It was announced recently that on November 16, 2007 at 13:59 GMT, EVE Online passed the 200,000 subscriber mark. A notable achievement for a game that has continued to grow since its slow launch back in 2003. You can see a posting here about it from CCP Kieron.
But I have to wonder what the makeup of the recent subscribers is.
More than a month before the 200,000 subscriber mark was hit, CCP ran their “Feel The Power of 2” campaign, where any current subscriber could get a second account for the bargain price of $49.95 for a six month subscription. A campaign that was supposed to originally end on November 4th, but which got extended to November 20th. That extension ran just long enough for the 200,000 subscriber mark to be hit.
Which, of course, raises the question I alluded to above: How many of the recent subscribers are conversions from 14-Day trial accounts and how many of them are “Feel the Power of 2″ add-on accounts?
Not that selling to your installed base is a bad thing. It is a popular and lucrative practice in most industries. But how sticky will those second accounts be?
As part of the announcement CCP said that their next goals were 50,000 players in game simultaneously (the last record I saw was 37,481 on at once) and 300,000 subscriptions. But will the “Feel the Power of 2″ accounts stay active on the whole after the six month special has passed and the $14.99 a month reality kicks in? Or will this lead to a dip in subscriptions when the time runs out on the special pricing?
And will the Trinity upgrades, which are bound to make the game more CPU and GPU intensive, influence this by making two-boxing manageable on a smaller populations of player machines?
Since I do not know of another MMO that has pushed two-boxing with a deal like CCP’s, they may very well be breaking new ground again by merely finding out the answer in six months time.