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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Stream of Consciousness

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I was thinking about how many ways of making money from the EQ franchise SOE has come up with. There were so many, I kept forgetting them, so I figured I would try to make a list.

* Game Sales - Including regular sales, Collector's and Special Editions, and console spin-offs

* Subscription Fees

Expansion Packs

Adventure Packs

* Station Exchange

* Station Pass - Perhaps this should be included under subscription fees but I'm putting it down separately because it is a different concept and since they push it so hard I have the feeling it's profitable.

SOE Worlds magazine

* Fees for EQII Players "extras" - Like character stats, paper doll images, screenshots, etc.

* The Conventions (.i.e
FanFaire) - I'm not sure if they make much of a profit from this or if it is more of a brand building exercise but, with tickets costing up to $175, or $185 at the door, I'm going to include it.

* The books - Yeah, there are books, or at least one. I found a hardcover novel called "Rogue's Hour" on Amazon which got pretty bad reviews. Not sure if there are any more.

* The Prima strategy guides - I'm assuming SOE gets a cut from the sales of these but I could be wrong. They do seem to push them though.

* The EverQuest pen and paper role playing games - guides, modules and so on.

/Pizza - As funny as it is, they are getting paid for this.

* The EverQuest keyboard keyset from Ideazon - I'm sure they get royalties or licensing fees from this.

* The advertising relationships SOE has with Nvidia, Intel and Alienware. I have no idea exactly what SOE's deal is with these companies but they plug them all over the place. I believe there were some coupons from other companies in the game box as well but I don't remember what they were because I threw them right into my circular filing cabinet (trash).

* There is a subforum of the official forums called
Network News. Only people with "VIP Access" can post here and what you usually find are posts by the more commercial EQII sites. Now, I have no idea how you get VIP Access, but I'm guessing it isn't free.

* Transfer fees - Since I don't play EQ1 I don't know if these are still in effect but they seem pretty steep.

* T-Shirts and other yard-sale stuff you can get at the Station Store, like Zippo lighters, action figures, watches and backpacks. They were recently hocking an EQII t-shirt and journal on the EQII Players news page.

That was basically off the top of my head, I'm sure there are more. If you have any please e-mail or leave a comment and I'll post. I'm also sure they're working on additional revenue streams. For example, I'm wondering if they're going to charge for the cross-platform voice chat
Smed mentioned.

What's the point of all this? I'm not sure, I'm just pointing it out. And it's quite a large list.

I guess as part of larger corporate structure the people at SOE are constantly under pressure to think up more ways to make money from the same content. They had a popular product, EverQuest, and they're wringing it for everything it's worth.

I would love to know how SOE is doing financially but I truly tried for quite some time to find that data and failed. SOE is apparently a division of Sony Digital Pictures Entertainment which is in turn a division of Sony Pictures and so on. Sony is such a truly huge corporation that SOE doesn't even rate a mention in Annual Reports and the like. Hmm...wonder if that bothers Smed. I went as far as wading through SEC filings to try to get a number to no avail. If anyone out there has any more information on this, let me know.

For now I'll be busy ordering my Firiona Vie mousepad from the Station Store.

Edit: Check out the comments section of this post for some obvious ones I missed!


Blogger Hirebrand said...

EQ Name Change
EQ Character Transfer
EverQuest Legends
Website advertising esp. for web games


8:12 PM  

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