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Reader Comments (39)

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 4:11PM (Unverified) said

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"...more than a million superhero characters created since the launch..."


Would be interesting to see how many people are playing, rather than characters created. I maxed out the characters I could make, and eventually quit, I'd also made and subsequently deleted a number of characters too. Hopefuly the game will improve enough to get me back at some point


Posted: Nov 2nd 2009 6:16PM (Unverified) said

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it is starting to get there. i put it down for a month, but some quest improvements, additions, revisions and other new content (e.g. Blood Moon) are giving me some faith back. plus the new zombie invasion pvp map is just a lot of fun.

give it 3 or 4 more content updates and i think you'll find it much more entertaining than immediately post-launch.

that said, i've done the same with my toons. i've probably created and saved 30+ designs and deleted 10+ toons. although, while some hard subscriptions numbers would be cool to see, the way the server sharding works admittedly does a super job of making that somewhat a moot point... every zone shard, whether it spawns 10 or 100, is usually teeming with players. of course, it also did a super job of making lasting online relationships (and rivalries) a little less certain, but i guess you can't win them all.
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Posted: Oct 29th 2009 4:12PM aurickle said

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Actually, 250,000 subscribers would be a very lackluster figure for this early in the game's life. It's certainly enough to keep the servers up and running, but nowhere close to enough for "hit" status.

Given that CoX is coming out soon with Going Rogue, as well as DC in the near future and Marvel on the horizon, CO's current figures do not bode well for the game in the long term. Especially with retention being low due to how quickly you can reach max level and a real lack of high end content once you get there.

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 4:33PM charlieromeobravo said

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I'm not sure that it bodes well for any of them long term. How many people could be interested in playing a super hero MMO? Now divide them among three games in not necessarily equal portions. I think that we're headed for Super Hero MMO market glut in 2010. As a fan of the genre, it's going to be a great year. I'm not sure that the same can be said for the folks that are running those games though. It's going to be dog eat dog.

As an aside, CoH's recent efforts to move the game forward are really impressive considering how old it is. If Going Rogue delivers on the features they're promising, then NCSoft certainly isn't being shy about competing with CO and DCUO
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Posted: Oct 29th 2009 8:47PM breezer said

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250k isn't bad these days. Used to be 500k or gtfo but the market is spread so thin....
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Posted: Oct 29th 2009 4:18PM Halldorr said

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I don't know aurickle, I think 250,000 would be a very solid number for an MMO. WoW is, of course strictly in my opinion, an anomaly. I'll have to hunt down where I saw it but I was pretty sure I read that most MMOs can live happily on 100,000-250,000 subscribers. Again, strictly opinion, but I think the comic book/super hero genre is also very niche.

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 4:38PM charlieromeobravo said

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Yeah, I think that a lot of companies would be happy with 250K players. If you take WOW out of the equation, a couple hundred thousand players would be a very populous MMO. I'm pretty sure that CoH doesn't have that many players (had it ever?) but it's still chugging along and making tidy money by all accounts. You have to define successful I guess. If you have ~150K players, they're loyal, they enjoy the game, you can keep adding features and still turn a decent profit I think that would be a very successful MMO.
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Posted: Oct 29th 2009 5:38PM aurickle said

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Broken Bottle, CoH actually hit 300,000 a couple months after launch, and were thrilled. (This was before WoW came out, and the 300K mark was considered "hit" status.) The game continued to grow over the following year, eventually topping out at over 700,000 subscribers before WoW came out.

In other words, the game started strong and grew for quite some time.

By comparison, CO peaked early and has been losing subs ever since. It's closer to a Vanguard or an WAR than another CoX. Of course, Vanguard has steadily gotten better since its rocky start, but it never recovered due to the combination of bad aftertaste in people's mouths and stiff competition in the marketplace. WAR is in a similar situation. In fact, if anything its parallels with CO are quite strong. WAR has been considered by many to be a WoW rip-off, while CO has been considered by many to be a CoX rip-off. WAR and CO both had very successful launches, followed by attrition due to lack of endgame content and other issues. WAR and CO both offer some new things, but none of it was spectacular enough to engage the majority of players long-term.

One other factor to consider is Cryptic's upcoming release of STO. Yes, it's a totally different genre. However, both CO and STO are similar in that they appeal to a demographic that's had enough with elves and orcs. :) What's more, Cryptic has to a certain extent set CO up for hard times by how they're piggy-backing STO onto CO with programs like the 6-month and lifetime sub beta guarantees. Put another way, they have deliberately cannibalized CO's player base to promote STO. That will reasonably be expected to have an impact on CO in the long run.

Please understand that this is not saying CO is a flop. WAR continues to do well with subscriber numbers that are similar to what we're guessing CO is at. But it also shows that CO has a long phase of slow growth ahead of it. However, with the upcoming launches of two other super hero games as well as the rejuvenation of the genre's grandpappy, the question is whether these modest numbers are going to be enough for CO to remain genuinely viable. Or will it end up following the course of Matrix Online? Or even Vanguard, for that matter?

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Posted: Oct 29th 2009 11:59PM (Unverified) said

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Its ok but Aion had those kind of numbers from Korea alone when it came out in its first month. Now that its semi international (and in all fairness a year later) it has over 6million active subscribers and growing. I think Aion is ok but not my thing. With that said I dont think Champions will ever be hitting those kinds of numbers.
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Posted: Oct 29th 2009 4:48PM wjowski said

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250,000 isn't too shabby, if they can keep those numbers.

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 10:33PM starka1 said

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aurickle, CoH never hit 300,000. It was around 200,000. If you can still find the NCSoft IR Reports, you would actually see a peak of just above 190k.
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Posted: Oct 29th 2009 4:50PM (Unverified) said

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Ten of those million are mine, so, if I'm an average CO player (regular subscribers got 8 slots, lifers got 16 and you can now purchase more slots) that's somewhere around 100k, give or take.

250k, I'd say is overly generous. MMOs have gotten by on less.

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 6:03PM Ninevah said

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To be sure, a new game, even one as niche as a superhero game, should really be pushing closer to 500,000 players in the first few months. People will drop out after a couple of months, but 250,000 makes me sad. I'm not a HUGE Champions Online fan. I actually prefer the graphics style of CoX (not counting that it looks outdated now), but I'm also bitter that fans have been asking for things like power customization in CoX since it launched years ago. We were always told, "it can't be done." Now, lo and behold, they have implemented it--coincidentally, right around when CO comes out with those same features. So, personally, I'm a little bitter about CoX. I hope the influx of superhero games doesn't implode the genre, though.

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 7:55PM wjowski said

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...The only games in recent memory that've been anywhere close to 500,000 (and they all quickly lost it) have all been either had a big-budget company behind them (Warhammer), or were based on a fairly well-known IP (AoC, LoTRO).
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Posted: Oct 29th 2009 5:08PM Arcadian said

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How many of those are on ACTIVE accounts?

I'm betting there are only a fraction of that 250,000 still subscribed. There will be fewer in a week as people like me who gave this game a month to get their crap together to see how Blood Moon went noticed the epic fail.

Like me, they've canceled now. Picked up Borderlands yesterday, already having more fun with my Hunter that I ever did trying to get my dual blades toon to a decent level.

And somehow I'm betting at least 200k of those million were deleted in frustration because retcons were so damn expensive and people were stuck with massively nerfed characters that literally could not kill a single henchman group same level.

A million characters doesn't mean squat. Let's see some subscription numbers, Cryptic.

I'm betting the number's under 50k and falling.

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 5:11PM Minofan said

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Well that's not good; I used to create 1-5 per beta session - personally wouldn't even consider my characters finalized till I'd made at least 1 version to see posture/lighting/etc. in-game, deleted it, then tried again.

Hopefully they're alot more discriminating than that in their count!

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 5:13PM Firebreak said

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Before launch they said they were shooting to get 100,000 players. So no matter how you cut it they have to be happy with these numbers.

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 5:40PM Halldorr said

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Definitely. 150k subscribers at 15 bucks a month still brings in over two million a month.

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 5:55PM (Unverified) said

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1 million... hero's?
Yikes, I don't understand why they would report that as a positive number.

If you give the typical CO player credit for making say 5 hero's on their account, that's only 200,000 players?

Throw in people who quit, people who have all 8 or 12 hero slots filled, and you can cut that number down to half, maybe 100,000?

Approx. 100,000 after the first month and a half of release? Even AoC which fell on it's face after it's "1 million accounts" launch retained more players than that.

Although I guess that number (~100,000) doesn't shock me, the number of players in the game have dwindled considerably since the first month.

And all the negative folks calling CO a disaster probably isn't helping them get new players.

Posted: Oct 29th 2009 6:14PM Psychotic Storm said

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Everything is dependant to what they expect, 100k was said as a success to some interview I have yet to find.

now as I predicted whatever number they give out everybody clings on it to make a story of failure or success, they do not want to discuss subscriptions, understandably, even positive numbers are best kept to themselves before at least six months pass and they want to discuss about the character builder that is one of the strong points of the game.

Good for them, they know what to talk about and when.
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