Tobold's Blog
Friday, August 15, 2014
Wildstar had 450,000 players

A standard version of Wildstar costs $60, the Deluxe version $75. As Wildstar released on June 3rd, by end of June every player of Wildstar had paid something between $60 and $75, because the first subscription payment hadn't been collected. Assuming that most people took the standard version (the Deluxe version wasn't all that good), the average player paid a bit over $60.

Why is that of interest? Because NCSoft released their second quarterly report for 2014, stating that they earned $28 million from Wildstar sales in the quarter ending June 30. So if we know the total revenue and the average revenue, we can easily calculate the number of players: In June 2014 Wildstar had about 450,000 players.

But what will be more interesting is the next two quarterly reports. Ideally NCSoft would sell more copies of Wildstar, plus collect $45 per existing player per quarter. So if the game would really take off, the third quarter revenues could even be higher than the second quarter results. On the other hand, if a lot of people quit, then the earnings from Wildstar will decrease over the next two quarters and then stabilize.

It convenient that the USD/Won exchange rate is 1/1000.

I don't suppose their sales breakdown is spread over the subscription period? Since the box comes with two months subscription and only the first month falls in Q2 it might be the they recognize only half the revenue (I don't know, I'm not an expert on Korean accounting principles). That would give them around one million sales which sounds much more likely.
Since the box comes with two months subscription


My box only came with one month subscription.
It either a conspiracy out to get you or I looked up the wrong bit on Wikipedia.
450,000 sounds pretty poor. I can't remember the last hyped MMORPG to sell so feww. Didn't Age of Conan and WAR both sell a million plus at launch? And that was six years ago. 450,000 is even less that FF XIV's disastrous initial launch.

Guess Wildstar wasn't really a contender after all, despite some people putting it on the same page as the big name MMORPG releases.
It's an MMO for hardcore raiders. Of course it's going to sell less copies. I'm actually surprised it has that many.
Report also only covers the month of June in terms of sales.

Does it matter what the total is if the servers have people and the game is financially sustainable? There are server merges every week in WoW, and it's far from dead.

Evindra has people, I have fun, let the chips fall I guess.
Actually there were several specials running around the preorders. I got Wildstar for 20% off. One deal was as much as 25%off. I have no idea how that flows back to NCSoft, but I recall Wildstar devs asking on Twitter to please buy from the NCSoft store (full price) so it must have had some effect.

If many people paid less than $50 for the standard edition, that would change the calculation.
One thing you aren't taking into account - credd. There is a ton of credd floating around in Wildstar based on the posts I've read. Credd was on sale during this time period. So is the 28 million all coming from box sales or is that box sales and credd sales?
Can we be pretty sure these are gross sales, i.e. retail cost, and not some sort of portion that NCSoft received?

450k sounds about right. It's an original IP, nobody was picking this up unless they were somehow already invested in the genre. And I think a lot of those people tried the beta and found it wanting for one reason or another (myself among them).

I looked at the financial report, what I find rather insane is that Lineage (I) still brought in almost 57 million, double that of Wildstar in the same quarter! This is a game published in 1998, with a minimal western audience as far as I'm aware, and with its own sequel on the market for over a decade now! And it's presumably likely to keep doing similar numbers per quarter for some time yet. To verify, I checked the previous quarter, L1 did 41 million there, in the same ballpark. Nobody talks about this game, but it's been almost as much of a juggernaut as WoW is... Are any other MMOs pulling in that kind of quarterly haul? I don't think so. And this thing is 16 years old!!!
What's interesting is FFXIV has had more logged in at once than that. Wildstar isn't a bad game, but it's niche, if it's pulling in a profit, that's fine. ESO i think is doing worse, as they said they expected at least five million players, and they aren't even remotely in that ballpark.
I'm going to make a bold (crazy?) prediction. The days of players wanting an MMORPG are over. Emphasis on the first M.

There will never be another "Massive" MORPG. And I'm not even talking on the level of WoW which was "Mega Massive".

I'm talking on the level of existing games like Rift, LotR, FF, etc.

MMORPG will only exist as niche games.

WoW excelled because it has a pre-existing base in EQ. (I'm sure someone will say UO was before EQ...)

The people playing all the other current MMOs were left overs from the base.

The base is old, some might even have their own kids old enough to play now.

But hardly anyone (in the scheme of things) wants to play a single subscription based anymore. Too much of a money pit and too much of a time sink.

It's about games you can play for an hour or two and only have to pay a one-time fee.

You can leave them and come back and not have to find a guild, etc.

Every time you hear about WoW subs its this large numbers (600,000 subs lost, 1.9 million subs lost) because of course they have a lot of subs to lose but because we're going down the slope of the end of the Golden Age of MMORPGs.

I'm just glad I got the chance to be a part of it.
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