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typodupeerror Updated to 20.0 136

SirBruce writes " has been updated to Version 20.0! This is a major update, with updated numbers for many games, most notably World of Warcraft, Eve Online, RuneScape, and most of NCSoft's titles. I've also added three new MMOGs to the tracking data: Tibia, The Matrix Online, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. I've also removed the old subscriber data for Ragnarok Online in Japan, and unified the various total subscriptions charts. Also new to this update is preliminary market data for Asian MMOGs (including Ragnarok Online) that are commonly reported in terms of Peak Concurrent Users and Average Concurrent Users. Given the differences in pricing models, many of these games are not subscription-based, so a direct comparison with subscription MMOGs cannot be made. My thanks to everyone who helped with this update, and thanks to those of you who waited patiently for this update!"
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  • Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by glassjaw rocks ( 793596 ) <bkienzle&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @05:31PM (#15431314)
    It's pretty amazing that WOW has 50% of the total MMOG market share. Blizzard must be rolling in cash.
  • by flooey ( 695860 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @06:07PM (#15431486)
    So tell me why, in case you enjoy the game. I really wish to know what makes WoW interesting. What is better than in the "other" MMORPGs? What makes WoW to something that deserves a 50+% market share?

    I like it because it's straightforward. There's not a lot of non-game activity required to play the game. The quests are straightforward, the game mechanics are straightforward, the class roles are straightforward. For the vast majority of the content, you either can do it on your own or can find a group within a few minutes by barking up the appropriate tree. I don't have to deal with idiotic guild politics and teen-aged angst, I don't have to deal with planning out my skill progression, I don't have to research where the best equipment is. I can do it all without all that junk.

    On the other hand, the game does have those elements to it, but they're optional. For people who want to form guilds and take down huge monsters and collect phat loot, they can do that, and have a good time at it. I don't want to, and the game works well for me; other people want to, and the game works well for them.

    Overall, I think that's what it has going for it. The game caters to basically all gaming styles.
  • by shigelojoe ( 590080 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @06:07PM (#15431494)
    The main draw that other people have mentioned is that with so many people playing, it's easier to get an impression of the game before you start playing. Also, odds are that if you're interesting in starting WoW, you know someone who's been playing for a while and might be willing to toss you a few gold and invite you to join their guild. The main reason I play WoW instead of a different MMORPG is because I had many friends and relatives that played WoW as opposed to the one person I knew who played Ragnarok Online.

    Another draw of WoW is the lore. Say what you will about those "paladins from space" the Draenei, but on the whole what keeps me coming back is the continuation of the lore that began in the first Warcraft.

    Note that these two factors have little or nothing to do with actual gameplay. WoW isn't an excellent game in itself (especially when compared to other MMORPGS), but through marketing and by fostering a sizable, devoted community Blizzard has ensured a steady and increasing subscriber base.

    All of this said, I do have a couple of gripes with WoW (no WoW post is complete without gripes, right? ;P):
    -Crafting needs to be overhauled to allow customization; not only should blacksmiths and such be able to change the appearance of their creations to a degree but they should also be able to affect the bonuses an item gives. The higher the crafter's skill, the more bonuses can be stacked on the item. Jewelcrafting and socketed items are nice, but not good enough.
    -Corpse runs. I realize there needs to be a token penalty for dying, and not dinging the player's experience is a good idea, but just rezzing after a few minutes would be better than manually having to guide your ghost back to your corpse.
  • by Wampus Aurelius ( 627669 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @06:15PM (#15431541)
    Besides, most WoW are former Evercrack addicts anyway.

    Let's look closely at that chart for a moment. Everquest's subscription numbers from July 2001 till July 2004 is a nice, straight line hovering at just under 500k subscribers, with a slight bump right before WoW was released. WoW, by contrast, started at zero during September 2004, and has basically taken a straight line path up to 6.5 million today.

    I would say that that indicates that WoW subscribers are coming from somewhere other than Everquest. In my time in WoW, I've only met one person who said he had played EQ before; most everyone else either played something else (myself, FFXI and Puzzle Pirates before WoW) or had not played MMOs at all before WoW.

    I agree that WoW fills the after work void better than other games do. Not counting endgame content, you can log in to WoW, play for a half hour, and log off, and feel that you've done something useful with your time. You don't have to commit an entire evening, you don't have to spam "LFG" for hours and hours because there are other things to do, and you don't have to spend an hour waiting for a boat to arrive at a port so you can get from one island to another. *cough*Vanguard*cough*

    Perhaps WoW is not "hardcore" or "immersive," but if you really wanted the true immersive, realistic experience that has been mentioned by those who long for hard grinds and wait times, you could walk (don't drive) to the nearest forest, wait for a squirrel or rabbit to run by, whack it with a shovel, and then walk back to your house. That's as immersive as immersive gets.
  • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @06:25PM (#15431608) Homepage Journal
    Why are you people so desperate for attention? It's not enough to be the enlightened minority, your insecurity has you constantly challenging the majority to defend their "inferior" taste. God, the anti-WoW baiters are worse than the Digg whiners.

    But do you really want to know why it works? Aside from the detailed backstory, extensible user interface, well-defined gameplay mechanics, and superior art and music - it's because you can jump. It has the feel of a first-person shooter with the controls of an RTS.

    Guild Wars is just freakin' Diablo with a rotatable view, and you're still glued to the ground. Eve Online is nothing but a crappy space flight simulator for accountants.
  • Re:BBMMORPGs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JamesonTheIrish ( 961868 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @06:36PM (#15431663)
    It's because they're free. From the FAQ -

    1. Why isn't listed?

    There are four main reasons why a particular game isn't listed in the charts:

    a) The game in question isn't really a MMOG, at least by my reckoning. Games like Diablo II and Phantasy Star Online fall into this category. Guild Wars developers say in their own FAQ that they do not consider their game a MMOG; in addition, it doesn't charge a monthly fee (see below). Please don't email me trying to insist otherwise; I'm not likely to be convinced.

    b) The game in question is free and/or doesn't charge a regular monthly fee. Games like Furcadia, Magic: the Gathering Online, and Project Entropia are good examples; these games are normally free to play, but some players can also pay a variable amount to access additional content in the game. This makes it almost impossible to come up with a number comparable to monthly subscribers in other games.

    c) The game in question is too small to chart. This would include games like A Tale in the Desert, Blade Mistress, Gemstone IV, and Meridian 59. In the past, I've been reluctant to chart games below about 10,000 subscribers, mainly because they made the charts very crowded, and it was not my goal to list every game that came along. Still, I have made exceptions for some smaller games that are making an impact, and it is possible that in the future more of the smaller MMOGs will be represented - but only if I get data for them.

    d) I don't currently have good data for the game in question. This is the most likely reason why a MMOG you are looking for is not listed. This includes many foreign MMOGs that don't provide subscriber data, as well as newer games like Auto Assault. These games are certainly popular, but I simply do not have access to monthly subscription figures at this time. If you have any data on these or other games not listed, feel free to drop me a line!
  • by MalusCaelestis ( 172079 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @06:58PM (#15431767) Homepage
    The chart looked about as I expected: World of Warcraft towers above the rest while several other MMOs lose ground. But what I didn't expect to see is that WoW's gains are significantly higher than its competitors' losses. World of Warcraft is doing more than dominating the market--it's increasing the size of the market.

    I'm interested to see whether those gamers will move to other MMO games after World of Warcraft or if they're only in it for WoW.
  • Re:SWG number bogus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quarters ( 18322 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @09:05PM (#15432396)
    The first big slide for SWG players on that chart is Aug-Sept 2004, which predates the release of the CU by seven or eight months. The second dive (after the short level period) is pretty close to the time the CU got released. The downward slope doesn't really change much after that, so it could be said the NGE had no effect on subscriber numbers, either positively or negatively. The game was already into its death spiral.
  • by Todo Proudfoot ( 652832 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @09:41PM (#15432558)
    ...believing this guys numbers. yeah, some of them may be accurate. Blizzard has been tooting their horn with their subscription numbers. But, I've been playing Star Wars Galaxies since the beginning back in 2003 and there is no way they currently have just under 200,000 subscribers. The number of subscribers has the be half or even 3/4 of what it was in it's peak. So, I know that number to be just wrong. What other numbers are just wrong? EverQuest still has 400,000 subscribers???
  • by ockegheim ( 808089 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:41AM (#15433318)
    Blizzard would have got a lot of people (like me) from their other RTS games. Also for mac users (like me) the games market is much more limited, and we're happy that Blizzard have always supported macs.

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.