While not a tutorial, there's an...

How to prettyprint a JSON file?

The json module already implements some basic pretty printing in the dump and dumps functions, with the indent parameter that specifies how many spaces to indent by: >>> import json >>> >>> your_json = '["foo", {"bar":["baz", null,...

How can I avoid the battery charging when connected via USB?

I have an Android 4.0.3 phone without root access so can't test any of this but let me point you to /sys/class/power_supply/battery/ which gives some info/control over charging issues. In particular there is charging_enabled which gives the current state (0 not...

How to transform given dataset in python? [closed]

From your expected result, it appears that each "group" is based on contiguous id values. For this, you can use the compare-cumsum-groupby pattern, and then use agg to get the min and max values. # Sample data. df = pd.DataFrame( {'id': [1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1,...

Output of the following C++ Program [closed]

It works exactly like this non-recursive translation: int func_0() { return 2; } int func_1() { return 3; } int func_2() { return func_1() + func_0(); } // Returns 3 + 2 = 5 int func_3() { return func_2() + func_1(); } // Returns 5 + 3 = 8 int func_4() { return...

Making a circle out of . (periods) [closed]

Here's the maths and even an example program in C: http://pixwiki.bafsoft.com/mags/5/articles/circle/sincos.htm (link no longer exists). And position: absolute, left and top will let you draw: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/visuren.html#choose-position Any further...

Should I use a code converter (Python to C++)?

Generally it's an awful way to write code, and does not guarantee that it will be any faster. Things which are simple and fast in one language can be complex and slow in another. You're better off either learning how to write fast Python code or learning C++...

tkinter: cannot concatenate ‘str’ and ‘float’ objects

This one line is more than enough to cause the problem: text="რეგულარი >> "+2.23+ 'GEL' 2.23 is a floating-point value; 'GEL' is a string. What does it mean to add an arithmetic value and a string of letters? If you want the string label 'რეგულარი...