War Thunder

A rough cost estimate for the operating costs of War Thunder | Or: Is gaijin really greedy?

warthunder 2 - A rough cost estimate for the operating costs of War Thunder | Or: Is gaijin really greedy?

Hello all!

because I see it all the time that people call gaijin greedy and just money hungry I decided to publish a rough cost estimate for the game warthunder and hos much it actually costs to operate and to develop.

let's start with the earnings of WT.

to be able to spend money you first need to earn it, because it is a well known fact that in F2P titles only around 20% of the players actually pay any money it gets obvious quite quickly that they dont earn that much compared to bigger studios.

I take a rough estimate of 1 million players that play the game around the world

– 20% we are at 200,000 people that actually spend money on it.

now the question: how much does every player spend on WT per year?

well, I make a guess and say it is 100 USD for 1 year

so the guessed yearly earnings are: 20,000,000 USD

  • Now, How much of this goes away in keeping the game running and development?

well, lets start with the obvious things first.

  • Rent of the office and the pay of the employees:
    With some research I could find out that office space in moscow costs on average 1000 to 20000USD a month
    I just gotta take the average of 10000 USD / Month for this estimate
    -> 120,000USD / year
    on average a programmer in russia makes 1400 USD a month
    -> 16,800 USD / year
    –> 1,680,000 USD / year for 100 Employees.

  • Electricity / Heat bill:
    The basic cost (electricity, heat, water,etc) for 1 m² in moscow is on average 1.2 USD
    1 employee needs roughly 14m² space + 30% for floors
    -> 2184 USD / month
    —-> 26,208 USD / Year
    °Disclaimer: these are the costs of living, I dont know how much it compares to a office space, because I could not find data on this, I do think it is higher though.

  • Rent of the servers:
    Servers are the next big obvious thing on the list.
    It did take me a while to find good figures for monthly server cost, but I managed to find something.
    it costs around 1USD for 1 player on the server / month on most server hosting sites
    lets say the server is laid out to handle 150k players at peak times.
    ->150,000 USD / Month –> 1,800,000 USD / Year
    —-> 4 servers (RU, EU, NA, SA) = 7,200,000 USD / Year
    °Disclaimer: I dont think each of the 4 servers is laid out to handle 150k players, so for the final calculation I use half of the 7.2 million USD to get a more believable figure.

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  • Software Licenses:
    this is pretty much the next thing many people forget, Software licenses
    lets say Gaijin has 75 computers that need licenses
    °Autodesk 3DS Max
    This is a 3d modelling program used to make the 3D assets of the game, and to make animations.
    On the Autodesk homepage you can Buy license packs and 1 year for 75 computers is 167,000 USD
    –> 167,000 USD / Year
    °Adope Photoshop
    Picture composing and editing, used for example to create the textures of vehicles.
    1500 USD / Year per license
    –> 112,000 USD / Year
    ° Disclaimer: I dont know if any other software is used that needs a license, it is possible though.

  • 3D models of new vehicles:
    this one is a bit tricky to find out, so I need to guess.
    we know that gaijin pays a creator of a revenue share model up to 11000 USD, so I just go with this number per model.
    in 2018 Gaijin added 270 new vehicles.
    lets say they bought 75% of them (because nowadays gaijin rarely makes their own models anymore and just buys the 3D model from 3D modeling companies.
    75% of 270 is 203
    –> 2.233.000 USD for 2018

  • Royalty fees to use certain planes in the game:
    down at the bottom of the webside is a list of around 50 planes where the manufacturer wants to get paid, so these planes can be used under the full name in WT (including brand logos)
    finding exact figures of how much this costs is nearly impossible and im not sure where to start.
    However, according to a eurogamer article I found it is between 5-10% of the retail price of a game to include the company that made the weapon/vehicle.
    -> so 7.5% of the money earned should be a usable figure.
    –> 3,000,000 USD / Year

In a grand total I calculated that gaijin roughly pays:

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10,818,000 -to- 14,418,000 USD per year to keep WT running (with the costs that are known to me)

so with knowing this they make around 5.5 to 9 million USD in 1 year WITHOUT TAXES!

this may appear alot, but please consider this:

we dont know every cost, and the costs can EASILY skyrocket when some numbers are off. what I did here is a very high estimate, also Gaijin has to pay taxes ON TOP of this, So in reality the earnings are alot lower.

With taxes the earnings are around 6 million USD lower (15% tax for international companies)

Income of gaijin per year with taxes is:

  • Up to 3 million USD / year by my calculations

3 mil may apear alot, but you have to consider that this isnt that much for international companies, specially for the gaming market.

so no, I dont think gaijin is greedy!

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