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Xbox Live userbase surpasses 200,000.

Old 11-24-02, 04:28 PM
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Originally posted by necros
It doesn't matter of Xbox Live is profitable, it matters if it's successful.
How do you judge success if not by profit. It does matter. I know MS has billions, but they won't keep a money hole going forever for the sake of market share in a market they don't need to be in.
Old 11-24-02, 04:32 PM
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Gallant Pig-
Here's my conspiracy theory. Sony gave EA a chunk of change or possibly some servers/bandwidth in order to be online exclusive to them. Why was Madden included in the Sony online demo disc and not 989 studios' football?
This is my thought exactly. This is exactly what makes me laugh when I read things like this from Tamrok-
Yeah, money has a strange way of convincing people to change their minds but maybe EA is above that. We'll see...
Tamrok, I hate to tell you but EA sold their soles to Sony a LONG time ago. Money and a BIG EGO is what kept EA from even considering developing for the DC while other companies supported it. I would bet my life that there are PLENTY of perks for EA by Sony to have Madden ONLINE exclusive to the Sony platforms as long as possible. Don't be foolish enough to think this company with a God syndrome as big as MS is beyond selling thier sole for a dollar bill. Then again it is business and they aren't really out for the gamers anyway (many aren't IMO) and that is why we see TRASH ports from EA like the pitiful NFS:HS2 and the most of their other ports.

Now to address a thing that I think MOST of you guys are missing. All you guys are figuring dollar amounts but NONE of you seem to be considering the money EARNED on games SOLD. Do you guys really think tons of copies of UC would be sold without online support? How about Socom? How many LESS copies would have been sold if it wasn't online enabled. It seems everyone here is caught up in the amount of money paid to play but not the amount of many GAINED by developers who put in online content! The sales of many games can be directly attributed to its online play yet I don't see anyone mentioning that. Anyway, Sega seems to be doing pretty well on the Xbox and it just so happens that their games are LIVE while EA's are not. Hmmm... nah, it couldn't have anything to do with that. *sarcasm*
Old 11-24-02, 05:18 PM
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Originally posted by joltaddict
That is the most far fetched conspiracy theory I have ever heard. Right up there with the Faked Moonlanding.

I guess thats why MS dominates PC gaming.
Why do you think MS is so successful today? For years they let everyone pirate their software and now with XP and .NET server they are suddenly tightening down. It's a known fact that they have hidden and unpublished API's in windows to make sure their products work better than the other guys. Back in the windows 3.11 days they actually coded it to crash if it was being run on DR-DOS instead of MS-DOS.

Microsoft saw gaming as a cash cow long before the x-box. First they developed DirectX and helped kill off 3dfx and glide. Now after a few years of positioning DirectX as a go between the developer and windows they start buying up game developers. Next step is to have their in house programers use the unpublished API's to develop better looking games than the competition.

MS has been doing this since the 1980's. First you lobby and pay developers to make apps for your OS. This helps fuel OS sales and app sales. Then develop your own apps with hidden API's and drive the competition out of business. Examples being Netscape, Corel, Lotus, IBM's OS/2, Novell and others.

Good thing management at EA know their history and what happened to MS competition over the years.
Old 11-24-02, 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by teplitsa
MS has been doing this since the 1980's. First you lobby and pay developers to make apps for your OS. This helps fuel OS sales and app sales. Then develop your own apps with hidden API's and drive the competition out of business. Examples being Netscape, Corel, Lotus and others.
To be blunt. Youre wrong.

The strenth of windows is its strong outside developement. The fact that everything runs on windows is why nobody has a Mac. Theyre not gonna drive every other dev house out of business, they just want everybody writing for their platforms. That might be evil but not in the way youre describing. Youre applying valid lessons learned to a completely irrelevant situation.

This is an apple, this is an orange.
Old 11-24-02, 05:36 PM
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Originally posted by Kainan

This is my thought exactly. This is exactly what makes me laugh when I read things like this from Tamrok-


Tamrok, I hate to tell you but EA sold their soles to Sony a LONG time ago. Money and a BIG EGO is what kept EA from even considering developing for the DC while other companies supported it. I would bet my life that there are PLENTY of perks for EA by Sony to have Madden ONLINE exclusive to the Sony platforms as long as possible. Don't be foolish enough to think this company with a God syndrome as big as MS is beyond selling thier sole for a dollar bill. Then again it is business and they aren't really out for the gamers anyway (many aren't IMO) and that is why we see TRASH ports from EA like the pitiful NFS:HS2 and the most of their other ports.
Hmmm, apparently you completely missed the sarcasm in my post. Clearly, I do not believe EA is above changing their so called "principles" for the almighty dollar. I thought I made that clear but maybe I was a bit too subtle...
Old 11-24-02, 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by joltaddict
To be blunt. Youre wrong.

The strenth of windows is its strong outside developement. The fact that everything runs on windows is why nobody has a Mac. Theyre not gonna drive every other dev house out of business, they just want everybody writing for their platforms. That might be evil but not in the way youre describing. Youre applying valid lessons learned to a completely irrelevant situation.

This is an apple, this is an orange.
Where is the competiton in office suites? MS drove them out of business. What about in enterprise products? Back in the early 90's MS was looking for people to develop for NT. Today they drove a lot of them out of business or overtook them in sales with their own product.

Email servers? Exchange is doing much better than Lotus or the other products.

Network Management? MS just licensed Net IQ's product and in a few years with some experience lets see what happens.

For a few years now MS has had Intuit in it's crosshairs. All the developers that MS courted to make small business management software? MS bought Great Plains and Navistar and is now a direct competitor.

And the game market is just the most recent example. Until a few years ago the only game MS ever made was flight simulator. Then 3dfx, EA, Activision and a few others became big and MS saw a cash cow. Windows 95 didn't ship with DirectX and at first no games were written for windows 95 because it didn't allow direct access to hardware like DOS did. DirextX acted as a sort of HAL to allow that and it wasn't until 1997 that a lot of windows 95 games started appearing as DirectX became popular.

12 years ago MS made just OS's and was barely starting out in enterprise software. Today MS Office is the money maker, but they know that it won't last forever. X-Box Live is a cog in MS's strategy to transform their business into a recurring revenue model as people get tired of upgrading.
Old 11-24-02, 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by gcribbs
actually the investment was 2 billion so I was too low in my remembering the number MS is throwing at Live.
The $2 Billion has never been exclusively for Live. Microsoft announced that it was spending $2 Billion to develop the Live network and more importantly, fund the development of Xbox 2.
Old 11-24-02, 05:56 PM
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Originally posted by teplitsa
X-Box Live is a cog in MS's strategy to transform their business into a recurring revenue model as people get tired of upgrading.
So what's the problem? Is Microsoft not allowed to try to turn a profit? Do you think that Sony or Nintendo are any different? Should I choose not to support these companies because they aren't in this business for philanthropic reasons? I hope you're not that much of an idealist. These companies are in business to make money. I'm afraid the stockholders wouldn't have it any other way. That's life, get used to it...
Old 11-24-02, 06:06 PM
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To me MS' online approach makes a ton of sense. Just looking at Sony's plan, their 1st Party game SOCOM is already gutted with server problems and basically maxed out. I can hop onto XBL anytime I want and get a lag free game. If Sony's 1st Party is swamped, how could it be for their 3rd party developers? They would need a lot of capital like EA in order to setup their own servers and make games online capable. Then they would either charge for them like EA will do or maintain them with out of pocket expenses. If they charge then you will have to pay a lot of money each month to play the different games you want. It seems like Sony has a lot of potential, but realistically it doesn't seem like it will encourage a lot of online games (as Flay has noted). Unless they develop a plan like MS' (which I am betting they will) it could be problematic. I mean their launch game Twisted Metal hasn't even gotten to me yet and I picked up the NA in the 2nd week it came out and filled it out right away! So if that seems lag free, it's because hardly anyone has it. On the other hand, I know there are over 100,000 players using XBL and it runs like a dream.

Talk about numbers all you want, it all boils down to gaming experience anyway. And if you like Online gaming and you don't have XBL, you are missing out. If you've never experienced voice comm gaming before and think you wouldn't like it, you may be missing something awesome.
Old 11-24-02, 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by Gallant Pig
To me MS' online approach makes a ton of sense. Just looking at Sony's plan, their 1st Party game SOCOM is already gutted with server problems and basically maxed out. I can hop onto XBL anytime I want and get a lag free game. If Sony's 1st Party is swamped, how could it be for their 3rd party developers? They would need a lot of capital like EA in order to setup their own servers and make games online capable. Then they would either charge for them like EA will do or maintain them with out of pocket expenses. If they charge then you will have to pay a lot of money each month to play the different games you want. It seems like Sony has a lot of potential, but realistically it doesn't seem like it will encourage a lot of online games (as Flay has noted). Unless they develop a plan like MS' (which I am betting they will) it could be problematic. I mean their launch game Twisted Metal hasn't even gotten to me yet and I picked up the NA in the 2nd week it came out and filled it out right away! So if that seems lag free, it's because hardly anyone has it. On the other hand, I know there are over 100,000 players using XBL and it runs like a dream.

Talk about numbers all you want, it all boils down to gaming experience anyway. And if you like Online gaming and you don't have XBL, you are missing out. If you've never experienced voice comm gaming before and think you wouldn't like it, you may be missing something awesome.
Well said...
Old 11-24-02, 06:13 PM
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****OFF TOPIC****

Tamrok we have to get a twin cities game going (I think Finbogg and [email protected] are both XBL).

Add me to your buddy list when you get a chance (Bob Roberts)
Old 11-24-02, 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by teplitsa
Where is the competiton in office suites? MS drove them out of business....

12 years ago MS made just OS's and was barely starting out in enterprise software. Today MS Office is the money maker, but they know that it won't last forever. X-Box Live is a cog in MS's strategy to transform their business into a recurring revenue model as people get tired of upgrading.
Im not saying youre wrong in any of those examples. Im saying youre applying them in the wrong way. Comparing Office to all games is a little bit too broad doncha think? The best office suite will put the rest out of business but the best game in the world isnt going to stop other games from selling. Its about quantity moreso than quality. Console manufacturers make their money off volume licenses. Saying the grand MS plan is to knock out all other dev houses like they did to Netscape is more than a little wacky. Reminds me of those illuminiti rants.
Old 11-24-02, 09:02 PM
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Tamrok

Hmmm, apparently you completely missed the sarcasm in my post. Clearly, I do not believe EA is above changing their so called "principles" for the almighty dollar. I thought I made that clear but maybe I was a bit too subtle...
Umm.. Sorry, I didn't read every post in the entire thread so I acted on that statement alone. If it wasn't for the fact that there are actually TONS of people that believe that then I would have taken it for sarcasm immediately.





I mean their launch game Twisted Metal hasn't even gotten to me yet and I picked up the NA in the 2nd week it came out and filled it out right away!
I got it and it is horrible. You are missing NOTHING. Seriously, this game is aweful in my opinion. I expected at least a little online fun with it but didn't get anything but aggravation.
Old 11-24-02, 09:52 PM
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Originally posted by Gallant Pig
****OFF TOPIC****

Tamrok we have to get a twin cities game going (I think Finbogg and [email protected] are both XBL).

Add me to your buddy list when you get a chance (Bob Roberts)

Lets do it. My tag is Furio.
Old 11-25-02, 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by Gallant Pig
****OFF TOPIC****

Tamrok we have to get a twin cities game going (I think Finbogg and [email protected] are both XBL).

Add me to your buddy list when you get a chance (Bob Roberts)
Will do. I'll talk to Finbogg about getting you on his list, too.
Old 11-25-02, 10:58 AM
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Originally posted by Tamrok
Will do. I'll talk to Finbogg about getting you on his list, too.
No need! I'm wasting time at work at my favorite place on the net. I've got gross and tamrok already. I'll add gallant pig too.


GALLANT- my tag is Ace Riley add me too!

MN XBOX LIVE LEAGUE in tha house!

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Old 11-25-02, 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by gcribbs

at $50 dollars a year divided by a 4 year remaining lifespan they need 5 million users to break even this generation. 2.22 million users the whole time if they break even at the end of the 5 year life span of the XBox 2.

They can reduce the time by going to a monthly charge and making it $10 a month. This will get them to $50 first year then $120 per year for the remaining three years or $410 VS $200 for a $50 yearly model. This gets the break even point down to 2.43 million for the first 4 years and $1110 vs $450 including the XBox2 5 year lifespan they get down to 900900 users which is a more attainable number. Of course this assumes they have this number paying the whole time and they do not invest one dime above 1 billion dollars for the whole 9 years.
This actually won't tell the whole story. While they may "appear" to take a loss on on-line gaming, a statistic that will be tough to quantify is the number of people who buy the x-box because of XBL, buy games that aren't for XBL (which MS makes money on) and buy more games for XBL (which MS makes money on), etc.

I don't own any of the new consoles yet, but x-box is getting my looks. I think that Sony is making a mistake by not controlling the on-line gaming. If you leave it up to the makers, much will suck. MS will gain a hold on on-line gaming, and then Sony will have to play catch up.
Old 11-25-02, 11:47 AM
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This actually won't tell the whole story. While they may "appear" to take a loss on on-line gaming, a statistic that will be tough to quantify is the number of people who buy the x-box because of XBL, buy games that aren't for XBL (which MS makes money on) and buy more games for XBL (which MS makes money on), etc.
Seems similiar to what I said below-

Now to address a thing that I think MOST of you guys are missing. All you guys are figuring dollar amounts but NONE of you seem to be considering the money EARNED on games SOLD. Do you guys really think tons of copies of UC would be sold without online support? How about Socom? How many LESS copies would have been sold if it wasn't online enabled. It seems everyone here is caught up in the amount of money paid to play but not the amount of many GAINED by developers who put in online content! The sales of many games can be directly attributed to its online play yet I don't see anyone mentioning that.
Old 11-25-02, 07:06 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
200,000 paid $50 for the first year, not $10 a month.

That's $10 million on a $1 billion investment.

Even if it was $10 a month it would be $24 million on a billion dollar investment.

Hardly profitable.

And how many products are able to pay off all their fixed costs and associated research costs in the very first week? 10 million on the first week is pretty good imho
Old 11-25-02, 11:14 PM
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Originally posted by Tamrok
So what's the problem? Is Microsoft not allowed to try to turn a profit? Do you think that Sony or Nintendo are any different? Should I choose not to support these companies because they aren't in this business for philanthropic reasons? I hope you're not that much of an idealist. These companies are in business to make money. I'm afraid the stockholders wouldn't have it any other way. That's life, get used to it...
Old 11-26-02, 12:55 AM
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Originally posted by finbogg
No need! I'm wasting time at work at my favorite place on the net.

I've spent so much time on this damn forum at work that they blocked the site. Funny, I get a lot more work done now.
Old 11-26-02, 01:06 AM
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It should be noted the articles say 2 billion over 5 years. So let's say they get a million subscribers by next year, and 2 million the following year and 3 million the year after that. They come close to breaking even and then they get what they would desire: market share.
Old 11-26-02, 01:51 AM
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Originally posted by Gallant Pig
It should be noted the articles say 2 billion over 5 years. So let's say they get a million subscribers by next year, and 2 million the following year and 3 million the year after that. They come close to breaking even and then they get what they would desire: market share.
won't happen in my opinion.

I would be shocked if they ever get anywhere close to a million people paying them money every month to play online.
Old 11-26-02, 02:17 AM
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Well that was an optimistic forecast, if it gets great word of mouth, you never know. I'm saying if it's a wild success it could break even. Otherwise even if it's just moderately successful, marketshare is what MS is after. They are betting the farm that Online gaming is where it's at and getting a headstart on the competition.
Old 11-26-02, 07:53 AM
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Originally posted by zig
How do you judge success if not by profit. It does matter. I know MS has billions, but they won't keep a money hole going forever for the sake of market share in a market they don't need to be in.
Why is everyone so stuck on profits and profitability when it comes to MS? Was I the only one that read those reports last week about how they make their money?

Guys MS has only 3 profitable divisions in their whole company. The OS, the server software, and the office productivity software. The rest of it is NOT profitable. They're investing in these other sectors in the hopes of making them profitable one day.

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