Monday, October 24, 2011

So What Is Eve Online's Current Subscription Number?

One of the burning questions surrounding Eve Online is just how many subscribers does the game still have?  Given the latest information revealed in Brendan Drain's EVE Evolved article yesterday, I may have an answer that is relatively close.

Since CCP stopped the publication of the Quarterly Economic Newsletter (presumably to keep the bad news about subscription numbers from appearing), we don't have any reliable numbers.  However, on 2 August CCP announced the awarding of 1,000 Aurum to all accounts for reaching the first EVE is Real milestone:
"More than 1000 player-made images, videos and posts have been received so far and the first level of sharing rewards has just been unlocked thanks to player enthusiasm for the extraordinary initiative, triggering a 1,000 Aurum reward for each of EVE's subscribers.
"That's over $1.89MM USD worth of virtual currency and the equivalent of 107,000 months of gametime AKA PLEX."
I realize that math is hard, but with each PLEX converting to 3,600 Aurum, that is a total of over 385.2 million Aurum given away.  Divide that number by 1,000, and I get 385,200 accounts.  The number probably was a bit greater than that.

Now we get to the article.  In the article, Brendan Drain wrote that a source inside CCP told him that "the official word is that as of the week before the infamous apology, we had lost 8% of account volume."  I can believe that number is relatively accurate, just based on activity levels I've seen.  In August, the 7 day average of peak concurrent users dropped 10%.  I did not run numbers in September due to being out of the country, but I get the feeling the numbers somewhat stabilized during September and October.  Using the leaked number of 8%, then Eve Online saw a loss of some 30,800 accounts over the last couple of months.

If my math is accurate, then Eve Online has approximately 355,000 accounts.  Until CCP comes out and tells us differently, that's the number I will use.  And for those wondering, according to the Q4 2010 Quarterly Economic Newsletter, Eve had about 357,000 accounts active at the end of 2010 (p. 8).  While the announcement of the layoffs stated that Eve had more accounts than last October, judging by the graph in the QEN, it isn't by much.

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