How much does it cost to run the Homecoming servers? Well until now we only had a rough idea thanks to the monthly donation requests. Now they have been fully transparent, down to the cent. The breakdown goes into the specifics of what kinds of servers they use and all sorts of interesting information. I won’t go into the details here in this article for the sake of those whose eyes glaze over at a bunch of technical data (I’m one of them). But if that is your sort of thing you can find the forum post that laid it all out linked below.
Most of Homecoming’s hardware infrastructure is rented from OVH, this includes 16 servers which as you can imagine isn’t cheap. In fact, the monthly cost is $4,645.44. This amount is further broken down to explain exactly where that money is going, but that’s the technical stuff I wanted to avoid.
In addition to the rented hardware, they also have a single Paperspace Air Instance that is used as a rendering node for some of their tooling and future projects. It costs just $25 a month. That tease of future projects is an exciting one too.
Finally, they have a few external services that they pay for every month. Google G-Suite Business which acts as their email service and allows them to collaborate. There are 9 users, some of which are “server” accounts at a cost of $108 a month as well as a Google Voice number which comes in at $13.02 per month.
They also have a 10-user Atlassian Jira Cloud account which they had been using for project management. However, they have moved away from that service in favor of other options. So it is an expense that will be disappearing soon.
Twilio is a service they use to set up shared Homecoming accounts. The price of it varies from month to month as it is balance based and they don’t always need to top it up.
Last but not least they pay for unnamed security and admin software. For obvious reasons they do not show the name of what they use. We do know however that it costs $9.73 per month.
It was noticed by forum user EmperorSteele that there is no expense listed for their lawyer who had been an important part of the talks with NCSoft. Homecoming team Jimmy said that this is because they have an arrangement with the lawyer and they tend not to get billed for smaller bits of work and thanks to the pandemic, that’s all there has been. But, it was also added that the lawyers are handling something “a bit more substantial” at the moment and that will likely be included in the next donation round or the one after that. What that is…we may never know. Or it is also possible that we will find out. Homecoming does a fantastic job of being transparent when they can be without compromising things.
If you’re interested in all the gritty tech details of what it takes to keep homecoming going or you just want to see what others are saying you can find the Homecoming finances deep dive by following the link. Also, if you’re interested in the financial side of the MMO world last Sunday I launched a new weekly column on Maressa.net that dives into MMO business news. It will include information like this and a whole lot more. If you’re interested in reading the first which came out just a couple days ago you can find it here.