I know what you're thinking: "This is hate thread, isn't it?" No it is not. I am simply inquiring as to why people like Realms so much, and why we really need it, NOT totally dissing Realms.
I'm going to get down to the real question here: Why do we really need Realms? Think about it. it's a paid-for server hosting thing by Mojang, right? Why should I or anybody else sign up for Realms to host a server and pay for it when I can get Minecraft's perfectly free server application? Setting up a server is not that difficult for just a group of friends - google "Minecraft server setup tutorial" and you'll find hundreds of tutorials for doing it.
So, as a question to the community, and to anybody who happens to see this post, why do YOU like realms? Would you pay for it, and why?
Yes, but what difference is there between a regular gamehost like ProvisionHost or Beastnode and Realms? I'm thinking that third-party hosters will still have the cheaper prices. Also, barely anyone plays vanilla nowadays.
Bank accounts usually require a small amount($50) of money to be in your account as soon as you open it.
PayPal and a prepaid credit card. I live in Canada and I can find that at the local Metro or Shoppers Drug Mart.
Just lie about your age and hook up the CC. It's not like Minecraft Realms is free anyways, so I don't understand your point.
I also don't think that a consistent income is required to gather $40 a YEAR.
Also, at President's Choice Financial, the minimum deposit is $10. Just sayin'.
Lol I dont have all that stuff, Here in America you're required to give your SSN so they can verify your age
I'm pretty sure you have Prepaid credit cards and Moneybookers and stuff. I go down there to buy stuff at black friday, so I think I know. Btw, your stuff is so much cheaper, but there's also so much more ppl with uhh... larger body proportions.
The way I see realms is that they would likely be a monthly income source to Mojang, not a player service that is kind of a 'thank you' for playing. It would have to be higher quality service than other servers (and most servers I've played on are complete crap, really). I can see that bit being a big factor in realms being successful at all. Like you said, it's probably a really trivial amount for Mojang to make in realistic terms, or we're all overestimating the cost for a realm that Mojang will choose.
I really think they're aiming for charging $2-6/month for a realm of decent quality. That really isn't anything, slightly more than the services you mentioned and probably would be more reliable. I have yet to be amazed by a server's quality unless it has tons of players on it at all times or has a ton of 'giveaways' based on donations (that just ruin my vanilla experience) to 'help offset server costs' (lol). Sure, you say many people don't even play vanilla anymore. Could be true, though I really really doubt that, but regardless of that being fact or fiction... Who's to say that realms would reject modified clients or server stuff? They stated before that they're working on API support, I would think that making sure realms support mods is a big thing. Very important if what you say is true (still doubt).
In all cases, I really doubt I'll ever pay for a Mojang server just because I expect subpar quality, big costs or something that doesn't match the price they ask for.