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Why Do You Care?

MeliezaMelieza trabuco canyon, CAPosts: 269Member

Over the past few years it seems the MMO community has gained an odd and sudden desire to "know the numbers".

How many subs?  What's the revenue?  What's the CCU?  How many servers?  What are the servers at?

My question is, why?

My first serious MMO was FFXI.  I purchased the game simply because I had liked the other FF games.  I knew nothing about it but didn't care, I wanted to try it out.  When FFXI first came out you didnt get to pick which server you wanted to make your character on, you were placed on one and had to go through a crazy process with a friend code if you wanted a specific one.  Because of this, without running to your browser, you didnt even know how many servers there were.  Even if you did go online, you would only find a server status of up or down, nothing about population, even 'low', 'medium', or 'high'.  The only way to tell what servers *seemed* to have high populations was which Allakazam FFXI server forum had the most posts each day, there wasn't even official forums.

No one said a thing about this.  Not once during the 3 years I played FFXI did I worry about how many people were playing, how many people were online, or how much Square Enix was making and no one I knew did either.  In fact, FFXI had a pretty awesome search feature where with a simple text command you COULD know exactly how many people were online on your server at any given moment.  If anyone DID care, they could easily /search all a few times during the day and get a decent idea, but no one did.  Why would it matter?

It wasn't our problem, and honestly, it still isn't.  So why do you care?

If you like a game, play it.  If you don't like, don't play it.

Why has every player suddenly become the CEO of the company responsible for 'watching the numbers' and making sure things are alright?

I promise you, someone is getting paid a whole lot of money to do that already, they don't need you telling them.

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Comments

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    I'm not a WoW basher, but this is one area, that Blizzard, with WoW, completely turned into a number's "one Up" game.  They just kept having press releases evertime they hit a new subscriber milestone.  So much so that it influenced sales and marketing and hit the main news.  Now everyone(game companies) wants a piece of the pie so now it matters, sadly.  Players are joining this now as well to show off who's game is better, another sad state. 

    So, for just this once, I truly blame WoW.  Something I never do.

    image
  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,978Member Uncommon

    For the most part posters on these forums are discussing why game XYZ is better than game ABC, so they use statistics such as sub numbers and server online figures to help validate their position.

    Hard to argue a game is "best" if they have 1000 total paying subs and 200 online at any one time.

    Do I really "care", no, but its true, i do try to find out what server populations are and try to play on those that are medium/high?

    Why, because an MMORPG with no one online is no fun, and face it, some servers retain player population better than others.

    But in the general sense, these numbers are just arguing points, and these forums are all about PVP don't you know.  image

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Posts: 7,824Member Uncommon

    Blizzard wasn't exactly the first to show off their subscription numbers.  Most don't do it anymore, because they are so small in comparison. 

     

    I think players are more concerned now, because of the rash of terrible games released.  It gets old dumping $50 on a game only to watch it implode 30 days later and watch the developers struggle to fix unfixable situations.  No one wants to get stuck on a dead server in a brand new game while developers drag their feet to merge servers.  It has gotten to the point that games have been cancelled when they have pre-order boxes for sale at stores or even closing down in less than 90 days.

    In my opinion I think players are more nervous about getting invested into new games seeing how many flops there have been. 

  • otter3370otter3370 New Bern, NCPosts: 226Member Common

    About the only time I really hear player numbers brought up is when the subject is WoW or Eve Online.  If it's WoW, that 12 million is a bad thing.  If it's Eve, that 300k is a shining beacon of hope.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,638Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Melieza

    Over the past few years it seems the MMO community has gained an odd and sudden desire to "know the numbers".

    How many subs?  What's the revenue?  What's the CCU?  How many servers?  What are the servers at?

    My question is, why?

    My first serious MMO was FFXI.  I purchased the game simply because I had liked the other FF games.  I knew nothing about it but didn't care, I wanted to try it out.  When FFXI first came out you didnt get to pick which server you wanted to make your character on, you were placed on one and had to go through a crazy process with a friend code if you wanted a specific one.  Because of this, without running to your browser, you didnt even know how many servers there were.  Even if you did go online, you would only find a server status of up or down, nothing about population, even 'low', 'medium', or 'high'.  The only way to tell what servers *seemed* to have high populations was which Allakazam FFXI server forum had the most posts each day, there wasn't even official forums.

    No one said a thing about this.  Not once during the 3 years I played FFXI did I worry about how many people were playing, how many people were online, or how much Square Enix was making and no one I knew did either.  In fact, FFXI had a pretty awesome search feature where with a simple text command you COULD know exactly how many people were online on your server at any given moment.  If anyone DID care, they could easily /search all a few times during the day and get a decent idea, but no one did.  Why would it matter?

    It wasn't our problem, and honestly, it still isn't.  So why do you care?

    If you like a game, play it.  If you don't like, don't play it.

    Why has every player suddenly become the CEO of the company responsible for 'watching the numbers' and making sure things are alright?

    I promise you, someone is getting paid a whole lot of money to do that already, they don't need you telling them.

    FFXI gamers are a unique breed in the MMO community.



    • You'll rarely find them trying to convince others that they should find FFXI awesome


    • If you ask them what their server pop is they will usually tell you that they don't know, and almost always relay their linkshell in case you feel like playing.


    • They are part of one of the largest MMO communities but one would never guess that if they used any forum, chat room or 3rd party gaming tool (Garena, XFire, Raptr, etc) as a measuring tool.

     

    The sub number concern seems to be prevalent among forum posters. From what I've gathered in conversations at fan faires, expos and such the people who don't really visit forums don't seem to really care about such things.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • eye_meye_m Notta Chance, ABPosts: 3,133Member Uncommon

    I don't care, at least not for the most part. The only way that it really matters is when the numbers are so low that an MMO starts to feel like a single player game.

    All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

    I get banned in the forums for games I love, so lets see if I do better in the forums for games I hate.

    I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.

  • MurdusMurdus bayville, NYPosts: 698Member

    ignorace is bliss

    but otherwise, if i'm throwing down 50 bucks for a videogame, im gonna wanna know if it is gonna be worth my money.

    if i want to gamble, ill go to a casino. as for mmorpgs, ill be looking for just enough information to give me a reason to buy it, but i'm not going to go in blind.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,452Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Melieza

    Over the past few years it seems the MMO community has gained an odd and sudden desire to "know the numbers".

    How many subs?  What's the revenue?  What's the CCU?  How many servers?  What are the servers at?

    My question is, why?

    WHOA!

    I was (honestly) "just" thinking of the same thing. I was also thinking that if I was a privately owned game company I wouldn't give out the numbers.

    I think some people want to know about such things because it will reinforce their opinion as to whether or not the game is worth it.

    "Losts of servers?"/"Huge population"/"billions on any one server?"

    well then it must be worth playing.

    What a shame really.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    Originally posted by otter3370

    About the only time I really hear player numbers brought up is when the subject is WoW or Eve Online.  If it's WoW, that 12 million is a bad thing.  If it's Eve, that 300k is a shining beacon of hope.

     

    Nah .. WOW is a great and polished GAME. Eve is niche. The numbers prove it.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    I care because the number game is almost as fun as the real game.

    Plus, i don't want to play something like Tabula Rasa which crashed and burnt within a few months.

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,978Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by otter3370

    About the only time I really hear player numbers brought up is when the subject is WoW or Eve Online.  If it's WoW, that 12 million is a bad thing.  If it's Eve, that 300k is a shining beacon of hope.

     

    Nah .. WOW is a great and polished GAME. Eve is niche. The numbers prove it.

    EVE may be niche, it may not be all that polished, but if anything it certainly is GREAT in ways that WOW can never be.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • MetentsoMetentso BarcelonaPosts: 1,436Member Common

    It's mucho more fun to follow the MMO sales than actually playing them. That's why.

  • DignaDigna City, CTPosts: 2,014Member Uncommon

    Numbers that are low to me might be the high value for the gaming company. If I am an indie game company and my bean-counters tell me i need to have 10K regular subs to stay in business, if I get 11K permanents subs I am ecstatic (of course I want more but at least I am making my numbers!)

    Now I am happy but if  folks who don't know anything about the back end of business - minimum cash flows, project revenue, forecasted sales etc get hold of the 11K number they (many) will walk away thinking 'WoW has 12 million subs..how can a game with 11 THOUSAND be any good' when in reality I have a good game  that just needs those 11K subs to operate (and hopefully keep growing).

     

    11k is perfectly healthy for me but given the 'big numbers = success' mentality, I can be hurt by false perceptions based on my 'low' numbers.

  • SiderasSideras HelsingborgPosts: 231Member

    Games today are quite expensive, and knowing that the game has alot of subscribers would ensure that atleast there's some action going on, rather than buying a game and running around almost alone in a stagnat world.

  • StarlightJunStarlightJun Honolulu, HIPosts: 56Member

    Originally posted by Sideras

    Games today are quite expensive, and knowing that the game has alot of subscribers would ensure that atleast there's some action going on, rather than buying a game and running around almost alone in a stagnat world.

    I think that is true and I am nervous I think if I play a game and only few people play. It means game is going to get canceled soon.

  • meilirsmeilirs Artesia, CAPosts: 32Member
    I have experience with this and let me tell you there are lots of people who care about subscriber number: the angry fanbase.

    When an MMORPG or MMO makes a decision that players don't like then it's off to research subscriber numbers so they can say "everyone hated your stupid - look people are quitting in droves!"

    Case in point: SWG NGE
  • pyrocrazypyrocrazy Buffalo, ILPosts: 65Member

    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    FFXI gamers are a unique breed in the MMO community.

     

    ^this.

     

    I wish FFXI was brand new and updated. Would definitely go back.

  • thamighty213thamighty213 NewcastlePosts: 1,630Member

    I think the reasons we care are that MMO's are a large financial sink.

     

    We dont want to buy a game that will be dead in a year.

     

    We dont want to buy a game knowing theres nobody to play with.

     

    We dont want to buy a game and continaully invest x per month to it if its going to die before we get going

     

     

    People want to be informed as it is what fuels the purchase and commitment of futue spend.

     

    These arent single player games that we can play through then sell at your local GAME etc

  • AusareAusare adamstown, MDPosts: 850Member

    People want to make sure the Massive is one of the M's in their game and not just Some What Possibly Populated by a Few People Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.

  • UOvetUOvet Fort Myers, FLPosts: 514Member

    OP

    I think you know the answer to this. Everyone has to be part of the "best" or "#1" whatever it is. Why do you think Apple is killing? Sorrty, the iPad to me is ridiculous. iPhone, don't own one. Why? I use my phone to make phone calls. I could care less if a game had one server as long as that server is populated. Not to mention it usually gives you a fair idea on the longevity of the game..sort of.

  • MeliezaMelieza trabuco canyon, CAPosts: 269Member

    From everyone's responses here's what I've gotten and I've included my personal opinion on each:



    • Nowadays, money is more tight, we don't want to risk spending money on a game that we arent going to enjoy. My Response: A perfectly valid reason, but I think gameplay and reviews would answer this more than how many subs the game has.  Some people, as was stated, want to make sure the 'massively multiplayer' aspect is going to shine, as that is what they enjoy.  This is curious to me, as most people seem to want to be able to solo an MMO.  Or maybe you want to solo next to thousands of other people soloing?  That's another bucket of worms I suppose though. 

     



    • Recently, quite a few MMOs have died off, or were completely closed even, after only a short time.  We want to make sure we don't spend money on a game that that is going to happen to.  My Response: Actually, this has only happened to a single game, APB.  Their situation was completely unique, and in no way should this now become a worry for every single MMO.  In fact, multiple other MMOs which are considered 'failures' by the MMO community (e.g. Warhammer, Age of Conan, STO) are still up and running and having updates years after their release.  How many people did not play an MMO because they were afraid it was going to get "APB'd" and yet it's still running now?  The only thing you are accomplishing is missing out on a game you might enjoy, and honestly, if every single person 'on the fence' just took the leap to try it out, perhaps the game wouldn't have such a population problem.

     



    • We want to compare so and so game's success to anothers to see which is doing better. My Response: There is no data available to a player that can validly judge this.  You don't know exactly how much money a company spent on a game, or how much it is costing them to keep running.  You don't know how many CS reps they have or what they are getting paid, or how much the servers cost.  Just as someone mentioned, one game might need 100k subs to 'break even' while another might be swimming in dough with 50k subs.  Unless a company publicizes 'hey were making profit!' a player will never be able to judge that.

     



    • Comparing inaccurate statistical numbers without any basis is fun! My Response: If that's what floats your boat, fine, but as soon as you try to judge a game's success or convince someone a game is better based on that data, you are only wasting your own time.

  • VigilianceVigiliance Sacramento, CAPosts: 213Member

    Originally posted by elocke

    I'm not a WoW basher, but this is one area, that Blizzard, with WoW, completely turned into a number's "one Up" game.  They just kept having press releases evertime they hit a new subscriber milestone.  So much so that it influenced sales and marketing and hit the main news.  Now everyone(game companies) wants a piece of the pie so now it matters, sadly.  Players are joining this now as well to show off who's game is better, another sad state. 

    So, for just this once, I truly blame WoW.  Something I never do.

     

     

    I agree, I never check the numbers before buying a game, even If I only play the game for say 4-5 months, guess what? Thats way longer then I would of played any console game.  Sure I probbably bought 2 console games with the intial+sub fees but I have rarely found any game on any system since playstation 1 that I sunk enough time in to fit that value...

    If I enjoy it, i enjoy it, and despite many of the haters out there, even the WoW clones typically end up adding something new, or an aspect I haven't played before... however I haven't bought or played an MMO in some time now.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    Originally posted by Melieza

    From everyone's responses here's what I've gotten and I've included my personal opinion on each:



    • Nowadays, money is more tight, we don't want to risk spending money on a game that we arent going to enjoy. My Response: A perfectly valid reason, but I think gameplay and reviews would answer this more than how many subs the game has.  Some people, as was stated, want to make sure the 'massively multiplayer' aspect is going to shine, as that is what they enjoy.  This is curious to me, as most people seem to want to be able to solo an MMO.  Or maybe you want to solo next to thousands of other people soloing?  That's another bucket of worms I suppose though. 


    Not everyone solos. In fact, a huge number of WOW players level through running 5-man dungeons. If a HUGE game likes wow needs to implement cross-realm dungeon finder tool, then the population of a MMO is certainly RELEVANT to one's enjoyment. There is no ifs & buts about this.


     


    Reviews are good .. but sub numbers add to it, just like you are more likely to go into a popular restaurant, than one who is dead, even if it reviews well.

     



    • Recently, quite a few MMOs have died off, or were completely closed even, after only a short time.  We want to make sure we don't spend money on a game that that is going to happen to.  My Response: Actually, this has only happened to a single game, APB.  Their situation was completely unique, and in no way should this now become a worry for every single MMO.  In fact, multiple other MMOs which are considered 'failures' by the MMO community (e.g. Warhammer, Age of Conan, STO) are still up and running and having updates years after their release.  How many people did not play an MMO because they were afraid it was going to get "APB'd" and yet it's still running now?  The only thing you are accomplishing is missing out on a game you might enjoy, and honestly, if every single person 'on the fence' just took the leap to try it out, perhaps the game wouldn't have such a population problem.


    Uh? Tabular Rasa? Hell Gate London .. all failed within a short time. And even if they don't fail within a short time, you want to keep track of any sub declines, cause MMOs can fail after a while. There are many examples like The Matrix Online, Sims Online.


     


    Heck, i just named 4 within thinking much. What is this business of "only happened to a single game". Are you cherry picking your examples to support your point?

     



    • We want to compare so and so game's success to anothers to see which is doing better. My Response: There is no data available to a player that can validly judge this.  You don't know exactly how much money a company spent on a game, or how much it is costing them to keep running.  You don't know how many CS reps they have or what they are getting paid, or how much the servers cost.  Just as someone mentioned, one game might need 100k subs to 'break even' while another might be swimming in dough with 50k subs. 


    • Unless a company publicizes 'hey were making profit!' a player will never be able to judge that.


    Who said success is only measured by money? Sub itself is a measure of success. A MMO with 13M players have a much bigger influence (just LISTEN to the gaming press) than one with 350k users.

     



    • Comparing inaccurate statistical numbers without any basis is fun! My Response: If that's what floats your boat, fine, but as soon as you try to judge a game's success or convince someone a game is better based on that data, you are only wasting your own time.


    I dont think anyone here is under the illusion that you can convince anyone over the Internet. The whole point about flames is to score points, just like what I am doing here. And by the popularity of such activity all over the world, i woud say that floats many's boat.

  • laokokolaokoko TaipeiPosts: 2,003Member

    As long as the company isn't lossing money that's all I care.

    You don't want your mmorpg firing staff, take a long time for new content, or even shutdown the game.

  • gigatgigat Minneapolis, MNPosts: 604Member Uncommon

    Interesting topic Melieza.

     

    My first MMO was also FFXI, and I bought it for the same reason you did, because I like FF. I did use "/sea all" quite often, but it was usually because I was sitting around waiting for a party, or I was selling ports in Jueno and wanted to see how many potential clients I would have.

     

    For me, I don't really care how many players are in the game. As long as there's enough players to make the game fun, I'm happy. I try to avoid the conversations which predict a game's imminent failure due to lack of population. Take Vanguard, for instance. People have been saying "it's going to die" since release. But it's still running (as neglected as it may be).

     

     

    People like to know or confirm that their choice is the right one. What better way to do this than to reflect on the number of people who made a similar choice. The more people who made that choice, the more the choice becomes validated. So people will spew rumors (sometimes facts) about how many subscribers their game has.

    It probably started with WoW. Oh well, just ignore it.

    "Lose the helmet sis, we can't prove that you're retarded." - Dennis Reynolds

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