The way this game makes money is in esence a subscription service. With a top up via cosmetics and hero ships. It needs to support it's self, regardless of how much money the company makes, if the game can not support it's self out side of launch it will not survive. With that said, every developer hope a games launch will make the game. Saying a game that launches on a public platform hoping it to be sucessful is doomed, it is not logical. When a game is released any developer wants the game to be a sucsess, they don't know that until it's out there. Very few games in this day and age are not on a 3rd party site like steam.
I wanted to tackle the income seperately, as it is a big topic also.
The game makes money from people, not from systems.
This is a really big point that really needs to be driven into peoples heads. Additionally, Grey boy is generating upwards of 200 million a year (its realistically probly like 120-130m). At this point money is no longer an issue for the game. This was fairly clear to me when the studio had 60 developers (As I was told).
This tells me more likely what is taking place is the investors are money hungry and are knocking the games design constructs around to obtain more income for their weekend party house.
This is a very hard topic to address with them, and its almost nearly impossible to shake them from positions like that. They are bent on optimizing the income of the game, not whats best for this. Its why some games like League, Fornite, Wow, etc are so healthy, because its developers and investors know now to mix business into the development cycle of the game.
So when it comes to the tier system you should understand that the game does not "need" the tier system to survive, especially for grey boy.
Now this being said lets talk numbers for a minute.
Lets say we swap to the system that I am advocating for.
Lets say it takes 5 hours to grind resources for a ship, or $10-20 per a ship.
Lets say we break the game into 5 types of game play. Tank, Healer, Artillary, Damage, Speed (or respectively named Dreadnough, Logistics, Artillary, Destroyer, Corvette)
Lets say in each section there is 15 ships.
This places the potential buying power of just raw ships to 500$
This increases the income to 2500 if 5 skins are applied to each ship.
This also reduces the need to focus on balance so -% of developer expenses
This also streamlines producing new skins and extra's for the team, increasing income further.
This also provides faster ques
This also provides more balance (no cross tier balance needed)
This also produces more motivation for game play (by instant exposure to various types of ships to all players as opposed to parts of the population)
This also encourages higher competitive and cooperative game play.
It makes the gui and progression more cleaner.
Do you see where we are going now?