Money Money Money aka Selling Out

Jan 05, 2012 - by Strom

So it turns out that running a state of the art system for thousands of players isn't free.
Who would have thought?

All the money that DotA-GC generates is spent on the following tiers:
1) Paying the bills (It currently costs about 110 euros per month for the servers alone.)
2) Having prized competitions & buying advertising to get more players
3) Giving some sort of compensation to the people who actually build & moderate this commmunity
4) Profit

Thus far the income has never even completely covered the bills and as such I have paid most of it for almost 5 years. I am in no way bitter about it, it has been a wonderful experience. However moving forward, the wish of the community is to grow the player base and that will also make the bills bigger.

I am actually willing to increase my investment in GC, by spending more time building out new features & growing the player base. However my time isn't free, the opportunity cost is huge. I could be spending this time doing something else, something potentially more lucrative. Still, GC is a fine path to take, but GC would need to become self-sustainable and even generate hope of someday turning in a profit.

So how can DotA-GC possibly make any money? Well currently we have the premium name changes, which have proved to be successful. Still, they help only a little. I will probably look into adding some more premium features, but for now I will be adding advertisements to the website. The site has been ad-free previously because I hate the cheap punch-the-monkey ads. They're annoying and don't bring in any money. I will try to find some better advertisers, but in the beginning there may very well be some of that annoying shit shown on the site. Also, if anyone sees any ads with sound, let me know and I will ban that ad. I hate sound effects on ads so much.

The future. How long will DotA-GC last? I will pay for it myself for at least another 3 months. During that time I will try hard to make GC self-sustainable, meaning that GC can generate enough income every month to keep the lights on. Should I accomplish that, GC will be online for as long as it pays for itself. Keeping the lights on and adding new features are two completely different things however. I will add support for new dota map versions for as long as GC is up and running. Anything more than that will depend on if I see any hope of future profit.

Finally, for those of you that want to help with the bills directly, I have added that option. All the money received via this will go directly to the payment of server bills. Thanks!

Jan 05, 2012 05:13:58 UTC
I've never thought it becomes SO expensive.. Well.. What ever happens, you've done _REALLY_ good Strom and every other admin there. I'll keep the thumbs up for GCs survival!!
86% | 1540 X | 1470 TS
Jan 05, 2012 09:57:27 UTC
Let me disable 5ppl every month i can give you 110€ each month.
98% | 1843 X | 1584 TS
Jan 05, 2012 14:47:13 UTC
Strom, great job, with everything. I'm proud of you sir!
89% | 1603 X | 1468 TS
Jan 06, 2012 05:35:25 UTC
I'm ready to pay for not having banners on this site.
5% | 825 X | 1199 TS
Jan 06, 2012 10:22:37 UTC
I waited for this news for a long time and I totally approve the message. GC is a very good job and should stay one ;).

Maybe u should even put the "PAY GC" button as "advertisment" on every site. Id also like to see an illustration for every month showing the monthly costs and the monthly income so that people now how good GC is running.

However, as soon as u start running gc more or less profit based, I sincerly recommend you to make sure that u are also legally on the right side with any step u make ;).
90% | 1596 X | 1479 TS
Jan 06, 2012 11:18:47 UTC
Will actually upload some money to my paypal soon to help out!
GC has brought me over 2k hours of countless fun during these 4? years, so why wouldn`t I give some back to help keep it up. Sure much more well spent than these candies I bought for 3 euros just now and I`m already feeling horrible.
84% | 1508 X | 1475 TS
Jan 07, 2012 18:18:12 UTC
I have two concerns:

What do you mean by "thousands of players"? I only count 666.

Revealing plans for profit may not be the best strategy for raising donations, as this does not really evoke sympathy (on which donations are probably most effectively based). My advise is to change your PR protocol! :D
52% | 1250 X | 1323 TS
Jan 08, 2012 18:54:32 UTC

> What do you mean by "thousands of players"? I only count 666.
Those which you count are players with over 10 games that are still enabled. However 6500 players have registered in the last year alone, with 1300 of them making it into a game.

> Revealing plans for profit may not be the best strategy for raising donations, as this does not really evoke sympathy
I'm really not looking for sympathy support. GC isn't a handicapped child that needs support, but a service that brings value to dota players. I'm being honest about what it will take to keep me attached to GC and what it will take for GC to just continue existing.
90% | 1614 X | 1466 TS
Jan 09, 2012 08:59:01 UTC
challenge accepted! playing fee=>all gc expenses divided by the average number of players logged in every month + a little something for you equals half a euro per month leaving you with about 250 euros of profit or make it 0.7 euros per player payable annualy.problem solved.(on the basis of about 650-700 average monthly players on gc)godspeed and gl to gc
55% | 1224 X | 1374 TS
Jan 09, 2012 22:40:14 UTC

The main problem with such a solution is that most would not agree to pay. A substantial number of people consider paying for stuff on the internet as equal to sacrificing a goat.
90% | 1614 X | 1466 TS
Jan 10, 2012 02:06:13 UTC
You need way more players to survive from donations or reduce your server costs, also I can't see any ads with adblocker ;p
53% | 1180 X | 1400 TS
Jan 10, 2012 11:41:45 UTC
And since goats are only sacrificed if the sacrificers have been encouraged to believe in something, you need to set up some kind of ideology to encourage GC players to believe in paying for your services.
52% | 1250 X | 1323 TS
Jan 11, 2012 19:56:37 UTC
sure i pay hahahahah for gettin a 30 day ban after when disc! nerds
17% | 1099 X | 1077 TS
Jan 13, 2012 17:30:41 UTC
well i can geif 2 euros if ban taken off
62% | 1309 X | 1367 TS
Jan 14, 2012 20:36:58 UTC
52% | 1250 X | 1323 TS
Jan 14, 2012 22:39:01 UTC
Actuallt i wouldn't mind banners, when i see them i always know that the person whos service i use is getting revenue and i doubght many would object to you having them here. I'd even click on stuff time to time without really caring where im going ))
71% | 1418 X | 1378 TS
Jan 23, 2012 18:05:50 UTC
Actually gonna use it on name change instead! I`m in the need of a new name.
84% | 1508 X | 1475 TS
Jan 26, 2012 07:36:15 UTC
Maybe u need make something like color Nick for euro / month + double account for 5 euro and etc.
NEW | 1169 X | 1206 TS
Feb 09, 2012 20:44:53 UTC
iam sick of this gosu-kurdi being number one even though he never plays here anymore, buugi not plaaying, notahax and so on ,,,,,, maybe its time to reset all stats and clean up a bit.
65% | 1366 X | 1337 TS
Feb 10, 2012 15:41:59 UTC
@Kurdi Well they are still strong players.
90% | 1614 X | 1466 TS
Feb 15, 2012 16:51:57 UTC
I am ready to support by giving some money ... but I suggest you make it possible to pay by phone cause i don't have a paypal account and I never pay with credit card on the internet.
80% | 1494 X | 1417 TS
Feb 22, 2012 10:57:36 UTC
ill donate 10$ for every player u let me ban
88% | 1588 X | 1463 TS
Mar 07, 2012 15:06:55 UTC
Big up To Gc and too u Strom.. thanks for the great website.. im thinking that you could split the bill trewout the players like @Nickless said, plus it makes people more attached to the website if the have placed money in it!
48% | 1175 X | 1356 TS
Apr 13, 2012 12:30:03 UTC
thousands of players??
THis site is so dead, really not worth the effort. Do something more lucrative with your time and money.
37% | 1185 X | 1210 TS
May 05, 2012 22:36:21 UTC
I think it s not s very relaible to play here. You know what u can expect from certain players, no leavers, no flamers and people with nice manners = nice place to play, keep it working :)
84% | 1533 X | 1440 TS
May 10, 2012 08:02:33 UTC
I agree with BoBo. It's quite a nice place to play at. And people are very mannered compared to the people in other dota places. However, I would suggest you to advertise it a bit more, get a few new players in (not too many), and then maybe you could even reset the rankings due to inactivity of many top players. If they come back to gc, they won't have troubles getting back on top anyway.
89% | 1603 X | 1468 TS
May 19, 2012 10:11:30 UTC
well i tryed to post some comments @ yuotube to get more players. on wodota top weekly ;D
71% | 1417 X | 1381 TS
May 27, 2012 22:09:33 UTC
I have not been able to get into a game for the last 7 days. Its almost an exclusively silver game setup......
65% | 1318 X | 1381 TS