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Trion – Those 600,000 Missing WoW Players, They Play Rift June 8, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Rift, World of Warcraft.
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In an interesting follow up to a question I posed a while back about where the 600,000 players who left World of Warcraft went, David Reid of Trion Worlds says he knows where they went.  They went to Rift.

Rift has sold nearly a million boxes.  Did they all go to former WoW players?

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1. Anonymous - June 8, 2011

Most of them did. You’ve got to figure that the universe of current and former WoW players is a very large subset of anyone who’s ever played an online MMO, then any MMO game’s sales consist of current and or former WoW players.

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2. Anonymous - June 8, 2011

Sure, they might have gotten 600,000 boxes sold from Blizzard, but I’d venture a guess that 1/3 are back in wow already or soon will be, 1/3 have quit and won’t be playing an MMO again until something new comes out being disappointed and having tried all the other current offerings, and the last 1/3 will stay for a few more months or longer.

I loved Rift when I first got it, and played it for about 25 days, when I realized:
-RIfts were already being ignored
-Most rifts were impossible to solo and it was difficult to get others to come join you
-LFD was being added, which to me killed any sense of community WoW had held onto up to that point
-I didn’t feel my $15 would be well spent

Yes, I’m just another disillusioned MMO vet, and there’s a chance I won’t be happy ever again hoping to regain my first experience with Asheron’s Call, but I’m also not going to throw away dozens (or hundreds) of hours on MMO’s anymore, settling because there aren’t any better alternatives.

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3. Oakstout - June 8, 2011

Hard to say. I don’t think 600,000 people jumped ship to another MMO, at least not right away and not necessarily Rift. I left after 2 months of Cataclysm, but instead of jumping to Rift, I tried a few of the F2P games, Champions and LOTRO. Eventually, I decided that LOTRO deserved more of my time and subbed for 3 months, 10.00 a month who could blame me.

I think people are frustrated from what I can see on blogs and twitter feeds. They want something new, but they themselves don’t know what it is. Sure some of them decided to try Rift, but not as many as 600,000. Maybe a small percentage around 2 or 3 but no more than that. Most probably went to try the F2P games or have just decided that they want to wait for SWTOR and have taken up single player games while they wait.

If the MMO field doesn’t change soon, I think people will start to give up on them and they won’t even care who the next WoW killer is.

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4. bhagpuss - June 8, 2011

Watch the server lists. Some of the very busy servers from launch are now often on Medium at times when they would have been on “High”. Ergo, falling populations and the experience many MMO vets report of people they know no longer playing.

But, watch the recommended servers. Servers that were Low/Medium, when flagged recommended, rise to Medium/High in a couple of weeks. Two recently started to flag “Full” even in my timeslot (GMT) and have now been removed from the recommended list.

My conclusion is that, yes, plenty of early adopters have become bored or disenchanted and have left. But equally, many new entrants are coming in to replace them, only not on the same servers that were popular at launch. Churn, in other words. And as we all know, once you’re on the books of an MMO as a one-time player, you can be tempted back over and over again.

My two servers, Faeblight and Shadefallen, are still very busy as far as I can tell.

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5. Arieltalia - June 8, 2011

I think Bhagpuss is absolutely right. It’s churn.

And RIFT was designed for churn, as was WoW.

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6. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 8, 2011

@Oakstout – Indeed, I am no doubt part of the 600,000 number in some way, yet ran off to play EQ2. I found the unqualified statement, “We know very well where those 600,000 people are” to contain more than a trace of hubris, as though Rift alone was able to draw off 5% of the WoW population. They should instead be sending thank you notes to Blizzard for Cataclysm freeing up so many potential customers. But obviously so should Turbine, SOE, and a few other companies that cater to that specific audience.

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7. Genda - June 8, 2011

That launched in February? And they have already churned 400k subs? Seems like a lot to me.

Some of the things mentioned above were my concerns about Rift. “Dynamic Events” sound really cool but let’s do a quick inventory of games that have such things.

- WAR. Meh
- Rift. Meh
- Tabula Rasa. I actually enjoyed that game for a while, but no one else I knew did. We all know how that story ends.
- And weren’t all of SWG’s quests dynamic?

Based on that (admittedly tongue in cheek) list, it doesn’t seem like Dynamic Events are the key to Lifetime Subscriptions.

I’m just sayin’.

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8. Anonymous - June 10, 2011

Don’t discount Rift’s buy-in advantage. Those looking to start an MMORPG today are looking at one Rift box versus WoW’s battle chest and two additional expansions. I can’t honestly tell someone WoW is worth $80 more.

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9. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 10, 2011

@Anon – Urmm… I suppose we shouldn’t discount that… but the topic was 600,000 people who were already playing WoW, so price of WoW in the box doesn’t really enter into it since they were already playing WoW.

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10. Carson - June 14, 2011

I was one of the 600k whose WoW account went inactive this year. One weekend of Rift’s open beta was more than enough to persuade me not to buy it, though. I’ve been getting my MMO fix from LOTRO mostly, with a bit of “not so massively” action from World of Tanks and Guild Wars.

Anyway, it’s not news until you retain those subscribers. Age of Conan and WAR both sold close to a million boxes at launch, didn’t they? And how many of those players stuck around?

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11. Elumine - June 18, 2011

At least in my opinion, 2010 and 2011 have been very dry years MMO-wise.

I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a portion of those 600k players decided to step away from the MMO genre altogether, at least for now. I quit WoW back in wrath and have no intention of resubbing for any future expansions. By the time you quit WoW chances are there’s something about the way the game is set up that you don’t like any more. WoW not having been my first MMO, when I look for new games these days I’m looking for a change of scenery… not just “greener pastures.”

For those who really did jump ship from WoW to RIFT, I’m not sure how many of them will actually find it more enjoyable in the long run. Back when RIFT just came out I had several Facebook friends who were absolutely fanboying over the game. One of them is still playing, and only casually (he’s subbed to both RIFT and Aion.)

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12. Cindy - July 12, 2011

I opened Rift this weekend. A friend of mine told me I’d like it. I wanted to hate it, because I’m “WoW for Life!”. Begrudgingly I rather like it, so far.

It’s not different than WoW. It’s really the same in most cases. The interface, auctions, quest lines, everything. I havent gotten into dungeons and raiding yet so that may be a different story. Minus some minor things, you could put Rift on a layover of WoW and see exactly the same thing.

It’s fun, it’s different. I don’t have to do the same questlines on a new character that I’ve done 100 times before.

But… my heart belongs to WoW and inevitably… I will return. I’m already itching to run randoms to level instead of questing. LOL

But, Rift is fun for now.

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