Friday, March 1, 2013

CCP Reaches Another Milestone

Yesterday CCP announced that Eve Online had surpassed the 500,000 subscription mark.  Not bad for a company whose first game was the board game Hættuspil ("Danger Game").

In a press release CCP credits the popularity of the Retribution expansion as well as the relaunch of Eve in China for reaching the milestone.  Looking at information about the Tranquility shard information available at Eve Offline, we can see that the average number of concurrent users jumped with the launch of the expansion on 4 December and has increased by over 10% since.  The current average number of accounts online now rivals the period just before CCP Sreegs launched what I now call the War on Bots in March 2011.


What CCP has accomplished is amazing and CCP's CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson is probably still grinning from ear-to-ear today.  When Eve Online launched in May 2003, the king of the MMORPG world was EverQuest with between 450,000 - 500,000 subscribers.  That a small 21-person indie developer in 2003 was able to surpass that number, even if the effort took 10 years, is one of the great Cinderella stories in gaming.  While others will mock the accomplishment, comparing Eve to the popularity of World of Warcraft, I'd counter by asking how many other game companies besides Blizzard have more success with using the subscription model today.  The answer is none.

Of course, CCP can't rest on its laurels.  While my searches were unsuccessful, I remember that at the time Eve's subscription numbers exceeded the population of Iceland a video was published with Hilmar stating that the next goal was to reach 600,000 subscribers.  So put away the cake and party favors CCP, because you still have work to do.

12 comments:

  1. I mentioned the 500K milestone in a post on my blog yesterday, and one of the responses I got was that the increase was largely from CCP counting DUST accounts in the total. Have you seen any confirmation or denial on that front?

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  2. They have definitely not counted DUST accounts. DUST mercs already number above one million, given that the accounts are free.

    They do count the Chinese EVE server.

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  3. When I talked about the weekly average concurrent users, I was informed that the numbers include the Dust players since it was introduced on Tranquility.
    http://www.ninveah.com/2013/02/so-how-is-retribution-doing.html

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    1. CCP Fozzie confirmed on twitter that the numbers we see on login does *not* include DUSTers.. so I dunno.

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    2. If you look at the graph you see that the weekly concurrent average jumped at the launch of Retribution from 27,984 to 32,012. For the week of 10 Jan, which is when the DUST bunnies moved to TQ, the ACU was 33,626. And for the last week Eve Offline had available numbers (21 Feb) the total was 36,308. So I think it is safe to say that the majority of the jump was not due to DUST players being counted.

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  4. You need to pay attention to PR spin. They have about 500,000 SUBSCRIPTIONS, not SUBSCRIBERS. There's a huge difference between the two. They have a little over 100k accounts on the Chinese server, and the rest are on Tranquility. It's not a surprise that Eve got a subscription bump due to mainly the DUST players, but that's no guarantee that the console players will stay. Back in June, Seleene let it slip that there are about 160,000 actual PLAYERS, and that isn't a healthy number, and the things CCP is doing of late, shows they're worried. They spent a shit ton of cash on vampires, DUST and Incarna over the last 5 years, while EVE was the financial anchor and stagnated. With so few actual people playing, every Eve player is doubly or triple the importance of a regular online subscriber in any other game. 90 free days says they need more actual people. The surprisingly suppressed plex prices says they're likely controlling that market to make sure they keep the plex users in the game, as well as the lower earning new players.

    If Dust doesn't get them the money they desperately need, they could be really fucked. Right now, DUST is just one more GPS that caters to a smaller GPS crowd that is interested in finer game granularity. How many of the current 1.5 million plus accounts are Eve players? How many are multiple accounts (Sony accounts are free and DUST bunnies earn SP all the time)? I think CCP is pretty desperate when they "brag" that they have over 750,000 "pilots", and when they say that, they're talking about individual characters across all the accounts. Lame marketing spin. They need to hope they don't fuck up the DUST launch, but according to the CSM, CCP is talking the same kind of vague shit they did before they launched that useless piece of shit they called Incarna.

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    1. Really? Where did he say that and do you have a link? Because one of the things that came out of the December summit minutes was Kelduum complaining about CCP not providing CSM that type of information. Also CCP Seagull said she was leading an initiative to get more information about the player base because they weren't collecting the right info.

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    2. hey pointy dumbass SUBSCRIBERS would mean SUBSCRIPTIONS that are paid for hence NOT DUST. nice use of caps....go back to WOW where an MMO is only good if it has 10mil subs. In the real world that WoW ruined 500k Subs is really good.....lol if EVE is going under (the 5th most played game like every month.) Then every other game is really fucked......I mean how could any game company live on just 10 million Euros a year......We all know u have to have Blizzard numbers just to get by i mean look at the quality product that D3 was.....

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  5. Nosy - the podcast that Seleene let it slip on was in June on Voices from the Void. It's about 40 minuites in. According to a number of the CSM I've heard talk, they have been told certain things about player numbers, especially about the summer of rage and the current problem with griefer war decs causing unsubs. An average subscription rate of just over 2 accounts per player sounds pretty much in the ballpark especially when the two biggest organizations in the game, Test and CFC both report over 2.5 accounts per player.

    Anon - I put those words in capitals so thick mouth breathers like you would understand the difference. Fail though, as you're thicker than I anticipated. I was talking about Eve, not Dust with the subscriptions, so you missed that boat too. Fail. Eve is the 5th most played game in the world? Really?? You're amusingly clueless but your exactly the kind of cool aid drinker that CCP wants. You show up with glazed over eyes, an inability to think, and twenty bucks a month. Nosy understands the difference and knows how a lot of numbers plug in to each other, you, we'll, mouth breathers have money too.

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    1. I'll have to listen to that podcast once the Eve Radio 80s weekend finishes. I do know that based on forum posts during the Summer of Rage that it was estimated that each unique player had 2.2 accounts. I think the rate may be going down a bit due to DUST players creating Eve accounts so they can call in their own orbital strikes, but they may fall into the multi-account pattern of play also.

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  6. After reading your post, I am looking forward to this. Your post is particular useful, plz keep going. Why not buying runescape accounts to enjoy more fun?

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  7. 500 000 / 2,2 = cca 230 000 real player
    What other P2P game have similar numbers? :D

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