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Friday, March 04, 2005

Non-Press Release Part Deux - 350,000?

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Well, some of you astute readers may have noticed then number 350,000 in my last post. Is that really a large number of players? Is it an accurate number?

To answer the second question, apparently getting the player count to 350,000 requires a bit of Enron style accounting. Dev Blackguard
posts in the forums that the 350,000 also includes everyone who is registered in the "Trial of the Isle" free demo. Hmmm.

How does that number stack up against other MMORPG's anyway? Well, a good source of MMORPG subscription numbers is
mmogchart.com. It's a fun place to see some cool graphs and charts dealing with games' player bases. Nota bene though - due to the way they acquire data (well they don't have access to game subscription records so you can't fault them) don't take the numbers as gospel but more as educated guesses.

So, how does EQII stack up? Well, when you compare it to Lineage, not too well. When you compare it to American games, fairly respectable. But, the market share pie chart shows pretty dramatically that WOW is, at least for the moment, enjoying approximately three times the market share of EQII. I wonder if Blizzard would trade their massive market share advantage for EQII's cool "No Waiting" feature. Probably not...

I guess a third question is...who really cares? Does it matter to the player? Well, a small population server is a double-edged sword in my mind. On one hand, it can be tough to find groups. But on the other hand, you get more a small-town community feel. I always like it when I run into a guildie or a person I group with in a store in Castleview Hamlet or an out of the way dungeon. In the future, MMORPG servers will likely house much larger populations so enjoy the neighborhood feel while you can.


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