Monday, May 23, 2022

MMORPGs Are A Marathon, Not A Sprint

A lot of players are complaining now, but EVE Online really is a remarkable game. How many games last 19 years with continuous development? Thanks to Croda of marketsforISK, we have financial records for CCP and its successor, Pearl Abyss Iceland, going back to 2012. 

Game revenue, mostly generated from EVE Online

Over the last 10 years, games using the EVE IP, primarily EVE Online, generated $636 million in revenue. Last year's $63.8 million was slightly over the 10-year average of $63.6 million. Of course, 2021's revenue includes $10 million from EVE Echoes. But EVE Echoes was not the only other game besides EVE Online published by CCP. Since 2014, CCP published DUST 514, EVE: Valkyrie, EVE: Gunjack, and Sparc.

While we don't have records for 2003-2011, I think I can safely say the EVE IP has generated over $1 billion, if EVE Online itself hasn't recorded $1 billion in revenue since its launch in May 2003. Given CCP's beginning as a small indie studio founded on a rock in the middle of the North Atlantic, creating a $1 billion IP is a pretty good accomplishment.

If people think EVE Online is sick and in danger of dying, then what do we say about New World? The Amazon Games' game started out strong, with a peak of 913,027 users at least trying to log into the game on the first day. Much better than EVE's all-time peak of 65,303 on the game's 10th anniversary. But seven months after launch, New World's numbers were lower than EVE's.

EVE Online vs New World yesterday

Yesterday, New World has a high water mark of 22,779 accounts. EVE-Offline.net recorded a peak concurrent user number of 27,401 on the Tranquility shard for EVE Online. Including the Chinese Serenity shard would push the number over 30,000.

As for sales, how is New World doing? According to VG Insights, Amazon Games had sold 6.8 million units for $162.9 million. Pretty good money, surpassing what EVE Online has made for Pearl Abyss. The question is, how much longer will New World keep going? The game's monetization is limited to cosmetic items with no subscription options, so sales of units needs to continue. 

Slowing sales for New World

According to VG Insights, Amazon has sold 35,000 copies of the game over the past 30 days. At an estimated $37.56 per copy, that runs to $1.3 million. As a comparison, the EVE IP averaged $5 million per month in the first 3 months of 2022.

One final comparison. Yesterday, nine years after EVE's peak concurrent user mark, yesterday's PCU was down 58%. New World, on the other hand, was down 97.5% from its peak concurrent users set 7 months ago.

Ideally, player logins increase after launch of a new MMORPG. In EVE's case, player numbers grew for 10 years. But after only 7 months, New World had declined to a point below EVE's numbers after 19 years. Apparently, EVE is making more money now as well.

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