Tobold's Blog
Saturday, June 09, 2007
MMOG subscriptions

Sir Bruce's site on MMOG subscription numbers hasn't been updated for a year now. So I was happy when I found info on Grimwell's site that there is a new replacement around:, with data updated until May 2007. Of course, just like the old site, you need to take all these data with a grain of salt, it isn't always easy to get accurate subscription numbers for games, especially when they are declining.

One set of data I found highly interesting, but wondering where they got it from, is the completely atypical shape of the Vanguard subscription numbers on this graph. According to their data the game started with 200,000 subscribers when it came out in January, and dropped to below 50,000 by May. Nearly all other games have a growth period, a stagnation period, and then decline slowly. Starting with the decline, and a very rapid one at that, is very unusual. Although it would explain why the company fired all of its employees and sold itself to SOE (who rehired some of them).
It's not that unusual. Anarchy Online, WW2O, The Sims. Hype and marketing will move the boxes the first few weeks, but the game you launch has to hold them and make them subscribers. If it's unplayably buggy, or just not fun, you get a hockey-stick shaped market curve.

Thanks for that Tobold - I have been looking for a replacement to Sirbruce for some time.

I's a pretty demoralising picture for everything that isn't WOW and maybe EVE. Every other MMORPG seems to be in decline.

Of course they forgot to include Club Penguin :)
Any estimate on how many North American LOTRO subscribers there are?
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