Bro, it's a server. Which costs big dollars. The only other way to do this would to show ads on the app. Ads+3DS = not in the deepest fiery pits.
I'm wondering, though, if this fee was put in place to offset some of the losses to Nintendo the Wii U's causing right now...
Battlefield 3 - Server - No fees to use - No ads
B.S. They used online passes until recently. The price of one was covered by the $60 you paid for a new game, but it was 10$ if you buy used. Yeah, they were making money of games they already made money of.
$5 a year @ 5M sales = $25M for 400KB/user. That's $25M for 2GB of data. If they're paying that they're doing it very seriously wrong.
Obviously they do intend to make some profit. Again, they're a business.
A follow up.
100 employees maintaining a server, at 32000* a year equals $3.2million. Upgrading and additional servers for other data might recover even more individuals with a higher paycheck, say 60 people at 85000** a year which is roughly another $5 million
That other 17million can be used as it's profit margin or other costs.
*Assuming around 25$ an hour and 34-40 hours a week.
**Assuming highly trained employees on salary.
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