Category Archives: World of Tanks

SuperData Recombines WoW Again for May Chart

The SuperData Research Top Ten chart for May 2017 is out.

SuperData Research Top 10 – May 2017

The decision as to whether or not to split World of Warcraft into East/West or represent it as a single unit has swung back again.  Last month they were split, this month combined again.

The combined WoW number still dropped a notch, falling from 5th to 6th place, while Overwatch moved up a slot to 8th place on the PC chart.  The top four spots on the PC chart remain unchanged, while DOTA 2 landed on the charts in the 5th spot.  It was last seen on the chart back in February, where it was holding the 10th position… or 9th position when the chart was refactored to combine WoW yet again.

World of Tanks remains behind WoW for yet another month… though I do wonder where it would stand with WoW split into two.

Meanwhile, I am left wondering what the difference between Fantasy Westward Journey Online II and New Westward Journey Online II.  I suppose one might just be the original Fantasy Westward Journey.  SuperData needs to fix their shit I think.

On the mobile chart Pokemon Go dropped off the list for the first time since launch.  The game just deployed a revamp of gyms and added gym raids, so we shall see if that is enough to get it back on the list next month.  That Candy Crush Saga returned to the list should give them hope.

Other items from the SuperData report:

U.S. digital slows down but still shows year-over-year growth. U.S. digital revenue is up from April 2016 but down from March 2017. Free-to-play MMO, console and mobile all had high-single-digit revenue growth, more than offsetting slight declines in social and premium PC revenue.

U.S. digital revenue up year-over-year. Gamers spent over $1 billion across all platforms in May, up from April, during what is typically a lackluster point in the year. Growth came primarily from mobile revenue.

Overwatch shows continued growth. Overwatch digital revenues are up from April but down from May 2016, when it launched. Additional Content revenue hit a new high in May on the back of a one-year anniversary event.

Injustice 2 has a solid launch on consoles. We estimate Injustice 2 sold almost 500k digital units on console in May after launching mid-month. This puts it at number four in the top 10 console rankings this month in terms of digital revenue.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 gets another DLC release.  Black Ops 3 grew month-over-month and beating out Infinite Warfare. The jump, which vaulted the game past Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, came from the PS4 release of the “Zombie Chronicles” DLC.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds has another big month.  PUBG had another solid sales month in May with 791,000 units sold, bringing life to date digital sales above 2 million units through May. June looks to be another massive month for the game.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege breaks into console top 10 for the first time since January 2016, thanks to the continued “Year Two” support from Ubisoft.

SuperData Splits WoW into East and West Again

As the end of a month approaches SuperData Research publishes their digital market top ten lists for the previous month on their blog, so here are the stacks from April.

SuperData Research Top 10 – April 2017

This month sees World of Warcraft split out into East and West on the PC list.  This arrangement  first showed up on their January chart.  It was initially on their February chart, but the chart was revised to combine East and West later.  The March chart saw the single combined WoW on the list.  And here we are in April with East and West split out once again.

There is a temptation to ask SuperData to make up their mind.  But, as I have noted before, an analyst firm like SuperData requires the cooperation of the companies they study if they want access to raw data… data they can slice and dice and package to sell to investment managers and such.  That gives the company leverage, so I am going to say that if WoW is split into East and West, or combined into a single enter, it is because somebody at Activision-Blizzard wants it that way.  And I follow the changes just to see if they’ll tell me which way the wind is blowing.

Anyway, for this month League of Legends continues its reign at the top of the PC list, followed by three Chinese titles, then WoW West.  That seems to indicate either a boost in fortune for WoW outside of China, or a fall in the fortunes of World of Tanks, which dropped to sixth place.

Behind that is a new title on the list, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, a $30 early access game on Steam that more than a million players pain in for and which might be bad news for H1Z1: King of the Kill as it seems to be targetting the same audience with a survival battle royal theme.

Then there is WoW East followed by Overwatch, which overtook its nemsis CS:GO after falling behind it the previous month.

Dropping off the list from last time is Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands and Lineage.

On the mobile side of the house, Pokemon Go held on to 8th place again this month.

The notes for the month talk up Overwatch’s MAUs, which confirms to me that Activision-Blizzard is pushing their agenda.  A jump up the revenue list would have been more impressive.  Other notes from the post include:

  • U.S. digital slows down but still shows year-over-year growth. U.S. digital revenue is up from April 2016 but down from March 2017. Free-to-play MMO, console and mobile all had high-single-digit revenue growth, more than offsetting slight declines in social and premium PC revenue.
  • PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds tops this month’s premium PC digital revenue despite being in Early Access and breaks into the top 10 PC overall list with titans like League of Legends.  While still in Early Access, made an estimated $34 million in gross digital revenue in April.
  • March’s new releases, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, experienced sharp declines in digital revenue in April, possibly due to mediocre reviews.
  • Hearthstone mobile fully recovers from February, one of its worst months ever in terms of digital revenue, on the back of its latest expansion “Journey to Un’Goro”.
  • EA dominates the top console rankings. FIFA 17 and Battlefield 1 were the top grossing console titles in April. FIFA 17 digital revenue jumped double-digits y/y, a large portion of which came from Ultimate Team. Battlefield 1 was down slightly from March but still showed strong traction for the recent DLC “They Shall Not Pass”.
  • Grand Theft Auto V benefits from a new online update. GTA V digital revenue is up from last year. This was primarily driven by an uptick in GTA V Online micro-transaction revenue on the back of the “Tiny Racers” update, which was a unique throwback to retro, top-down, racing games.

Finally, in a post earlier this month, SuperData mentioned that  the Chinese giant Tencent Holdings, which counts Riot, developer of League of Legends, in its portfolio, might be looking to license Daybreak’s H1Z1: King of the Kill.  The quote from the May 2nd post:

Sources show that Tencent WeGame is surveying users’ intention if H1Z1 is to be moved to a “non-Steam platform,” leading to the discussion around whether the company has decided to publish H1Z1 on its newly rebranded WeGame platform. The game’s launch of a China-limited patch, altering police cars to cabs and blood to black fluid, are also considered signs of DayBreak prepping the game for officially entering China.

The source of the information is a web site in Chinese, so I’ll take their word for it since Google translate barely helped make the statement clearer.  The news, should it come to pass, could be a big bonus for Daybreak.

World of Tanks Passes WoW West According to SuperData Research

SuperData Research put up their top ten lists for February 2017 this week.

SuperData Research Top 10 – February 2017 (original)

I noted last month that Blizzard decided to break out their World of Warcraft numbers for SuperData into East and West, which one can assume meant China and the rest of the world.  There was no statement as to why that change occurred, but I speculated that it might have been done to give Overwatch a boost on the list.  Splitting WoW in two pushed Overwatch up into third place.  Or maybe they just wanted to push somebody else off the list.

A month later things have changed. While the East/West designations are absent, I think we can assume that the higher WoW is “West” as it was the higher of the two last month.  World of Tanks swapped places with Overwatch in February while the nineteen year old Korean MMO classic Lineage jumped ahead of WoW East.

Otherwise the list is unchanged from February, with only Blizzard titles losing ground.  I wonder how Blizzard felt about that?

Oh, wait, I bet I know!

It seems as though they called up SuperData and told them to get rid of that East/West split, so that first chart disappeared from their site to be replaced by a new one.

SuperData Research Top 10 – February 2017 (revised)

The recombined World of Warcraft is back ahead of World of Tanks, Overwatch is still down in sixth place, DOTA 2 is up a spot, and For Honor gets a spot on the list.  I suspect we shall hear no more of an East/West split in WoW numbers.

Meanwhile, the report also has more bad news for Blizzard:

Hearthstone hits a new low on mobile. Hearthstone marked its lowest point since releasing on both Android and iOS smartphones. Revenue is down significantly year-over-year and month-over-month. Recent gameplay decisions have been unpopular with the Hearthstone community, and the result has been a sharp decrease in conversion on mobile. Desktop revenue is also down, but to a lesser extent, perhaps due to the more “hardcore” demographic on PC.

Not a good month for Blizzard.

Other items of note… at least items that interest me… Pokemon Go is still holding on to 4th place on the mobile chart, a surprising performance for a game several people have told me is “dead,” and Candy Crush Saga dropped off the chart completely, having lost its hold on the 10th rung of the ladder.

Raptr Corrects My Perceptions – What I Played in 2013

As they did last year, Raptr sent me a nice summary of games that it tracked me playing over the past calendar year.  So I now have my gaming summary for 2013.

This is pretty much why I bother to run Raptr.  It quantifies my play time.

The report for 2012 wasn’t a big surprise.  The three games I said I was playing most of the year, Rift, EVE Online, and World of Tanks,  ended up being the top 3 in about the order I expected.  The three together represented 71% of the play time that Raptr tracked for me.

Raptr2012MostPlayed

I wasn’t keen on the circle displays, but the parity between my fantasy and space faring MMO time was pretty even.

For 2013 though, I have to admit that the numbers surprised me a bit.  My guess as to how things might stack up looked something like:

  • EVE Online in the #1 spot, what with the war in Fountain and Delve along with deployments to Curse.
  • Something close to a four-way tie between Rift, World of Tanks, Lord of the Rings Online, and World of Warcraft, each of which I played for about a season in 2013, but none of which I played all year long.
  • Then maybe Neverwinter, War Thunder, and a couple other games that I played in shorter streaks trailing behind

And what did I end up with?  I will put that after the cut in order to develop some moderate level of suspense.  Plus I have a lot (more) dumb graphics in the post that really look like crap and will clutter up the front page.  Go artistic me.

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Reviewing My Goals for 2013

At the beginning of each new year I have a special post.  Sometimes if it predictions.  Some times it is demands.  Back in January I decided it should be goals.

So I wrote out a list of eight goals for 2013, then promptly forgot about them as set out into the year.

2013

Now here we are, into December and we have reached the time to review.  In theory, I could run out and complete at least one of the incomplete goals on my list.  But in reality, it isn’t going to happen.

Each of my eight goals were well within my ability to accomplish.  How many did I manage?

1- Finish Rift

There was a specific definition of “finish” in the goal, since MMOs are pretty difficult beasts to tame otherwise.  And it wasn’t even the whole game I had to finish, just the Storm Legion expansion.  The base game was already finished per my definition.

All I had to do was get a character to the new level cap and finish the five person dungeons with the instance group.  Level cap should have totally obtainable… I had four characters at the old cap, one in each base class… and we were starting in on the first instance back at the start of January.  I figured this was a gimme.

No, not Azeroth!

Um, about that…

And then I had problems getting into Storm Legion.  That dragged.  I wandered off, then came back and gave it another shot and made it a bit further.  But on entering Seratos I lost all momentum and that was that.

Meanwhile, the instance group had problems even getting online at the same time.  We didn’t actually finish the first instance until the end of June.

So that goal was pretty much a bust and Rift lies fallow for me even now.  The group as a whole hasn’t been back since we poked our collective noses in to see how the F2P transition went.

Goal not achieved.

2- Find a new goal in EVE

This isn’t looking good either.  I had some idea about what I could do.  I even trained up some skills.  But here it is December and I am still playing about the same way I was back in January.  I wait for a fleet op to get called, I log in, join the fleet, and go shoot things.  Or fail to shoot things.  My role is still pretty much that of “aligner to whatever, presser of F1, and clicker of PAP links.”

Not that I don’t enjoy that.  I still goggle at large fleet battles.  It is my place in the game for now.  But it isn’t anything new.

I did train up to fly a carrier.  I even purchased an Archon.

First successful jump

My first successful Archon jump

But flying a new ships is a constant and flowing thing in EVE Online.  But unless you have a plan for what you are going to do with that ship once you have it, it isn’t the kind of goal I meant.  And I haven’t done anything with the Archon since I bought it.

Goal not achieved.

3- Get to Tier IX in World of Tanks

Another goal I though would be a gimme.  At the time I was closing in on a tier VIII tank and I was driving the KV-4 by mid-April, leaving me a good 8 months to make my goal.

Maus in the background

KV-4 with a Maus

And then I stopped playing World of Tanks around the beginning of May and I haven’t really been back since.

That is the way it goes with video games sometimes.

Goal not achieved.

4- Finish that Second Instance Group Video

This was to follow up the first instance group video I did, which reviewed our first year as a group in Azeroth.  You can read my post about it, which includes the video and the whole director’s commentary.  It included music performed by Earl and his musical friends.

I did actually start on this.  I had decided that the second video ought to focus on our run through Wrath of the Lich King, which was arguably our peak in the game up to this time.  We ran all the instances and had some adventures in the open world, so it seemed like good enough topic.  I even went through the screen shots from the period and started pulling out and cropping potential candidates.  I got about half way through that.

And then I got hung up on the music.  I mentioned that in writing the original goal, that the music is an important part of the process for me.

I really need something to make the whole thing come together.  At one point I was leaning towards ELO’s Don’t Bring Me Down, which I thought had the right ironic tone for the assault on Northrend, plus is a good tune.  But I never quite got there. Then I got a bit twitchy about music after I ran into some trouble with one of my videos.

I understand the the holders of the rights to the music are entitled to profit from them.  They claim the rights on YouTube, slap ads on them, and collect a bit of revenue.  I am fine with that.  But for one of my favorite videos, the horrible slog through time dilation to the battle at Q1U-UI, the rights holder insisted I remove the music.  Apparently the reputation of the song Theme from a Summer Place, the most stereotypical elevator music ever, was being harmed by association with internet spaceships or something.  Perhaps EVE was too exciting for it.  I don’t know.  But Google muted the audio until I clicked the button and let them remove the music from the audio track.

Google did a surprisingly good job at that, but now the video lacks much of its charm.  It is just a bunch of slow spaceships with people laughing about how slow they are going.

Anyway, this made me a bit leery of doing anything else with musical tracks I happened to have in iTunes.  Maybe I can get Earl and his group to record a version of Don’t Bring Me Down.

And then I got distracted with other things, the instance group was having trouble forming up, and I never quite got back to it.

It remains on my “to do” list, and now that we have actually done the last three instances in the expansion, maybe I will get back to it.  But I still have the music thing to deal with.

Goal not achieved.

5- Retry an MMO That Didn’t Stick

Complete and utter failure on this one, at least for the definition I gave.  I put out a potential list with titles such as Vanguard, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Star Trek Online, Runes of Magic, Warhammer Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Pirates of the Burning Sea.

And I did not go back and play a single one of them.

I did try to log into Warhammer Online, but only after they announce it was going to close, and only for nostalgia tour reasons even then.

I did approve of their stance on elves...

Time to get stuck in…

And I failed at that, as I could not coax Warhammer Online into letting my log into the game.

Goal not achieved.

6- Scout for the Next Instance Group Game

This was just vague enough that I can claim to have done it.  Potshot was really the leader of the scouting expedition in 2013, leading the way into things like Neverwinter Nights 2 and Neverwinter.  Some sort of theme going on there.

With Commander Tann at Fort Locke

With Commander Tann at Fort Locke

But for me to really lay claim to achieving this goal, I think I would have had to scout a game that we actually ended up playing.

Which I did.

I stepped foot into what would become our next game.  I lead the way.  I was there first.

It just happened to be a game we were already invested in, World of Warcraft.  So I am pretty sure the group’s move back there had more to do with our investment in the game, and the BlizzCon announcements, than anything I did.

Goal not achieved.

7- Book My Autumn Nostalgia Tour Early

I think I managed this one.  Every autumn I, usually accompanied by Gaff or Potshot, end up going back and playing some MMO from the past.  This year I managed to this twice.

For the really early nostalgia tour, Gaff and I and our EVE corp went off to Middle-earth and indulged in a summer of Lord of the Rings Online.

Always the same tale

Always the same tale

Then, when that was wrapping up… I was on the far side of Moria and the rest of the corp had wandered off… my daughter wanted to go back and play World of Warcraft.  So that was declared the Fall nostalgia run… for specific definitions of nostalgia in any case.

Riding to Adventure!

Riding to Adventure!

That ended up turning into the destination for the instance group, so it became more current and less nostalgia.  Still, I think I managed this one.

Goal achieved.

8- Blog Stuff

My goal here was pretty much to stay the course… which isn’t really much of a goal.  It is like riding a bicycle and making your goal “continue to pedal.”  334 posts later, I think we can confirm that I managed to carry on as always.

Goal achieved.

Scoring

So that was a meager eight goals, out of which I managed to achieve two.

And the two that I achieved were vague targets to do what I expected I would do in any case.  That certainly doesn’t reflect well on my ability to define a goal and achieve it.

I think that for my 2014 New Year’s post I am going to go back to predictions.  Those are more fun to discuss… I cannot resist throwing in some silly or outrageous ones… and more fun to review at the end of the year.  So look for that come January 1st.

NBI – To All The Guilds I’ve Loved Before…

Doone’s Permanent Floating New Blogger Initiative II has been up and running for a while now.  It has forums and goals and things to do and participants and all that.

Not the official logo

Not the official logo

And while I signed up as some sort of sponsor, I have so far completely failed to anything very sponsorly.

Of course, I was a bit glib the first time around as well.  In part that is because I have trouble swallowing some of the advice people throw out for bloggers.  And, also, because I have trouble taking myself seriously in this regard.  So while I came up with some bits and pieces of things that worked for me, my only real advice is to be the blog you want to read.  If you look at your blog and cannot answer the question, “Would I read this if it was written by some stranger?” then you might be doing it wrong.

Anyway, I thought it was about time to earn my so-called keep as a sponsor .  Doone has a couple of blogging activities for the month, including something called a “Talk Back Challenge” that appears to be an attempt get a few people tackling the same subject.  One of them happens to be about Guilds in MMOs.

Guilds: What For? What functions to guilds serve in games and what kind do you prefer? You can talk about your experiences in guilds, what attracts you to them, and their role in the games you play.

A broad enough topic, which has been taken on over at Casual Aggro, The Cynic Dialogs, and Away From Game.  And now at Inventory Full.

Rather than going about this by describing what I think guilds should be about and such, I thought I would do a bit of research to see what guilds I am still in (or which still influence me since I have left) and try, from that, to derive some indication as to what a guild appears to actually mean to me.

Because this is just a list of guilds with a few comments, I will hide this after a cut so as not to make the front page a mile long.

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Further Mutterings about MMO Revenue Models

A few years back, at the height of the housing boom, we decided to move.  We listed our house at the market price for our neighborhood, and the first day on the market we got an offer for roughly 60% of what we were asking.  Somebody sensed, as we all were beginning to at that point, that the bubble was going to burst soon, and wanted to know if we were desperate.

We were not, and actually sold the house for what we were asking a couple weeks later.  But there was no possibility that we were going to come to an arrangement with the person who made that first offer.  Their offer was so insultingly low that it made it completely unlikely to be able to negotiate any deal at all.

We have a garage sale at least once a year.  Often we have two, one in the spring and one in the fall.  Just the process of finding stuff to sell helps us keep the house clear of clutter, so that our home, with the exception of my office and my daughter’s room, feels clean, open, and spacious.

We tend to put out all manner of things on the driveway for sale.  I often have a pile of books that have made it into the category of “won’t read again” out on a table.  At one garage sale I had done a big purge and had 40+ paperbacks lined up, with the asking price was 25 cents each.  Cheap enough that anybody with an interest would pick them up, and it wouldn’t kill me if I decided to give a couple away to any kid who looked like they wanted to read one.  And, as always, quantity discounts are available.

A woman, who rolled up in an expensive car, offered me a dollar for all of the books, and then started gathering them up like it was a done deal.  A dollar turned out to be exactly the right price to start a fight.

In the cold logic of hindsight, it was just an offer I could freely reject.

In the reality and emotion of the moment, it was insulting.  I started with “no” and worked my way up to using them for kindling before I would sell her one at full cover price.  Her offer stayed at a dollar throughout, leavened with sneers and insults.  But we could have stopped after our first pass through offer and rejection, as no deal was possible after that point.  I cannot imagine she thought her negotiation technique was going to be effective.  It is always interesting to meet people who are worse at interpersonal relationships than I am.

What did those two little stories have to do with anything?  We’ll get to that.  First, a foundation of words needs to be built.

With the announcement that Rift is moving from the once traditional monthly subscription model to a cash shop driven free to play model, there have been the usual range of reactions, from feelings that no good will come of this to expressions of joy at the demise of yet another monthly subscription barrier to entry.  Some people really hate the subscription idea.

My own response is somewhere in between.

Good things will come of this change.  I know that.

More people will play Rift.  It won’t make it suddenly popular with people who wouldn’t play a fantasy MMORPG in the first place.  But people who wouldn’t otherwise commit to $15 a month will want to play.

An annoying amount of words, and some irrelevant pictures, after the cut:

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