Greek hypothesis
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 February 2013, 7:17 am
Chris of Game by Night is asking Where Exactly Is Darkfall: Unholy Wars?, and while I don't have proof, I do have a hypothesis on the subject. I believe that Aventurine is in fact not making much money from selling Darkfall subscriptions. I believe their primary source of income is various subsidies and research grants from Greece and the European Union, as documented here.

Why this hypothesis? Because it very nicely explains the rather long periods of being vaporware that Darkfall has gone through, and is yet again in. To make money from subscribers, you need a game that runs. To make money from well-meaning bureaucrats, you only need a PROJECT of a game that might one day run. Not running the game is actually cheaper, and thus more profitable, than having all that cost for servers, bandwidth, and customer service.

If Aventurine's business model was based on people actually playing Darkfall, then I can't find an explanation of why they would want to shut down Darkfall v1 mid-November, only to have Darkfall v2 not up and running end February. Not only are there currently no players paying for Darkfall, but the long break between games probably makes less players want to come back for the sequel, because they found something else to do meanwhile.

Of course with the Greek state running out of money, and the European Union not being flush either, Aventurine might have problems getting more "research grants" in the future. I don't think they are a viable company under a truly capitalistic system.
Tobold's Blog

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