Mark from Mythic predicts WAR sales, sorta…

From the Warhammer Alliance forum:

I wish a Developer would get on and post their guess

Wish granted.

More than Everquest (at peak) and less than WoW.

Mark

So between 550,000 and 11 million. It’s a short statement, but still rather interesting if over-analyzed (and that’s what fans do!)

First up is that they are very confident they will have over half a million users. Perhaps not a stretch when AoC sells 700k copies, but still not something a dev would say without feeling very, very confident about it. Perhaps pre-orders have topped 500k?

The second, that they won’t top WoW is another no-brainer at first glance. No one expects WAR to hit 11 million users. However this assumes Mark meant the total WoW numbers, not just the US/EU numbers, which is closer to 4 million. Or did he mean he does not expect WAR to go over 4 million? While I personally think 4 million would be a stretch, I don’t think it’s completely out of reach. It’s not like we predicted WoW to hit 11 million when it went live in 2004 right? We had all that ‘the market can only support so many users’ talk, with everyone throwing numbers in the hundreds of thousands range, since no one would be silly to suggest a million users for one MMO…

Time will soon tell, but it’s nice to see a top figurehead play along with the community on a topic most companies would not touch with a ten foot pole.

14 Responses to Mark from Mythic predicts WAR sales, sorta…

  1. Hudson says:

    Shouldnt be a problem The fact that AoC sold that much with its limited content and crappy client should mean that WAR will sell through the roof, especially when all the current AOC subsribers cancel and buy copies of WAR

  2. Talyn says:

    Yes but Funcom also unleashed their charismatic hype guys to whip the fanboys into a mouth-frothing frenzy. So has Mythic. AoC sold tons because of the hype and because they shipped The Tortage Experience (and nothing else) to media reviewers. I haven’t gotten the impression that WAR is hiding its real game, however, so provided the game lives at least halfway to its hype, it should do well. The other barrier will be the experience. From reading all the blogs about the game, as well as Brent’s Internet Explosion post last week, it seems WAR is removing “the player as a hero” from the equation. That means players who are unable to divorce themselves from that mindset ingrained in other games won’t “get it” when they try WAR. WAR isn’t about you, it isn’t about you being a hero. It appears to be about you being a cog in the machine of war and the victory (or sacrifice) comes for your side as a whole, not for you personally or just for your group. How many people will “get it?” And if the PvE is really as bland as everyone claims, will WAR provide a PvP experience that is enough to keep people around for more than a couple months at a time, or will too many people relegate it as some other game they play a few times per year but not their primary game?

  3. syncaine says:

    Wait who claimed the PvE was bland? Outside of the coolaid clan, I don’t think I’ve seen a single mention of bland PvE, especially with all the PQ gushing.

  4. Arenwino says:

    The pve in WAR is really bland. The only fun part of pve is PQs. Leveling is not fun in pve, the pvp is great and what saves WAR is that you can level in pvp.

  5. sid67 says:

    I did a quick market analysis based on MMO subscription numbers (peak vs. current) on my blog yesterday (see blog). The important take away from this exercise is that 22% of an MMO’s peak subscription may never unsubscribe, 34% are at moderate risk of leaving, and 44% represents the most serious flight risk. It’s that 44% that represents the best market opportunity for a competing MMO.

    Green Armadillo corrected me in the comments that WoW has an estimated 4.5 million subs in North America and Europe. Applied to my 44% figure, this means that the maximum number of subs that WAR could reasonably steal from WoW is a bit less than 2 million. It’s pure conjecture to guess how much of that 2 million will turn to WAR, but I think I would suspect that they could capture anywhere between 40-60% of that number (800,000 to 1,200,000 subs).

    The surprising thing to me was that I completely debunked any idea of a “WoW Killer”. No MMO I reviewed had a decline of more than 78% from it’s peak subscription. Even EverQuest still retains 25% of it’s peak number. Applied to the WoW figures, that means that close to 1 million WoW subscribers may NEVER unsubscribe within the next 10+ years. That’s an amazing figure and any thought that WoW can be killed with such subscription numbers is simply ludicrous.

  6. syncaine says:

    That’s a great post Sid, but why did you leave out LoTRO? (guessing lack of data)

    I think the amount of ex-WoW players is also huge. I don’t remember where I saw it, but I think Blizzard stated that they had a huge churn rate monthly, something like 30-40%. It could easily be explained as people hit the cap, play a few weeks, and quit. WoW does a 180 once you hit the level cap, and I’m sure a lot of players don’t care for the end-game stuff.

    Also you have to factor in Warhammer fans that play the other games, and will give the MMO a shot due to the Warhammer name/brand. The Warhammer 40k RTS sold very well, so that could be a large pool of potential players (ones that are not corrupted by the WoW comparison)

    End of the day, while its fun to predict, there are so many moving parts to the equation that it’s almost impossible to really nail it down.

  7. Toxic says:

    30-40%? I doubt that is a real number.

    Though technically given the number of times I’ve canceled for a week then drug my sorry ass back, I can buy it.

  8. Toxic says:

    I’d accept the pve is bland charge. So what? Where in WoW isn’t the pve bland these days? You have to hit Outlands before you see a boss that isn’t tank n spank.

  9. sid67 says:

    Yep, lack of data. The AoC data is inaccurate I’m sure as well. From all reports, they are hemorrhaging players left and right the past couple of months but the only data by Funcom dates back to the end of Q2 (i.e. June).

    One thing I often think about when considering the WoW phenomena is why the rapid growth? The most common explanation is that it became some cultural thing like the iPod.

    In a weird way, I often think it’s much simpler than that – is it possible it just has more to do with people simply being fans of Blizzard as a company? Diablo and Starcraft 2 both sold millions of copies, so it’s not a stretch that all those Blizzard players just decided to give MMOs a shot because it was a Blizzard product.

    The other theory I have is that the Blizzard simply lucked into it from a timing perspective by being the best MMO available at the point in our history when broadband internet experienced the highest amount of growth. Blizzard’s rapid growth would then be explained by the correlation between more people having quality internet. Maybe the % of gamers is the same as the EQ days, it’s just that there are way more people with the appropriate internet access.

    In the end, I think the real answer likely lies somewhere between all three things. Perhaps the initial group consisted of mostly Blizzard fans and that group was large enough to achieve a critical mass that attracted a growing population of broadband internet users.

  10. Doriandra says:

    Sid, you have forgotten the advertising with Jean-Claude Van Damme !

  11. Openedge1 says:

    @syncaine

    Everyone leaves out LOTRO

    Why is no one discussing Moria

    Sad actually. One of the most well loved and famous fantasy IP’s wasted on a mediocre casual MMO.

  12. arbitrary says:

    I think LotRO is harder to talk about because of the lifetime subs too. I mean, many of my WAR guild and myself have lifetime subs and have Moria on pre-order. So we may well play once a week, or we may balance them differently. But for Turbine/Codemasters they will keep subs others would have lost over it.

  13. Openedge1 says:

    @arbitrary
    Yet, the issue is they are NOT a sub, and after the time is up for their lifetime (the amount of months equal to 14 bucks, or whatever the start monthly is) money, then these “lifetimers” become dead weight.
    The only possible money they can earn from that crowd is expansion cash.
    I also think the lifetime route will disappear after Moria. We will never see it again.
    They should hope a new influx of blood comes in soon.
    Cheers

  14. syncaine says:

    If you think about it, the lifetime members are far more likely to pick up a x-pac, since in there mind, they already have the sub part covered. That’s a nice source of revenue Turbine can count on. Not to mention that if they could get the lifetime price out of everyone who bought a copy, they would be very, very happy with that.

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