I am comparing what the cost difference would be between "Free Player Bob Plays SWToR" and "Free Player Bob Plays Something Else" if I were hosting the free players myself. I am doing this in response to the people saying "freeloaders should pay or get out" or "free players are a financial burden on Bioware." I'm not trying to sound smart, and if it looks like I am, I apologize. (I'd settle for 'vaguely credible.') I'm trying to bring some data into this, specifically that the price of adding players isn't nearly as much as people seem to think it is.
The truth is that additional free players cost next to nothing. Or, as you say, until a certain point, really nothing at all. (And after that not very much.) It's napkin math and not a rigorous fiscal analysis; the advantage is that anybody who doubts the price of hosting can follow the links and do the math themselves.
I know about overhead and labor costs, thank you, and that spreading the cost per player isn't precisely accurate. Whether a free player comes or goes has little bearing on the money spent on any of it - except hosting.
I 100% agree its not costing bioware really anything to add free players. Anyone who thinks that it is...is not smart. The base costs are already set.
However, and I'm not trying to insult you, your math doesn't really mean anything. I would take the argument...in the real financial direction.