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1-22-2008 @ 3:30PM
Statistics are a fine art of interpretation for some, and literal truth for others. You're clearly looking at the literal "numbers are up, that must equal success!" view of things, which in some cases is good enough, but in practice is a very bad thing to do when you're attempting to accurately predict future success. Yes, the game has 5.5 million people in Asia playing now, but against what competition and how has their playtime been correlating to the releases of other games, and how do they count those 5.5 million people when accounts aren't monthly subscriptions? Is that 5.5 million people have created accounts, 5.5 million have played within the last month or last year or what metric exactly is that covering? Asian games are on a pre-paid per-hour schedule, not a monthly recurring fee. Clearly, people in monthly fee land aren't terribly interested in keeping an active account that they're not playing with, but an hourly pre-paid service costs you nothing to keep alive forever and ever if you want. Asian totals can go up to some magically infinite number if you don't discount people who aren't actually playing. I'm of the opinion that compared to other games out right now and historically, WoW isn't exactly as good as some people want to think as far as the amount of players in the US/Europe. I'm willing to bet that the numbers are on the decline in the US, but hit a nice rebound with 2.3 and/or the holidays where people may have been bored and picked it back up or got a gamecard/expansion for xmas, whatever.Further, 5.5 million in Asia isn't THAT impressive considering Lineage had 3 million subs before WoW was out at all. (2003) That was miles and miles above the average MMO population in the US, so there was clearly a very very large gaming population in Asia already. Give it some more years and with the expanding economy in China... you have to figure that the potential numbers are way higher. The comparatives in the US would be that the most popular game in the same time frame was Everquest with 500,000, and 2 years later WoW had several million. Has the Asian gaming populace picked up on WoW as quickly as the US population did? Not exactly, otherwise we'd be seeing a 15mil+ worldwide figure, even if the numbers are padded a bit by the difference in subscription models. So again, WoW is the big dog... but is the population really healthy or has significant churn set in? I personally think it's the latter, but of course Blizzard doesn't have any interest in releasing numbers that can't be easily interpreted as anything other than "everything's awesome, nothing bad here, no sir!".
1-22-2008 @ 4:15PM
Just like with US timecards, it's people who have played within 30 days.
1-23-2008 @ 6:07AM
If you care to read the press release you'll see that the metric used in Asia is people that have logged on in the last 30 days.And you go on trying to make a point on how big the mmo population was in Asia compared to the United State's in 2003. Only thing it says is Asia discovered mmos before the US. Big Woop.You're really grasping at straws if that's the best you can come up with to downplay this milestone.Then again, what would a wow comment thread would be without someone annoucing the End of the World is uppon us? ;)
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