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Psyk60

Cost of middleware

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This is a hard thing to estimate as most providers don't publicly disclose this information and I suppose the licensees are probably not allowed to disclose it either. I know that UE2 cost $350,000 with royalties, or $750,000 with no royalties. But I'm interested in middleware that is for more specific areas. Something like Havok phyiscs on NaturalMotion Euphoria. Does anyone have an info at all about their pricing structure? I'm trying to figure out the normal amount a developer would be willing to pay for something like that, whether paying royalties is common, do they charge per studio, per game, per platform, etc. Does anyone have any ballpark figures for this stuff?

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I am uncertain, and we never used it here,
but apparently Havok cost 500,000 per title.

But for games that sells less than 10$ unit, havok is now free. And you can download it for Free to try it out too.

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Do you know if per title means per title/per platform? So if a game comes out on 3 platforms they'd have to spent $1.5 million.

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But I guess it's the kind of deal you get with them. Other platforms might be less, or free? For the same title.

But lower priced API, like FMod, are per platform.
FMod is 6,000 for the first platform, and 3,000 for others. Per title.

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Ok, thanks for the help. Does anyone have any idea on Euphoria? That would be the closest thing to my hypothetical middleware package. I guess that would be worth something between the two examples you've mentioned.

Speed tree is around $10,000 per title, but I suppose that would be used in a lot of games so can be sold for less.

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You could contact the middleware developers and ask, you know. That's likely your best bet, in fact, if you are at all remotely serious about using that middleware. Often the reason prices are not disclosed is because they aren't retail products, and licensing deals can be arranged to suit your specific scenario. This would be a much more fruitful line of inquiry.

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Quote:
Original post by jpetrie
You could contact the middleware developers and ask, you know. That's likely your best bet, in fact, if you are at all remotely serious about using that middleware. Often the reason prices are not disclosed is because they aren't retail products, and licensing deals can be arranged to suit your specific scenario. This would be a much more fruitful line of inquiry.


Well the problem is I'm not at all serious about using their middleware. It's for an assignment where I have to write a business plan for a middleware company. I need to know how much developers are willing to pay for that sort of thing, so I can price my product accordingly. I know that it is going to differ between developers, but I can take the case of a standard retail PS3/Xbox 360 game to make estimates.

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There is nothing illegitimate about that scenario, so it's entirely possible they'd still be willing to quote you ballpark figures. You can't lose anything by calling them up.

Also, it's worth noting that if this is for a report, you should report on the reality of the situation: don't try to get numbers just because you believe there should be numbers. If in fact the numbers vary widely -- as they do for some middleware -- that's what you want to say; you want to say there is not necessarily a fixed price (because this isn't a retail business), but rather often there's monetary exchange involved in the contracts negotiated on a per-deal basis between licensor and licensee, perhaps in conjunction with some other forms of compensation or exchange.

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True, and I am going to make it clear that licenses are not necessarily a fixed cost. But I do need to have some kind of sales forecast to estimate how much money will be coming in. I need to make some reasonable assumptions in order to do that.

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Josh is right. I know of at least one Indie developer who got an Unreal Engine license for a fraction of the amount you quoted above (which I do believe is a broadly correct figure) so it really can vary dramatically. Remember that middleware of this level is very often priced according to the cost of supporting the engine/libraries rather than just licensing the use of them. I don't know for a fact but I would imagine that the developer who got that massive reduction had a contract for pretty much no support, and support is very expensive on these high end tools. I think it's fair to say that - in business - everything is up for negotiation (I've never found anyone who flat out refused to negotiate*) Probably no two companies have paid the same amount.

He's also right that it really won't hurt to write to the middleware developers and ask them. The worst they can do is say no. They won't put you on an international "never talk to" list or anything :P Seriously, you'd be surprised what people will tell you if you ask, and equally you might be surprised at what some people won't tell you, but it really won't hurt to ask them. In all honesty, you're not going to get much credit for ballpark figures you can't attribute to anyone from someone on GameDev who "read something by someone who knew someone whose sister dated someone who used to work for a company that might have used Havok - unless it was that other physics engine, I always get those confused - and he said it was $10k but that was five years ago." This applies as much to my advice as anyone else's. I could be an eleven year old compulsive liar for all you know.

I really think you're better off asking the middleware provider because anyone who really has used the middleware in question is almost certainly contractually bound not to discuss it, which makes it very hard to trust any numbers you can get.

*I tell a lie, I remember one company which refuses point blank to negotiate. Massively overinflated ego, and they're a much smaller company than others that will and do.

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