Monday, May 13, 2013

Concurrency Numbers: In Chribba We Trust

I have to admit that if there is one CCP employee I don't trust it is CCP's Chief Marketing Officer David Reid.  I'm in good company among those who follow the MMORPG industry and not just Eve Online.  I think the "Tabula Rasa is triple A and here to stay" interview with Massively a couple of months before NCSoft announced the game was closing will stick with a lot of people for a long time.  I don't hold the claim that RIFT took 600,000 players from WoW in 2011 against Reid against him (too seriously) but it does show a tendency towards hyperbole.  So when he announced at Fanfest in his CCP Presents! appearance that the Tranquility + DUST numbers had set a PCU record for a single game shard but wasn't going to release the number or the date, I thought, "Here we go again."

Of course, CCP Pokthulhu does have to contend with the different culture at CCP compared to his previous stints at NCSoft and Trion.  CCP is one of the most open companies in the industry in providing user numbers.  More specifically, CCP provides the concurrency numbers not only when players log in but through an API for enterprising web developers and other programmers.

Those who read the blog know that my preferred source for player concurrency is Eve-Offline.net.  Run by Chribba, reading the source code of the page provides data for Tranquility going back to 2006.  In fact, the dates and numbers I used in my latest post listing all the days where the PCU exceeded 60,000 (except for the latest record) came from asking Chribba for the information. 

Last Monday Chribba provided a new feature with the launch of Uprising; concurrency numbers for DUST 514.  I'm really interested to see what the numbers are beginning on Tuesday when the game officially launches.  So far the record is 4,662 set on 6 May.  But perhaps more importantly is I have an independent source of information about concurrency in DUST.  A lot of people are going to throw out numbers about the success of DUST.  But having Chribba providing concurrency numbers for DUST 514 means we have an honest and reliable source of information to check some of the claims, whether those claims are on the forums or in an official press release.

3 comments:

  1. Not too impressive so far.

    It'll be interesting to see how much of a difference an official launch makes. We never get to see the difference between open-betas that are essentially the same as the game release (e.g. Dust since Uprising), and the launched games. We crazy ppl. hardly know the difference, but casual gamers are most likely only coming in when big reviews, Sony, (or Steam), etc. ramp up the marketing machine. It'll be interesting to see how much of a number boost that actually does produce. You never see such numbers from other companies.

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  2. one could spin some data. for Dust it could be seen from a Number of players with in a day, as a match in dust can be 10 mins and the player may only play one round. eve on the other hand a person will play for a minimum couple of hours. So comparing number of peak users between the two games hold different weight

    I would prefer to see the number of unique users in a day

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  3. Keep in mind, too, when watching these numbers that the business model for DUST is F2P, while EVE, ofc, is subscription-based.

    The F2P model requires a lot more players, ie. a much higher CCU, in order to achieve the same revenue as a sub model. This is because the majority of the F2P players are indeed playing for free; their gameplay is entirely supported by a much smaller number of players who opt to pay RL cash for gold ammo and other perks. You can't map CCU in a F2P to paying customers; whereas every player in the CCU for a sub model is a paying customer.

    Also, F2P revenue isn't based on actual game time, unlike the sub revenue model. Each month you play EVE, you pay. Each month you play DUST, you don't necessarily pay anything.

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