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Author Topic: Warhammer Hits 800k Players  (Read 50459 times)
EWSpider
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on: October 30, 2008, 03:12:49 PM

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6200329.html

Found this nugget in an article about the EA layoffs:

Quote
Another high point was the launch of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, which now boasts 800,000 players on 1.2 million units sold.

Things not as gloomy as we think or was 800k the ceiling before people started cancelling?

Edit:  Changed Subscribers to Players in the title.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 03:56:58 PM by EWSpider »

most often known as Drevik
Arthur_Parker
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Reply #1 on: October 30, 2008, 03:17:35 PM

linky

Think 800k is the high water mark.

linky

Quote
EA laying off 6% of workforce

[UPDATE] Despite 40% jump in quarterly revenue, losses lead megapublisher to pink-slip over 500 employees; Madden sells 4.5 million, Spore 2 million; Warhammer subscribers hit 800,000.

It's been a rough year for Electronic Arts. Last Halloween, the Redwood City, California-based publisher had a share price of $61.12 and was riding high on the acquisition of super-developer BioWare/Pandemic. Today, the company's stock ended at $27.73, following a steady decline accelerated by the past month's economic bloodbath on Wall Street.

However, for many EA employees, 2008 is about to get a whole lot rougher. Today, Electronic Arts announced it was laying off six percent of its global workforce as part of a company-wide cost reduction plan. With a payroll of around 9,000 worldwide, the layoffs will affect approximately 540 people. In a conference call this afternoon, executives said layoffs will come from EA's publishing and corporate divisions, as well as from its various studios and labels.

Today's battery of pink slips may not be the last, as executives also said that EA "will manage headcount decisions aggressively going forward." The company plans to reduce hiring in high-cost territories, and will expand operations in "lower-cost locations."

By EA's own estimates, the layoffs announced today will save it over $50 million annually--money the company sorely needs. Today, EA announced a greater-than-expected $310 million loss, or 97 cents per share, during the July-September quarter. During the same period last year, the company lost $195 million, or 62 cents a share.


The loss is doubly harsh, as it comes in the face of a 40 percent surge in quarterly revenue for EA. For the quarter, the second in the company's fiscal year, earnings totaled $894 million, up $254 million from same quarter the year prior. Best-sellers for the period include Madden NFL 09, with 4.5 million copies sold worldwide, and Spore, with 2 million units sold worldwide. Another high point was the launch of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, which now boasts 800,000 players on 1.2 million units sold. NCAA Football 09 sold 1.8 million copies, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 sold 1.9 million--the same number as Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. Combined, Rock Band and Rock Band 2 moved 1.5 million units during the quarter.

In a statement EA CEO John Riccitiello put a brave face on things. "Considering the slow down at retail we've seen in October, we are cautious in the short term," he said. "Longer term, we are very bullish on the game sector overall and on EA in particular. The industry is growing double-digits on the strength of three new game consoles and increases in the number of homes with broadband internet connections. EA is well-positioned to benefit from these technology drivers due to the strength of our creative studios and our broad collection of game properties."

Unfortunately, the markets were not as upbeat as Riccitiello. As of press time, EA stock was down nearly 14 percent in after-hours trading.

Quoting because people are lazy with links.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 03:20:06 PM by Arthur_Parker »
greydor
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Reply #2 on: October 30, 2008, 03:18:48 PM

that would have put about 8000 accts per server at the peak find it hard to believe
tazelbain
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Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008, 03:40:37 PM

So WAR had to release to shore up EA proper's hemorrhaging.

"Me am play gods"
Arthur_Parker
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Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008, 03:41:21 PM

Linky

Quote
The company still feels positively about its holiday pipeline, which Sughayer says is "extremely robust." And Madden NFL 09 has sold 4.5 million copies, Spore has sold 2 million, and Warhammer Online sold 1.2 million copies during the quarter ended September 30th.
...
UPDATE: Tying in with Sughayer's comments that the reduction is 'global', some of the studios that have been affected by layoffs today, according to Gamasutra's sources, include Electronic Arts Los Angeles and Pandemic.

800k isn't subscribers, it's box sales that activated their free month.  They might not have intended it to sound like subscribers but if they only get a 75% conversation rate, there's going to be a big drop when/if they do publish real subscriber numbers.
Soln
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Reply #5 on: October 30, 2008, 03:44:42 PM

To be fair or realistic, there probably is a fair number of people who have >1 months subscription and have just pressed paused to see if the game improves.  Things may get ugly by Dec., however, and the new sub rate I bet is flat. In short, they sold everything they were going to sell and there are no new entrants.  But who knows?

approx. 10k layoffs for EA though is sizable for any firm.

Edit: can't read -- it's 6% of 9,671
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 03:50:47 PM by Soln »
CecilDK
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Reply #6 on: October 30, 2008, 03:47:55 PM

If they retained 800k out of 1.2 million sales then that's impressive.  Hard to say if that's what's going on though, since the bottom of the report says it's for the period ending on September 30th, which would mean everyone who bought a box would be currently "subscribed".   And if that were true, there would be 400k people who had bought the game and not registered yet---which makes no sense.

So, either the report accounts for data later than September 30th, or the difference between the 800k and and the 1.2 million is the difference between shipped and sold----which I honestly believe is the real "meaning" of the report.
tazelbain
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Reply #7 on: October 30, 2008, 03:50:36 PM

Its sucks to watch my game flounder but I can at least take solace that its not propping up EA.

"Me am play gods"
Arthur_Parker
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Reply #8 on: October 30, 2008, 03:54:17 PM

To be fair or realistic, there probably is a fair number of people who have >1 months subscription and have just pressed paused to see if the game improves.  Things may get ugly by Dec., however, and the new sub rate I bet is flat. In short, they sold everything they were going to sell and there are no new entrants.  But who knows?


On subscribers, obviously the 1.2m box sales will also have improved since Sept 30 (I think those are real sales).  I'm just saying that considering how fickle mmorpg players are, maybe you don't want to have the word get out that you have 800k subs ,when that figure is not based on real people actually signing up past the 1st month.

Before this if they had said they have 500k subs at Christmas, that would be better than I would have expected.  Now all that's going to be focused on is that 500k is a lot less than 800k.
Arthur_Parker
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Reply #9 on: October 30, 2008, 03:56:40 PM

And if that were true, there would be 400k people who had bought the game and not registered yet---which makes no sense.

You have never bought a game and then not opened it?
Soln
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Reply #10 on: October 30, 2008, 03:56:58 PM

yup.  And nothing beats the whisper campaign that the place is empty and grindy, whether true or fair.  
greydor
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Reply #11 on: October 30, 2008, 03:58:07 PM

If they retained 800k out of 1.2 million sales then that's impressive.  Hard to say if that's what's going on though, since the bottom of the report says it's for the period ending on September 30th, which would mean everyone who bought a box would be currently "subscribed".   And if that were true, there would be 400k people who had bought the game and not registered yet---which makes no sense.

So, either the report accounts for data later than September 30th, or the difference between the 800k and and the 1.2 million is the difference between shipped and sold----which I honestly believe is the real "meaning" of the report.
the 1.2 million  includes copies still on store shelves also so 400 k still on the shelf not sold to gamers
Arthur_Parker
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Reply #12 on: October 30, 2008, 04:10:00 PM

the 1.2 million  includes copies still on store shelves also so 400 k still on the shelf not sold to gamers

No.

Press Release September 19, 2008

Quote
Overall, the company has sold 1.5 million units of WAR to retailers.
CecilDK
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Reply #13 on: October 30, 2008, 04:17:37 PM

And if that were true, there would be 400k people who had bought the game and not registered yet---which makes no sense.

You have never bought a game and then not opened it?

Yes, but I sincerely doubt that 1/3 of the people who bought the game never opened it.
Pringles
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Reply #14 on: October 30, 2008, 04:34:19 PM

A lot of people preordered for the headstart codes, and then canceled the preorders... so suppliers got excess.

Anyways, I am going to say this is a "registered" accounts number, not subscribers.

Back when they quoted the 750k it was "registered" accounts, and I really really doubt that <subscribers> went any higher because everyone I know has since then been canceling left and right. Registered accounts also includes all the head start codes that maybe didn't activate, people who didn't activate after 30d free, and all the banned gold spammers (13k).  Oh and all the trial keys that were given out at IGames gaming centers.

..and if it is still registered accounts they're quoting, that is a pretty poor increase for 1 month(?)... heh

Well at the top of the article it now says:

Warhammer subscribers hit 800,000.

So, if that is indeed subscribers, it obviously is doing alright, but I question how all the servers can be so empty.

Oh well, maybe they will hold enough so that when they fix stuff I'll feel like playing.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 04:56:50 PM by Pringles »
Arthur_Parker
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Reply #15 on: October 30, 2008, 04:41:15 PM

Yes, but I sincerely doubt that 1/3 of the people who bought the game never opened it.


ACK! I'm not saying 400,000 people bought the box and didn't open it, though some will have.  The key date is Sept 30th.  There's a delay between buying the box and activating your account.  The press release on 19th of Sept says they sold 1.5m to retailers.  So you think they had 300k returned while WAR was number 1 or 4 in the top ten or what?  What's your explanation?

Somebody at Turbine admitted in an interview that a major factor in closing AC2 was when the billing changed from MS to Turbine.  They lost all the people that signed up for a recurring sub and never logged in, plus the ones who couldn't be bothered reactivating their accounts.
greydor
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Reply #16 on: October 30, 2008, 04:45:01 PM

And if that were true, there would be 400k people who had bought the game and not registered yet---which makes no sense.

You have never bought a game and then not opened it?

only time i ever bought a box and didn't open it was if i took it back
greydor
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Reply #17 on: October 30, 2008, 04:56:03 PM


all numbers aside let's just hope they make some improvements to the game to make it worth relooking into
CecilDK
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Reply #18 on: October 30, 2008, 04:59:01 PM

Yes, but I sincerely doubt that 1/3 of the people who bought the game never opened it.


ACK! I'm not saying 400,000 people bought the box and didn't open it, though some will have.  The key date is Sept 30th.  There's a delay between buying the box and activating your account.  The press release on 19th of Sept says they sold 1.5m to retailers.  So you think they had 300k returned while WAR was number 1 or 4 in the top ten or what?  What's your explanation?

Somebody at Turbine admitted in an interview that a major factor in closing AC2 was when the billing changed from MS to Turbine.  They lost all the people that signed up for a recurring sub and never logged in, plus the ones who couldn't be bothered reactivating their accounts.

That's the first time I've seen that 1.5 million number, so I have no idea.  Even with the lag time between buying and activating an account, I can't imagine that that many people would wait that long to create their account.

Only thing I can figure is a few people from the lag + overabundance of games due to pre-order policy + collectors/scalpers buying up the SE equals that number.  Even with all that it seems a bit much.

It doesn't quite add up either way.  Maybe we'll get some clarification.
deadlyanteater
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Reply #19 on: October 30, 2008, 05:03:32 PM

BTW a publisher getting rid of people has nothing to do with how successful the company that makes the game is.

Midway is tanking right now in a big way, but EPIC games (UT3) is doing great and hiring people.

Publishers are just a lot like music companies now, they don't have much place in the industry and are too bloated.
IainC
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Reply #20 on: October 30, 2008, 06:41:15 PM

the 1.2 million  includes copies still on store shelves also so 400 k still on the shelf not sold to gamers

No.

Press Release September 19, 2008

Quote
Overall, the company has sold 1.5 million units of WAR to retailers.
Your quote agrees with his assertion.

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Reply #21 on: October 30, 2008, 06:48:15 PM

So, WAR:

1.5 million boxes shipped

1.2 million boxes sold

800k activated boxes first month

AoC:

1.2 million boxes sold to stores

800k boxes sold to players

EDIT - 700k activated boxes first month

415k subscribers a quarter out from launch or so
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 09:55:20 PM by UnSub »

Threash
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Reply #22 on: October 30, 2008, 09:31:36 PM

So, WAR:

1.5 million boxes shipped

1.2 million boxes sold

800k activated boxes first month

AoC:

1.2 million boxes sold to stores

800k boxes sold to players

415k subscribers a quarter out from launch or so



Aoc had over 700k accounts activated the first month.

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Johny Cee
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Reply #23 on: October 30, 2008, 09:45:54 PM

And if that were true, there would be 400k people who had bought the game and not registered yet---which makes no sense.

You have never bought a game and then not opened it?

only time i ever bought a box and didn't open it was if i took it back

I'm trying to remember where I saw it,  I think in a Waterthread post ages ago,  but I remember a dev from Mythic talking about the "bought and never played" phenomenon in regards to DAoC.  I seem to remember them stating outright that there is a surprising percentage of boxes sold that never get turned into accounts.

But that's just my hazy recollection....
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Reply #24 on: October 30, 2008, 09:54:25 PM

So, WAR:

1.5 million boxes shipped

1.2 million boxes sold

800k activated boxes first month

AoC:

1.2 million boxes sold to stores

800k boxes sold to players

415k subscribers a quarter out from launch or so



Aoc had over 700k accounts activated the first month.

Thanks - I looked quickly but couldn't find that bit of data.

Fordel
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Reply #25 on: October 30, 2008, 11:21:54 PM

And if that were true, there would be 400k people who had bought the game and not registered yet---which makes no sense.

You have never bought a game and then not opened it?

only time i ever bought a box and didn't open it was if i took it back

I'm trying to remember where I saw it,  I think in a Waterthread post ages ago,  but I remember a dev from Mythic talking about the "bought and never played" phenomenon in regards to DAoC.  I seem to remember them stating outright that there is a surprising percentage of boxes sold that never get turned into accounts.

But that's just my hazy recollection....


Well you have to remember when DaoC came out, it was still normal to just buy a box off a shelf without any prior knowledge of what you were buying.

and the gate is like I TOO AM CAPABLE OF SPEECH
Rasix
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Reply #26 on: October 31, 2008, 01:01:21 AM


all numbers aside let's just hope they make some improvements to the game to make it worth relooking into

Can you make some improvements to your punctuation while we wait? Also see: shift key.

-Rasix
Arthur_Parker
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Reply #27 on: October 31, 2008, 01:24:31 AM

Your quote agrees with his assertion.

No it doesn't.  He's saying 1.2m sold to retailers by 30th Sept but the press release says 1.5m was sold to retailers by Sept 19th.

So, WAR:

1.5 million boxes shipped

1.2 million boxes sold

800k activated boxes first month

The above is what I believe to be correct.
Wasted
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Reply #28 on: October 31, 2008, 02:00:09 AM

I still got a collectors edition of City of Villains I have never installed and set up an account for.  The thing that has stopped me installing it just to see it is the idea that I don't want to waste my first month so I waited till I felt I had a month free of other games to play...which didn't happen early and now it all feels too much like a hassle the few times I remember I still have it.
Arthur_Parker
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Reply #29 on: October 31, 2008, 03:12:41 AM

Just for future reference, because this isn't really clear at all.

EA second quarter results
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, an MMO from EAs Mythic Entertainment
studio, sold 1.2 million copies in the quarter, with over 800 thousand current players

September 15, 2008
Quote
Overall, the company has sold 1.5 million units of WAR to retailers.

September 26, 2008
Quote
500,000 New Player Accounts Created

October 10, 2008
Quote
750,000 players have registered for the critically acclaimed fantasy MMORPG

So
Sept 15th 1.5m sold to retailers
Sept 26th, 500,000 accounts created.
Sept 30th, 1.2m boxes sold (not 100% agreement on who sold to)
Oct 10th, 750,000 accounts created

Uncertain time : 800,000 current players. I'm thinking this is a recent figure after Oct 10th, if so, then spinning figures to look good will only hurt them in the end (even if it was unintentional).
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Reply #30 on: October 31, 2008, 06:13:07 AM

What sort of bizzaro world do Mythic live in where they can count people playing their free launch month as subscribers, anyway?

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Reply #31 on: October 31, 2008, 06:35:08 AM

What sort of bizzaro world do Mythic live in where they can count people playing their free launch month as subscribers, anyway?

A world where you have shareholders who need to see positive metrics.

waylander
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Reply #32 on: October 31, 2008, 06:38:23 AM

Maybe the analyst that predicted a stable 250k subscriber base was right all along. Hell, even if it stabilized at 250k and grew from there I would consider the game a success. The whole reason they are bleeding customers right now is due to piss poor handling of population imbalances, a bad PVE experience, unrewarding RVR, and forcing people to grind for gear via PVE. If they fix it right instead of the stupid baby steps like 500 exp for battlefield objectives or 3k exp for keep lords, then they can regain some player confidence.

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deadlyanteater
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Reply #33 on: October 31, 2008, 06:56:43 AM

i think a lot of you are underestimating the power of the WARHAMMER IP.

Think of how long SWG was popular because of star wars?
Nebu
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Reply #34 on: October 31, 2008, 06:57:33 AM

i think a lot of you are underestimating the power of the WARHAMMER IP.

Think of how long SWG was popular because of star wars?

Here we go again.   ACK!

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