Massively plays Gemstone

Beau Hindman played Gemstone IV for MUD May. I get powerfully nostalgic over Gemstone (which has been open for 25 years nonstop). It was my life for many many years. It’s an absolutely amazing game that I have no regrets getting into to the depths that I did. It’s pretty unbelievable that it’s still going today. It’s literally text scrolling by on a screen.

It was fun to hear him talk to Eric Latham, who I’d never heard of it but was the producer of these games for over 15 years. Eric started playing DragonRealms (also a Simutronics game) about the same time I started Gemstone. Eric said they still get 400-500 people during primetime for both Gemstone and DragonRealms.

The minimum you can pay for Gemstone is $14.95 a month. For $39.95 you get Premium (extra features) or for $49.95 you get a separate instance of the game with a “closer-knit” community of players.

I’d love to see how their business model breaks down. If they had ~2500 subscribers over all their games at ~$20/month, that’s $50k/month net. In 2008 they had 45 employees and were looking to double. So that doesn’t quite pan out. They must have a lot more active subscribers than that or do super well on other apps like One Epic Knight.

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