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18. Re: Tabula Rasa Free Early Dec 20, 2008, 19:36 Ruffiana
As someone who actually worked on Auto Assault and weathered it's launch before having to set out and find work elsewhere, I agree with Scott on his points.

Any MMO with enough players that it can be run profitably, even if it's with a single server and a single developer maintaining it, should be kept running. Sure, maybe TR would have never made back it's investment if it were scaled down enough to be profitable, but surely any profit stream is better than a complete halt in profits.

The only thing I can figure is that it's not easy to predict where that minimum level of sustainability is. How many devs and servers could Tabula Rasa's dedicated players financially support? How many of those dedicated players will remain dedicated players after the number of developers and servers were drastically scaled down and new content/bug fixes start trickling in at a much slower pace. Sure, there's always going to be some hardcore fans that will play a game until it's shut down (which is what happened with Jumpgate)...but how can you possibly predict where that is, and how much more money are you going to lose trying to get to that point of sustainable profibility?

It's a shame those risks can't be tranfered somehow to the players and developers, as they're the ones who are most affected. Maybe if publishers were more willing to completely hand off the operations to the developer free and clear and let them take the risk of trying to keep the game running out of their own pocket. If the publishers are already washing their hands of the project and accepting it as a total loss, then why not?

Auto Assault had some very hard earned lessons, but Net Devil was very fortunate in that they were actually able to keep their doors open and benefit from those lessons. Too few studios get that same opportunity.

This comment was edited on Dec 20, 2008, 19:48.
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