I was listening to the ever-splendid VanHemlockAndJonCast last night, and they were talking about SirBruce’s MMOGCharts. I like a good graph, me, so I grabbed the Excel version for some hot spreadsheet action (with the added bonus that columns of numbers look a bit like work).
As suggested in the podcast, the “rising tide lifts all boats” theory doesn’t quite seem to have panned out for games launched since WoW. It’s more like the rising tide caused a TIDAL WAVE of TERROR, SWAMPING small boats in a FEARSOME WALL of DESTRUCTION, leaving behind only the DREADNOUGHT of HMS WARCRAFT. Since 2005 the charts show The Matrix Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Auto Assault and Vanguard launching, then dropping off rapidly to half the early peak number of subscribers, and unless I’m more vastly mistaken than a man who thinks Hillaire Belloc is still alive, they’ve all gone through server merges, The Matrix and Vanguard were sold off to SOE, and Auto Assault sadly shut down. Tabula Rasa and Pirates of the Burning Sea have few points of data since their recent launches, but the recent Pirates news doesn’t sound terribly positive. Then there’s stuff that didn’t even make it to launch, like Gods & Heroes. The biggest post-WoW success is Lord of the Rings Online, and the most similar game to World of Warcraft out of that lot is… Lord of the Rings Online. Hrm. Coincidence? Not sure it’s just the IP, with Dungeons and Dragons and The Matrix not faring nearly as well.