Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Numbers! Seconded

Klepsacovic demands numbers and I’ll absolutely second that motion. It is rare for MMO companies to even give us something as simple as subscriber numbers, let alone detailed statistics on player behavior. Some of that could be derived from games like World of Warcraft through the use of mods or parsing the armory at least, but really we know very little about the games we play. This, of course, makes it very hard to make informed judgments of developer decisions. Not that that keeps us from trying anyway.

As a researcher, I would love access to numbers, especially raw data if we could get that. There was a group of researchers that was granted access to live server data by SOE in the past [PDF], but that is about the only time I know of that developers have granted that kind of access (and even then only to a very limited number of people.)

I get that companies are afraid their competition might use those numbers against them, but frankly I think that independent research can only benefit game developers as a whole. I’ve already tried to make the case for game analysts once, and there is a huge pool of untapped potential lingering around in universities who would love to spend their free (and working!) time to help you improve your game for free.

So give us those numbers and spread the word! (You know, maybe lots of people asking for numbers might actually get us some. A man can dream.)


  • I agree. The market leader should make the first step. It’s for the good of the industry and it’s always good to have some independents interpreting your statistics. They might come to completely differerent conclusions than your house team.

    In the long run the entire industry profits.
    Nils´s last blog post ..Dailies

  • Maybe in the long run the industry profits, but in the short term, I suspect many executives are worrying about stock prices and competitors taking advantage. The “more ex-players than players” comment was a bit of a shock, for how much it said.

  • I’ll promise right here to give any MMO that gives me decent data lots of free publicity in the form of posts. I’ll even praise the company for going with the times. Now if only my blog was an important media outlet ^^

    Oh and if it’s really good, I might even find a way to bend my thesis around it. So there!
    scrusi´s last blog post ..Numbers! Seconded