Archive for November 12, 2008

City of Heroes/Villains – need more valuable players?

November 12, 2008 2 comments

Today NCSoft released their quarterly earnings for the 3rd quarter 2008. It has become a habit to have a look at these numbers and try to figure out some trends from it. For this occasion I took a look at City of Heroes/Villains.

Ever since Cryptic Studios sold off their part of City of Heroes/Villains to NCSoft there has been some accouncements about NCSoft hiring more people for development, various changes being made to the game etc.

Has that shown in the numbers for the game? During 2008 the sales of the game has indeed increased, although not in huge amounts. But the average increase per month in the 3rd quarter from what they earned in the 1st quarter means about 150K Euro/month, which probably is more than enough to cover the increased salaries of 15-20 new employees.

However, when one takes a look at the operating metrics for the game, there seems to be a different story. The amount of players accessing the game during a month and the peak number of concurrent users were at its lowest values in years, it seems.

If we make the assumption that all players that accessed the game in a month (about 125000) are paying subscribers (probably wrong) then a bit of calculation gives that those players paid on average 9,80 Euro per month. This is less than the monthly fee in both Europe and in the US. From that one can guess that a number of these 125000 players are actually free trial players and that actual subscribers might be fewer.

Still, since they earn more money and seem to have fewer people accessing the game they are perhaps earning more money for each subscribing player they have. A part for that reasom may of course be the increased about of stuff you can buy related to the game, e.g. costume sets, additional character slots etc.

So even though the game potentially are loosing people that play regularly, those who actually stick around with the game might be seeing a better game for them, since they are becoming more valuable for NCSoft.

Categories: City of Heroes