Here's how it works with big-budget MMOs these days:
1. Release game with $40-60 initial price tag, plus $14/mo. subscription, plus microtransactions. Get a big influx of cash from the most devoted/deep pocketed fans, who will sing praises about the quality of your game.
2. When new subscriptions start to tail off, drop the monthly subscription. People who were intrigued by the rave reviews of the fanatics but were held back by the subscription model will buy the game.
3. Microtransactions and $30 expansions while the game dies a slow painful death over the course of 5-10 years.
Thanks for all the suicide advice, but I just couldn't do it. I've grown attached to Duke Guilhem IV of Toulouse, awful stats and all. Is that normal? This is my first game, and he's my starting character, so maybe that's why.
Seriously, one of the main things to keep in mind is that the DLCs are largely a way to fund the content updates that contain significant improvements to the gameplay. These aren't things that they could have done before releasing the game. Each major DLC can take two months to develop and test, it's not just throwing together a few lines of code.