First, I’m going to take WoW’s number, around 10 million subscribers, and chop 6 million off the top. That’s my approximation of the number of non-US and non-European WoW subscribers. Well over half of WoW’s subscriptions come from outside those markets. Since I think WAR will mainly appeal to US and European gamers, I’ll say 4 million subscribers is the theoretical maximum Mythic could achieve.
Naturally, that assumes 4 million players drop WoW for WAR, and that’s obviously not happening. However, there are people playing other games that might give WAR a try, and there are people who have stopped playing WoW that are going to play WAR. I’ll pick a number out of me arse and say Mythic might attract attention from 2 million gamers…actually, that sounds high. That’s fully 50% of what Blizzard’s managed to do in the US and Europe, and that sounds optimistic to me, especially since WAR is focused more on RvR. True, RvR is not PvP, I’ve been banging that drum like crazy, but I don’t expect everyone to enjoy RvR even if they understand my points from a theoretical perspective.
I’ll drop to 1.6 million interested players. Not all of them will buy at once. I think we’ll see a little more than AoC numbers for launch and the rest of 2008…let’s say, 1 million users. Not all of them will keep playing after the first month. Naturally, there will be people who find it isn’t for them, they’ll return to WoW, or their other MMO homes.
Given WAR’s RvR-based nature, I don’t see as much future growth in WAR as we saw in WoW. It’ll be more difficult to join the game later and have the same game experience. I can see WAR selling another 600k copies in 2009, maybe into 2010. That puts me around the 1.6 million copies sold, and I’d guess the actual subscriber rate will be lower. 50% of that would be tremendous for Mythic…if they could get a million subs, I think they’d be thrilled. I’m expecting it to be lower, though. I’ll say that, given how much the potential market has grown since DAoC launched, they could expect to triple their DAoC subscriber peak, and get about 750k monthly subscribers for WAR. I don’t think it’ll last as long as WoW has peaked, though, and I’d suspect that number to drop closer to 500-600k for WAR over time.
And I think that’d be a huge success for Mythic. They’ll never get close to WoW numbers, just because it’s not going to appeal to the Chinese and Korean market the way WoW does. Plus, it’s an RvR-centric game.
Remind me in a year how wrong I am, lol.