Welcome to the 847th Edition of Loading...

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Daily Column

Loading... It's like Euro 2008 for MMOGs.

First, the Ten Ton Pulse, your finger on the beating heart of the MMOG industry.

If the Top 10 isn't enough, we now show the Top 20 and Top 50 lists as well, available to everyone on our homepage. (What is Pulse?)

  1. Age of Conan - 200 BPM
  2. World of Warcraft - 141 BPM
  3. EverQuest 2 - 48 BPM
  4. Lord of the Rings Online - 43 BPM
  5. Warhammer Online - 38 BPM
  6. EVE Online - 36 BPM
  7. Vanguard - 33 BPM
  8. Lineage 2 - 25 BPM
  9. Guild Wars - 22 BPM
  10. Tabula Rasa - 17 BPM

World of Warcraft is rocketing up the Pulse charts, closing in on the #1 spot. Wrath of the Lich King hype is driving traffic with release still months away.

A big round of clap goes out to Phil Comeau for covering Loading... yesterday. Thanks Phil, for taking on the task!

Thanks also to our development team for putting together a Forum Dev Tracker. No longer can developers sneak into our forums, post important information and then disappear into the shadows. I hear music playing, but I have one more person to thank before I leave the podium pumping my award over my head. Thanks Danny for keeping the Wakfu contest rolling along. The second set of Wakfu Closed Beta Keys was awarded. Enjoy!

In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Mark Jacobs of EA-Mythic commented that free-to-play game companies need to start telling the world how much money that they are making or they need to shut-up about being successful. Fortunately for us, Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Capital has done the heavy lifting regarding free-to-play numbers.

"I recently concluded that good MMOGs can expect $1-2 per user per month from a free to play model, with Second Life as an outlier at almost $10 per user per month.

This relatively tight band of monetization masks some fairly high variability in the ratio of paying users across games and virtual worlds. From the highest to lowest, here is some data available on the web:"

Club Penguin reported a 27% paying ratio. Dungeon Runners came in at 25%. The general consensus though is that 9% is a more likely number. This begs the question, "Why would a company want to support 91% of the players in order to monetize from only 9%?" Isn't this a recipe for providing subpar support to the people who pay?

"Frankly, I would rather have one million customers who are all paying to play than 20 million customers with only one million of them paying to play. I can give them better support, I can give them a better game, I can deal with a better community, I have fewer customer service headaches."" - Mark Jacobs

Another key point here is that as far as I can deduce, the free-to-play players aren't paying $15 a month, or are they? Puzzle Pirates is doing well and is run by smart guys like Daniel James. The company and the game are successful, but what are the numbers?

Maple Story, a Nexon product has an enormous player population and Min Kim is certainly another 'smart guy', but what are the numbers?

Then again, perhaps the numbers don't really matter. If you enjoy a game, does it matter how many others do? Does it matter how much they pay a month?

I have been receiving a deluge of mail regarding the current Wrath of the Lich King rumours. I don't comment on rumours. OK, I do, but Blizzard doesn't and in respect to them I'm not going to comment on the current speculations swirling around Wrath of the Lich King. Please stop mailing me. I feel bad each time that I can't pass on what I know.

In other news, Christine Burgess-Quémard, of Ubisoft calmed the worried masses by claiming that Ubisoft will still be able to compete with Vivendi and EA.

"Ubisoft's Christine Burgess-Quémard says she isn't worried by the huge studio operation that Activision Blizzard will boast once the two are merged and that her company will compete head on with the firm." - Developmag.com

Loading... readers already knew that Ubisoft threw down the $1.2 billion gauntlet in the form of an acquisitions warchest. The question is, who will they acquire. EA recently purchased Rupture, a social network for gamers (in beta) for $30 million. Expect to see more websites built around community building being gobbled up by the big publishers in the next 12 months. You can also expect the big networks like Ten Ton Hammer to become the engines behind the official community sites. Let's face it, we build communities and they build games. It's a symbiotic relationship.

I leave you with this,

'Warcraft' Sequel Lets Gamers Play A Character Playing 'Warcraft'

That's it for today! The Loading Forums await you. Do you feel the need to contact me personally with naughty pictures or derogatory comments? Here's my E-mail.

[A big thanks to Phil Comeau for putting together the links, headlines and taglines today. ]

14 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 1016 in June! 1412 in 2008!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today








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Real World News

Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com. Thanks to Phil Comeau for doing the heavy lifting with the links.

- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and the Ten Ton Hammer Team

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Hoskin 0
Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.