Still, threats were made about mass unsubscriptions and how everyone was leaving the game. I even had this comment left on the blog...
"The numbers are lower from unsubscribed accounts, due to the unplayability for a lot of functions used ny [sic] Industrialists, and the new Infinigeddon. I have cancelled all 4 of my accounts. My former Alliance LEader cancelled 4 as well that are 5 years old.And that comment was to an article that showed a massive drop in the average number of users online before Inferno to corresponded suspiciously with the launch of Diablo 3.
"I know of 4 similar 'cancelled all accounts' players just from my Local Area In-Game.
"It's just too much nonsense anymore for casual play."
|Showing the Diablo 3 Effect|
|The tale of two expansions|
My conclusion looking at the numbers is that Inferno truly was not an Incarna-level event. In the first 30 days after the launch of Incarna, the 7-day rolling average of the number of players on Tranquility dropped 8.3%, from 31,990 down to 29,468. In contrast, the ACU after the Inferno launch rose 9.5%, from 25,984 up to 28,359. A clear win for CCP, right?
Well, not really. The problem is that the average concurrent user number is still not back up to where it was when Diablo 3 launched. On 14 May, the day before D3 launched, the ACU on Tranquility was 29,583, which means that 30 days after the launch of Inferno that the number of players logged in was still down 4.1%. I'm not sure what CCP's internal seasonally adjusted numbers are, but I can't believe that not seeing growth, even with the competition from Blizzard, made senior management in Reykjavik very happy.
Of course, ACU does not tell the entire story. I'm anxiously waiting for MMOData to come out with version 3.9 of its charts to see what the latest Eve subscription numbers are. One possibility I have not mentioned is that all the missing people were maintaining their subscriptions and playing in the DUST 514 beta. If that is the case then perhaps only CCP Unifex is unhappy and the rest of senior management is out trying to find a decent beer to celebrate with. So while I'm confident that Inferno was not a disaster, I'll wait another month or two before judging how successful the expansion actually was.