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MMOGChart Update 21 Now Available 89

SirBruce wrote to mention that the 21st update to is now available. From the site: "This version has updated subscriber numbers for several games, most notably World of Warcraft, several of SOE's titles, and the recently launched Auto Assault. I've also expanded the mid-range chart a bit; eventually I'm going to have to implement a dynamic graphing system." The most dramatic information can be seen on the mid-range chart. The cyan, triangled line that represents Everquest made my jaw drop.
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MMOGChart Update 21 Now Available

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  • my fave (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 30, 2006 @11:09AM (#15636355)
    my fave mmorpg is wikipedia
  • There hasn't been any updates for Lineage 1 or 2 for a while. I don't play either game, but I'm interested in their subscriber numbers, which spiked so high and now seem to be on a downward slope.
  • by 192939495969798999 ( 58312 ) <info&devinmoore,com> on Friday June 30, 2006 @11:16AM (#15636421) Homepage Journal
    When is the general subscription coming? I want to pay like $10-$20 and be on all the different games, not $x per game. That's just not being managed right -- they'd all share a lot more purchases, customers, etc. if they could just combine user bases through a single subscription model.
    • That's a fantastic idea... Although there would need to be some polishing.

      For example, fee ranges differing based on how many games you want access to...
      One character slot per game to dispel the profit loss from offering a cheaper subscription, with one-time fees for extra character slots...

      Still, I wouldn't subscribe to it anyway because I hate the idea of having to pay to play something I already paid for. GW all the way for me.
      • I agree it's a good idea. Like a "MMOG Channel" that you could log in, like (shudder) GameTap or something, where you have access to all these games. All the game places would opt-in, and instead of managing multiple passwords, etc... you could have one, with one fee (but let's be realistic here... it would have to be something like $40/month I think, to get the publishers on board), and the profits would be split according to players involved in the games.

        So say you've got WoW, EverQuest, and whatever
        • So say you've got WoW, EverQuest, and whatever else is being played these days with a fee, and say, WoW gets double the playership of the other games that month. Well, WoW would get 50% of the profits, and the remainder gets split up accordingly. I think that could actually work. Good idea, man.

          Inc mechanics that encourage even more idling and timesinks for great profit :P
      • i like this idea. i would probably be playing more MMOs if the pricing where this way
    • Sony already does that for their own titles []

      But to be honest, the way these games are designed I'd rather pay $15 a month to play one exclusively as opposed to paying $25 for access to one game I'll play a lot and five games I may never log into. I don't have the time and/or energy to devote to half a dozen MMOs.
    • But then how would the publishers of each game be able to brag about how many subscribers they have?

      More to the point, what numbers would they be able to bring to advertisers to show them how many players their products will be exposed to?

      And even more importantly, without hard numbers for each individual game, how will the message-board weenies ever be able to measure the size of their enis by the games they play? You're talking about a total meltdown of the entire social structure of the Internet her

    • So, instead of paying $15/mo for EQ2, $15/mo for AC, and $15/mo for SWG, you want to pay $10/mo for all 3 of those and ALL the others out there?

      I want some of what you're smoking.

      On the other hand, Sony DOES have a combo subscription. [] I don't link directly to sony because I can't get the info to come up on firefox here from their station site. And I'm too lazy to tab over to my vmware and look it all up in there.
    • SOE does this for several of its games, including Everquest, Matrix Online and Planetside. I think it's called a Station Pass, and it's something like $25 USD for admission to half a dozen of their MMOGs, with a few other smaller titles on the side.

      That noted, you're never going to see a general subscription for all MMOGs. Ever. Period. While a very large outfit like SOE might be able to use the activity of one or two titles to subsidize other games with flagging user bases, a publisher like Funcom woul

    • by Emetophobe ( 878584 ) on Friday June 30, 2006 @01:19PM (#15637478)
      When is the general subscription coming? I want to pay like $10-$20 and be on all the different games, not $x per game. That's just not being managed right -- they'd all share a lot more purchases, customers, etc. if they could just combine user bases through a single subscription model.
      When is the general car subscription coming? I want to pay like $10-20k and own all the different cars, not $x per car. That's just not being managed right -- they'd all share a lot more purchases, customers, etc. if they could just combine user bases through a single subscription model.
  • Unfortunately, these charts only chart the new MMORPG's. There are other ones that have been around longer and are quite large: OGame and Kingdom Of Loathing to name a few. Hell, OGame alone has well over a million players worldwide, and in many, many different langugages.
    • no its problem is it only charts popular ones that get press with a few more obscure ones like Doufis being thrown in.

      Its big problem though is accuracy. Unless the games publisher actually states how many players there are (something FFXI, Lin and others dont do) it just guestimates them. FFXI for years now only says they have over 500,000 simply because SE doesnt care about numbers but about making the experience good to players. I can garentee you that with the last expantion server populations have ri

      • In the analysis for FFXI (nobody ever reads that), I discuss that fact that given the census figures, subscriber numbers could be as high as 700,000. But the more I guesstimate numbers to put on the chart, the more I get slammed for guesstimating. :)

      • Bullshit. They were announcing subscriber numbers every four months or so up until Chains of Promathia shipped, while they were at the top of SirBruce's chart. Then WoW comes out. And they completely stopped posting figures.

        From the census itself []:

        There are over 500,000 players logging in to FINAL FANTASY XI from all over the world, with the main player base located in Japan, North America, and Europe.

        Square-Enix is a company. They want to make their games look popular to sell more accounts. FFXI

  • by illumin8 ( 148082 ) on Friday June 30, 2006 @11:43AM (#15636657) Journal
    Why is Guild Wars not even covered in this chart? Especially, now that they've just sold 2 million copies []. Is it because there is no monthly fee to play? I think that is a very stupid metric.

    Not every good MMORPG requires a fee to play, but it looks like even if you create an immensely popular game, unless you're bending your customers over and asking them to take it in the ass every month to the tune of $14.95, you don't get listed.
    • He specifically states that he is only measuring subscription based games. If you count guildwars, you have to count Battlefield 2, and maybe CounterStrike-Source.
    • Guild Wars is not an MMORPG. By it's own developers' explanation, it is a Competitive Online Role-Playing Game, CORPG.

      By their own definition they don't qualify for this chart. Moreover, this is in the FAQ: "Guild Wars developers say in their own FAQ that they do not consider their game a MMOG"

      Also, explains that they do have trouble tracking subscription-free games based on their current metrics, so even if the Guild Wars developers called their game an MMORPG, it probably wou
    • The chart is one which compares active subscribers, and for that goal, "Monthly fee" is an extremely sensible metric, methinks. Moreover, quoth the FAQ:

      1. Why isn't [MMOG_NAME] 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 additi

    • I thought I was the only one to think that! I've been telling my friends Ankle Grabber Games was a good name for a subscription based game publisher but nooooo.
    • This chart measures subscribers. Guild Wars does not have subscribers. Sure they could put it on the chart to make you happy and it would rank at 0 and stay there.

      If someone starts a chart with active players or something then Guild Wars has a place.

      It ain't just GW wich ain't listed, none of the free muds is either.

      Oh and there is a very simple reason GW doesn't have a monthly fee, because they don't have nearly the same infrastructure costs as say a WoW. When Guild Wars starts offering the same MMO lev

    • It's covered in the first two points of their FAQ, but to make things more convenient: 1. Guild War's developers have said that they don't consider their own game an MMO 2. The lack of monthly fees, while not a determination of what type of game it is, make it far harder to track and get useful data - you know how many started playing the game, but without a tracking metric for when they stopped playing the game, it's a useless comparison.
    • ... now that they've just sold 2 million copies.

      In addition to the good reasons provided by others, you should note that "copies sold" does not equal "active players" in some timeframe. The chart is showing active players. That's why the lines eventually peak and head *downwards*. Obviously, if sales were tracked the lines would only plateau.
  • Is it just my server, or does it seem like everyone is quitting WoW in the last month? Pretty much all the raiding guilds are either recruiting like mad, or merging so they can still raid.

    I think with the summer coming, and most classes having had their 'reviews' people are leaving since they see nothing new on the horizon. Even though the next patch is the 'pvp patch', Blizzard has stated that they won't be changing the horrid honor system until the expansion. I think when the next one of these comes
    • Re:WoW "Crash" (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 0racle ( 667029 )
      You can only stay the current favorite for so long, so it's not really surprising. Eventually a lot of people are going to move on to something else.
      • agreed especially with a lot of the service problems on the most popular servers, and the wide gap between 1-59 play and 60 playstyles its no wonder that WoW would have a crash.

        BUT remember this is not a bad thing, with less people comes better service and sometimes better content. I would much rather be in a game with 100-400 thousand people than one with 6 million.

      • My server just lost a ton of people too (Warsong). It probably has more to do with paid realm transfers than with an actual loss of subscribers.

        Nonetheless, I do see a decline in new subscribers for WoW. I hope that they're diligently working on a sequel, and not just on the expansion scheduled for later this year.

        Personally, if I had time for more than one MMO, I probably would have switched already. As it is, I've invested so much time building a decent character in WoW that I don't want to lose it

    • Re:WoW "Crash" (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If EverQuest taught us anything about trend of MMORPG, it's that people are quite willing to put up with any amount of 'this sucks I quit' features until there's actually something better out. Given the lack of high profile MMORPG coming out, I'd think WoW is going to stay at the top for a while.

      It'd also be interesting to see how the numbers look like broken down to just 'people who are capable of speaking English'. No offense to the rest of the world, but comparing a game like EverQuest (virtually every
      • Given the lack of high profile MMORPG coming out, I'd think WoW is going to stay at the top for a while.

        But for many, wow is the first mmorpg they have played. They won't need to go to another mmorpg, they may leave for a fps, rts, etc.

        it wouldn't show up as more than a blip on a game like WoW where a significant portion, if not the majority of the subscription comes outside of North America/Europe.

        Are there solid numbers for the subscribers outside of the anglosphere?
        • For WoW, of the 6.6 million active subscribers worldwide, about 3.6 million of those are in China. Europe has over 1 million, and North America has between 1.5 and 2 million.

        • Although WoW may indeed be the first MMORPG for most, there's considerable inertia that stops you from leaving a MMORPG and going back to a RTS or FPS or whatever. The persistent aspect of a MMORPG means in order to switch to anything, the alternative has to be better. MMORPG pretty much always beats any other genre if you look at playing time as an investment. If I play WoW for 100 hours I can be sure that no matter how boring/painful that 100 hour is, I'll walk away with considerable benefits at the en
    • Not sure but the last patch was really great, and along with that login queues have returned and the server is packed again. I guess I don't see that happening. Uber guilds are breaking up and reforming but mostly because there's a new tier of stuff and the usual race for server firsts.
    • A mistake that seems to be somehow built-in people's heads is that a MMORPG is sorta like a marriage. "Until death do us part."

      This is reflected in two major falsehoods that get posted again and again:

      1. "If I got tired of a game after 6 months, it's a sign that the game now sucks and deserves to be shut down."

      2. "If people I know left after 6 months, it's a sign that the game is dying."

      In reality, 6 months is (or was in the EQ days) the average time a player stays on a MMO. Sure, it depends on the player a
    • Must be just your server.

      I play on two (Lightbringer and Malfurion) and I'm seeing new players constantly. Only reason I can tell is because they have no clue how some of the basics work (asking guards, rolling on loot, participating in groups, etc.)

      I am seeing large guilds recruiting, but I think that's just typical attrition or some "old timers" have moved on or are hibernating until the next patch or expansion.

      Visible activity (like in Ironforge) nearly doubled on Lightbringer after the last patch.

  • by Sage Gaspar ( 688563 ) on Friday June 30, 2006 @12:01PM (#15636841)
    I'd be interested in seeing a comparison of how additional content and frequency of updates scales with subscriber numbers. The monthly fee outpaces individual subscriber upkeep costs by a pretty high amount, so you'd figure the games with high subscriber numbers would have at least a little more attention thrown at the updates -- but I'm not sure that is the case.

    Although one of the problems with making such a comparison is that subscribers in different countries add up to vastly different subscribership plans and fees. Speaking of, though I've heard it's hard to get a hold of the numbers, I'd be very interested in seeing the average money per capita made off players broken down by pricing region. I'd also imagine there's a significant amount of overhead involved in expanding your business internationally. Hrrm.
    • Unfortunately, I'd be hard pressed to see a correlation.

      A game like COH/COV, which is at the trailing end of the market, has provided 6 major free content additions so far. "Issue 1" was the game as released and 2 to 7 (7 is the current) have added new zones, (at one point) new classes, new outfit pieces, new quests, new power sets, new kinds of conetent like arch-villains and giant monsters, etc. Pretty much half the game at this point, and a lot more than half the quests, are new stuff. It also includes _
  • EVE (Score:3, Interesting)

    by InsaneLampshade ( 890845 ) on Friday June 30, 2006 @12:04PM (#15636875) Journal
    Nice to see EVE-Online's figures still going steadily up. :)
  • Would be nice to have some numbers for RF Online too.
    I know that it topped Lineage in Korea last year for a while. Even if it has then probably subsided, it is has now servers in :


    • I too would be interested in the US/Europe subscriber numbers, because to be quite honest, Codemasters have made a real mess of the servers.

      I know a hell of a lot of players (myself included) left due to the totally unbalanced race numbers on certain servers.
  • Zonk said
    The most dramatic information can be seen on the mid-range chart. The cyan, triangled line that represents Everquest made my jaw drop.

    Actually, when you sum the users from EQ and EQ2, you get a drop that isn't quite as steep. EQ definitely suffers from competing with its own sequel in addition to other new games.

  • Looks like Blizzard might be topping out with WoW at a PALTRY 6.5 Million users?!?!?!

    Obviously they need to get that expansion out fast or it's all over but the crying for them.
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday June 30, 2006 @12:38PM (#15637139) Journal
    SWG isn't even the worsed performer. Both everquests seem to have lost over half their subscriber base since last year, understandble for the original but it seems people didn't leave it for Everquest 2 but instead went to WoW (or just quit cold turkey).

    That SWG NGE lost slightly less then half its subscribers is not that amazing. Even those who like the NGE have to admit that it added a whole new bug fest to an already bugged game. It would be like getting you broken fiat replaced by a lada.

    What is intresting is how poorly Everquest 2 is doing. I played it for a bit after escaping from SWG (WoW does not appeal to me neither does Eve so don't bug me about those) and it too seems to have been smedleyed. Before I left EQ2 they removed spirit shards taking a lot of the fun out of the game and increased your running speed so you looked like a characters out of a slapstick movie.

    At least it is nice to see I am not the only one who thinks sony is ruining the games. Perhaps once they loose them all they will realize that it is pointless trying to emulate Blizzard by making all their games easy, shallow WoW wannabees. Not that their is anything wrong with WoW by itself. Just that it is a product that already exists.

    Or maybe this is just the way live works. SOE once was one of the big MMO companies and then they just lost it. Sierra, Lucasarts, Microprose and countless others have gone before them. You really have to wonder how a company that once got MMO's so right its product was likened to crack now can't keep keep a single product from loosing subscribers.

    Let's see, 100.000 lost SWG subscribers. That is 1.5 million dollars of lost revenue a month. Was the NGE worth that? Same with EQ2, removing spirit shards and other easing of the game lost them well of 150.000 subscribers. 2 million dollars a month down the drain. You got to wonder about Sony's management that Smedley is still allowed on the premises without being carved up into sushi.

    Oh well, blame piracy, oh wait, mmo's don't have piracy. Guess the only excuse is that Sony this time is itself to blame.

    • "Before I left EQ2 they removed spirit shards taking a lot of the fun out of the game and increased your running speed so you looked like a characters out of a slapstick movie."

      Oh, is _that_ why they look so retarded? I play it now and again, but when I started, the fact people looked like hyperactive monkeys really turned me off. You get used to it eventually, but I was wondering how that could have slipped everyone's notice, that their character modeling looked totally goofy. It being a half-assed patch p
      • You're not alone, and it's not just the running speed. The EQ2 graphics (and probably the animations too) as a whole look... subtly, but disturbingly wrong. They're high res, they're detailed, but tripped my suspension of disbelief all the time. In a _major_ way. There's something about them that says "nope, this isn't real" in a worrying way. I'd run towards a tree, and it would be a beautiful and detailed tree, shaded and everything, but nevertheless it would make something inside me go "WTF, this is _not
    • The only thing I find interesting about the SWG numbers is how well they bear out what everyone said at the time...SoE's huge revamp of the game system was nothing but a knife in the back of their subscriber base, and there has been no corresponding jump in new subscribers to offset it.

      In the end, this is only common sense. Even if the idea of a dumbed down SWG appealed to me more than the complicated one which didn't appeal to me enough to actually make me buy the game (played the free trial, and uninstall
    • The graph doesn't show any unusual drops that can't be explained by the presence of WoW. Unless you're one of those PR guys in SOE that believes there's no such thing as a negative effect from competition (this is different from the fact that the MMORPG is not a zero-sum game), clearly the numbers for your subscription has to go down over time after it peaks because your game is increasingly obselete compared to newer ones, as well as increasing competition. At some point WoW's numbers will start going do
    • If you were angry qith Sony for ruining SWG, why would you play another one of their products? It's just a question born of curiosity. When EA killed Ultima Online I vowed not to buy any of their games ever again.
  • []

    It sure is my favorite MMORPG.

    This chart makes the rest look like a joke its so out of whack.
  • the first people to know it would be the players.

    US population numbers are pitiful. Traffic on non-official boards is stagnant at best, and negative comments abound.

  • I always wondered about Lineage's numbers. Correct me where I am wrong; It was at a 7 mil mark a long time ago, right? And was mostly S.Koreans? What is S.Korea's population? The only way that could happen is if every player had about 4 subscriptions. I guess that counts. It just makes Wow's subscription numbers worth more since the common American only has one, and maybe 2.
    • Re:Lineage (Score:3, Informative)

      by SirBruce ( 679714 )
      Maybe 7 million total registered users, but not all of those were active at the same time. And South Korea has a total population of 45-50 million, so 1 in 10 people playing Lineage is amazing but not impossible. The South Korean MMOG phenomenon had a lot of unique factors that caused it to grow so large, including an economic downturn that left a lot of young 20-something men without jobs, Internet access concentrated in urban centers, and a ban on console imports until recently. Bruce
  • 10-15k or 30k but a accuracy rating of B?

    percentage wise those are very different numbers. The health of the game would be very different in each case.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"