Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Warhammer Approaching 400,000 subscribers?

So I've been following the launch of Warhammer with great interest. It's heralded as the best MMORPG since WOW by gaming press. More than 1 million gamers played the Beta and EA shipped 1.5 million units to retailers. Judging by these numbers, the game has done quite well. Its Realm vs. Realm play appeals to many MMO fans. During launch, I got calls from several reporters covering the story. My key points were: 1. the game might be the most successful since WOW but nobody can really shake WOW's dominance; 2. Warhammer will mainly appeal to idle MMO players, not fresh blood; 3. The next wave of new MMO adopters will come from Freemium/Microtransaction-based MMOs. My stance hasn't changed.

EA and Mythic haven't announced any subscriber numbers. However, Gamasutra run a lengthy interview today with Mark Jacobs, Mythic's founder and GM and he leaked out some valuable information.

"Gamasutra: How are Warhammer's numbers?
MJ: We should figure it again, but as of [Thursday] night, we had more people playing the game at the same time in North America than we ever had in Dark Age of Camelot. We have the numbers now to back it up -- so it's not just, "Well, you guys had a nice head start."

No -- we now have more than Camelot ever had, by about 50 percent. That's a significant increase. When you also look at our downtime -- only one patch in almost seven days -- that's a pretty tough record to beat when you look at the launches of every other MMO, including WoW. Especially WoW.

Gamasutra: Can you give that figure?
MJ: No; publicly-traded company. Wish I could. But I can say it was about 50 percent higher than what we had in Camelot."

It's public knowledge that DAC had 250,000 subscribers at peak and the highest peak concurrent was around 50,000, plus or minus. I guess we could assume approximately 75,000 peak concurrent for Warhammer Online. Using a ratio of 1 to 5 PCU to players, we have approximately 375,000 players but using a 1 to 8 ratio, we have 600,000. Since it's a new game and most people are playing off the free month, the ratio should be on the lower end. So I guess it's realistic to assume about 400,000 or so are playing Warhammer Online. Comments welcome. We won't get these numbers confirmed by EA, since it's a "publicly-traded" company...

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Blogger quarteryardline said...

really? they seem to always inflate these numbers.

2:14 PM  

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