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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  MMOG Discussion  |  Topic: More realistic Lineage numbers? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: More realistic Lineage numbers?  (Read 6879 times)
Venkman
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Posts: 11536


on: April 24, 2004, 10:18:29 AM

So we all have either read or parroted the sheer ludicrous number of subscribers in Lineage, whether we use 3mil or 2mil or 5mil or whatever makes our point. We do know that many of these numbers come from temporary stints in Internet cafés, but millions always sounds far more impression than thousands, considering no U.S. game can boast even close to it.

But are the numbers comparable? This has been asked often enough, but I think we may have some referencable material to finally do a direct comparison.

And when we do that, we see that Lineage doesn't beat out SOE's latest numbers for EQ.

I stumbled upon this post over at MUD-DEV, and particularly this quote:

Quote
A recent NCSoft presentation (which was posted to this list a few
weeks ago - http://www.ncsoft.net/eng/txt/IR_Report_Eng(FY2002).ppt
) had revenue numbers included. Based on that report, Lineage earns
more in the range of ~$30-45 yearly per account (~$135m revenues /
~3-4m reported subscribers).  Because of the vast difference, it's
very difficult for the two different subscription styles to line up
in direct comparison.

The same presentation showed that, in Korea, Lineage has
approximately 220k direct subscribers (paying ~$23 USD/month I might
add). The rest of the accounts must come from net cafes and other
bulk arrangements (~2m accounts log in each month in Korea).

In the case of cafe-based subscriptions, the players themselves
aren't necessarily subscribing any more than they would be
subscribing to Counterstrike or Starcraft played via the same
means. They're paying fees to rent the PCs and software from their
local establishment, but it doesn't correlate to the 'subscriptions'
metric in the same way that most US developers and media look
at. The cafe pays ~$35-50 per PC monthly, but any number of accounts
could be based from that location.

The question really comes down to what the definitions for "popular"
and "subscription" are, because two different people can easily see
these terms as being used in different ways.

If by "popular" you mean most accounts logged in per month, then
Lineage easily outstrips the competition (~3 million
worldwide/month). On the other hand, you may also want to factor in
that by the numbers, players are paying a lot less for Lineage than
they do for EverQuest (and how many times have you heard "I'd play
this game but I don't want to pay a subscription fee."  in relation
to an MMOG?).


Page 27 has the subscription numbers. I don't know what copywrite laws say about this, but if someone is without a way to view .PPT files, and someone else says it's ok to post a JPEG screenshot, I will.

So in any case, It looks like there were, at Dec '02 at least, 220k active subscriptions pay subscriptions. Even if that doubled in 03', it's still less than EQ.

Old data, yes. But since so many have said "millions" since 2001, I think it's relevant.
Alkiera
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Reply #1 on: April 24, 2004, 11:18:19 AM

From those numbers, it looks like nearly HALF of their stated revenue comes from those 220k direct accts, at $23/month those total around $60.7 million for the year.

I'd have to wonder why it is that those 220k direct subscribers do that, instead of the cafe method, which is apparently much cheaper?  Perhaps it's the truly hardcore, for whom $275/yr is cheaper than paying an hourly rate in a cafe.  Given how hard-core oriented Lineage is, I'm rather surprised there's that many players, some 1.7 million accts worth, who only play enough to produce $45/yr in revenue paying hourly.

I should get around to installing Office again.  Then I'll be able to read those crazy .ppt files.

--
Alkiera

"[I could] become the world's preeminent MMO class action attorney.  I could be the lawyer EVEN AMBULANCE CHASERS LAUGH AT. " --Triforcer

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ajax34i
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Reply #2 on: April 24, 2004, 11:25:00 AM

You are writing sort of a short research paper on the thing, and as such you can quote your sources, including a .jpg picture, as long as you give credit and mention exactly where it comes from, I would think.

I think the common standard has to change to yearly net profit, or some other $-based number.
geldonyetich
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Reply #3 on: April 24, 2004, 01:32:02 PM

Mere subscription numbers, alas, do not make Lineage a better game.

Shockeye
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Reply #4 on: April 24, 2004, 01:57:04 PM

Venkman
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Posts: 11536


Reply #5 on: April 24, 2004, 11:16:06 PM

Quote from: geldonyetich
Mere subscription numbers, alas, do not make Lineage a better game.

I hated that fucking game, enough so that I'm sure it heavily biased me against liking the sequel even before I saw just how similar it was in playstyle.

The point of the above was simply to state that Lineage may not be the obvious Big Crusher from the East(tm) many, from gamer to ranter to industry pundant, have thought it was. Could it be that EQ has the most subscriptions worldwide? Or does Phantasy Star Online over in Japan?
AOFanboi
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Reply #6 on: April 25, 2004, 02:32:07 AM

Quote from: geldonyetich
Mere subscription numbers, alas, do not make Lineage a better game.

What? What happened to "ten million flies cannot be wrong..." and all that?

To the OP, the word you and a lot of others seem to be looking for is copyRIGHT. copyWRITE is something else completely.

Current: Mario Kart DS, Nintendogs
Sairon
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Reply #7 on: April 26, 2004, 04:59:37 AM

Quote

The point of the above was simply to state that Lineage may not be the obvious Big Crusher from the East(tm) many, from gamer to ranter to industry pundant, have thought it was

the fact that NCsoft is literaly shiting out games, as you yourself stated in the other thread, should hint that Lineage is the obvious Big Crusher from the East(tm). It's not exactly budget games either.
Mesozoic
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Reply #8 on: April 26, 2004, 07:16:34 AM

Heres what I don't get about the Lineage cafe thing.  Wouldn't each potential Lineage player need his own personal account, even if he only played at cafes?  If you go to some (rare) US cafe and fire up Diablo 2, you would use your own account - the cafe's D2 account would be filled with unfamiliar characters which had been played by "whoever came along."  Similarly, wouldn't each Korean cafe player still need his own account to access his characters?  

If the cafe maintains each player's account for him, wouldn't there still be a 1:1 ratio between accounts and players?

...any religion that rejects coffee worships a false god.
-Numtini
Malathor
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Reply #9 on: April 26, 2004, 08:19:48 AM

Quote from: Mesozoic
Heres what I don't get about the Lineage cafe thing.  Wouldn't each potential Lineage player need his own personal account, even if he only played at cafes?  If you go to some (rare) US cafe and fire up Diablo 2, you would use your own account - the cafe's D2 account would be filled with unfamiliar characters which had been played by "whoever came along."  Similarly, wouldn't each Korean cafe player still need his own account to access his characters?  

If the cafe maintains each player's account for him, wouldn't there still be a 1:1 ratio between accounts and players?


This "mystery" is really pretty simple. Yes, there would still be a 1:1 ratio between accounts and players. However, no one needs to pay anything in order to maintain a cafe-accessed account. The non-individual accounts are essentially pay-as-you-go. Since no one needs to pay to maintain them, they never go away. L1 has been around a long time, thus the millions of accounts reflect everyone who has ever played it, not current active players. As for the individual accounts, those often are used when several people play the same account.

Anyway, this whole thread is silly. NCSoft is a public company, and they release very detailed, up-to-date figures in English on max concurrent players worldwide as well as their Korean revenues.

For those too busy to bother checking their website. Average daily max concurrent players for L1 in Korea is around 120k, worldwide (meaning mostly Taiwan in L1's case) is about double that. Just use the old rule and multiply that by 5 for the number of current active players. L1 generated almost exactly $100M in revs in Korea last year. 100M/(120k*5)=$167/year per active (Korean) player. Almost identical to Western MMORPGs.

Worldwide revs I don't have, since their overseas partners/subsidiaries collect the revs, and just send a royalty payment to the parent company. There is still no question, however, that L1 is the largest MMORPG worldwide in terms of revs by a large margin. The number of new MMORPGs they are funding/developing reflects that.

"Too much is always better than not enough." -Dobbs
Venkman
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Reply #10 on: April 26, 2004, 08:20:21 AM

Quote from: Sairon
the fact that NCsoft is literaly shiting out games, as you yourself stated in the other thread, should hint that Lineage is the obvious Big Crusher from the East(tm). It's not exactly budget games either.

Oh I agree there. The point is just understanding the actual apples to apples comparisons. NCSoft isn't a stupid company, and they've been able to ride the way that "millions of players" allows them to ride, both in the press and in the perception of their success. Plus they have Garriot. Plus they've got a diverse library. Plus they bother to have well-tested games and stable launches.

They are obviously being successful. It's just a question of how much success they've enjoyed, particularly in comparison to SOE, the Big Crusher from the West(tm).

Quote from: Mesozoic
If the cafe maintains each player's account for him, wouldn't there still be a 1:1 ratio between accounts and players?

I keep hoping someone would know the answer to that :) Do players just quickly roll new characters and not care about levels? Do the cafés own blocks of accounts and just let players player specific characters from them (like, one account = 6 players or whatever the number is)?
Numtini
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Reply #11 on: April 26, 2004, 08:47:35 AM

You used to be able to see the internet cafe user agreement on the Ragnarok Online site, but it's 404ing for me today. The gist was that cafe accounts are charged by how many terminals (by IP address) are allowed to access the game. From those terminals, anyone can create and access as many accounts as they'd like without any other charges.

If my memory serves me, L1 at one point hit a 200k simultaneous users, which would hint at around a million active users worldwide. A great number, but not quite what the press releases state.

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
HaemishM
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Posts: 41993

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Reply #12 on: April 26, 2004, 11:35:26 AM

Whether they topped out at 200k concurrent users, or regularly handle 120k concurrent users, that number beats EQ's highly-touted record of 100k concurrent users online.

Venkman
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Posts: 11536


Reply #13 on: April 26, 2004, 12:23:51 PM

True. It'd be interesting to see if EQ, with more actual subscription accounts (and box expansions), is more profitable.
Romp
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Reply #14 on: April 27, 2004, 02:35:18 AM

Quote from: Mesozoic
Heres what I don't get about the Lineage cafe thing.  Wouldn't each potential Lineage player need his own personal account, even if he only played at cafes?  If you go to some (rare) US cafe and fire up Diablo 2, you would use your own account - the cafe's D2 account would be filled with unfamiliar characters which had been played by "whoever came along."  Similarly, wouldn't each Korean cafe player still need his own account to access his characters?  

If the cafe maintains each player's account for him, wouldn't there still be a 1:1 ratio between accounts and players?


I think the way it works is that you go to the cafe and then create your own account there.  An infinite number of accounts can be created as long as they are only played from the internet cafe.  So its not like users sharing the one account.

When playing SB Asia my guild was invited to take part in an SB tourney in Korea and we checked out some of the internet cafes there.  There are cafes pretty much dedicated to entire games and all the players that play there join the same guild.  Some of them basically live in the cafe.

As far as the most hardcore games in Korea go I think most of them play almost entirely from cafes and not from home so none of those players  would be active subscribers.
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