Because no one in this business would pay for a 20 year contract. There's no such thing as a MMORPG thats been in existance with paying customers for 20 years.
Ultima Online is about the oldest and I dont think its even 9 years old yet. Thier subscriber base has been on the decline. Even everquest is is only about 6 years old. You would be stupid in almost any business to commit yourself to a 20 year contract for massive bandwidth. Heck even AT&T themselves are getting out of a number of fields.
5 years I can see. Not more. Especially when you never know who else might come along. You can't garuntee your subscribers will stay, even past a couple years. You'd kill yourself if your base ever dropped. The idea is to STAY in business, not to shoot yourself in the foot.
I doubt you can find the particulars of blizzards contract. But I still haven't heard any better figures for an OC 192 than $250,000 a month. Which of course is too much, they would be losing money at that rate. Which is why I gave some conservative guestimates.
So lets take wikipedia then. As you said, they have a budget page. It says $24,000 for last quarter for hosting. Up from $16,000 the previous one. Odds are it will stay at least the same (if not increase. So lets call it $100,000 for a year of hosting. At least $8000 a month.
This page: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_partners_and_hosts
Says they are using 200-350mbit pipe at the US colo center. So lets call it an average of 300mbit. Thats 1/30th of the bandwidth of an OC 192. Its two OC3's or half an OC12.
Thats a FAR cry from an OC192 at 9 gigabits. (BTW my previous calculations for WoW bandwidth usage were for gigaBYTES, thats at least an 8 fold increase, I knew that at the time, but I left that in as another fudge factor to err on the side of it being cheaper).
So, lets guesstimate and say if you pay 10 times the cost of that, you can get 30 times the bandwidth, or an OC 192. 10 times $8k a month is $80k a month. Or we can use the $60k figure a month that I threw out (if we say that its 1/4 of what it was 4 years ago).
In either case, its quite expensive. And no other costs have been figured in.
Sure there might be discounts, but thats why I left all those fudge factors in to err on the side of it being cheaper. If someone wants to use a BW monitor to track WoW BW while playing (not updating, and not while anything else is using the internet) maybe we can do a better estimate too.
My basic point is this: Its more expensive to operate these kinda things than the average person thinks. If you think there's so much money in it, why dont you get into that field? This comment was edited on Jan 5, 14:53.