Clickable Culture   Official Research Blog of Phantom Compass
  Gain a Few Avatars, Lose a Few Avatars  
 
 
Posted 2005-12-22 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Massively-multiplayer game World of Warcraft's population topped 5 million worldwide subscribers this week, but its maker announced yesterday that it had closed 18,000 accounts to penalize cheaters. Blizzard posted notice that "A majority of these accounts were found to be using third-party programs to farm gold and items. Such actions can severely impact the economy of a realm and the overall game enjoyment for all players."

Meanwhile, over in the bizarro-virtual-world of Second Life, maker Linden Lab has announced its resident population has finally cracked the 100,000 mark. Except that at the time of this writing, in-world statistics show the company is still a few cards short of a deck. Obviously Second Life will hit its mark (probably by the time you read this), but I had a chuckle over Linden Lab's enthusiasm. The company's world population is a drop in the bucket compared to Warcraft's but it has ramped up quite quickly in the last half of 2005 due to a major marketing push and the introduction of free Basic accounts.

 
     
 
   
 
  ... share via email del.icio.us digg bloglines fark reddit newsvine simpy blogmarks magnolia  
  1 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
December 22, 2005 @ 6:05 pm
     
 
Well, they did hit the 100,000 mark, but what does it mean, really? Are they all empty calories with freebie basics and trials that don't stick?

The "online now" as you snapped it shows 1,693; often it's only at 4,000. I rarely see it top 5,000. Even allowing for dynamism over 24/7, how many people really come in SL?

I do see a LOT more people. I probably have double the customers I used to have, and I see LOTS more buyers on the auction and inworld. But the numbers we really need to hear about is how many premium accounts are there, and of those, how many opted to buy first land, and of these, how many went beyond the free 512 tier level? When they were at the 40,000 mark it was 9,000 premiums, 6,000 of whom owned land.

I also hope journalists will dig at this figure of "US$ Spent Today". This figure suddenly quadrupled in the last 2 weeks. Maybe p2p made everybody map-happy and spending-happy...maybe they are home for the holidays dressing their avatars...or maybe those are payments to Currency Linden to cash out for good over the telehub removals...it's just hard to know what those huge figures mean -- how can only 4000 people online at any given time be generating 140,000 US -- here you see only 1,693 had generated 21,799. That's an awful lot of USD to be spending...even allowing for people who cash out their Lindens to pay their land tier bills, even allowing for huge payouts from camp chairs...I'm not getting this.
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
[ Detailed Search ]
Clickable Conversation
5224 comments
on 4159 entries

Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


Clickable Culture Feeds:

RSS 2.0 ATOM 1.0 ALL

Accessibility:

TEXT

Clickable Culture
Copyright (c)1999-2007 in whole or in part Tony Walsh.

Trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments owned by the Poster. Shop as usual, and avoid panic buying.