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The Secret World

The Secret World 

General Discussion  » Salient shortcomings from Oct 2011, why Funcom thought TSW was ready, and guesstimate player numbers.

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67 posts found

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/30/09
Posts: 1065

8/08/12 5:17:30 PM#41

I don't think Xfire is a good way to measure players for TSW, mainly because the xfire client wasn't correctly detecting TSW when it came out. It was aparently fixed with an update but reading the forums (if you have access to them, not sure whether only registered members can use it, search for xfire and go to the last page of results to see the ones at release) it was still glitchy, some people couldn't take screenshots with it, others didn't record the hours correctly, and others couldn't even launch the game with it running. That will skew the statistics, as we have no way to know how many people bothered to tweak around Xfire to keep it running, and how many just decided it wasn't worth the trouble and either uninstalled it or didn't run it when they played TSW.

An informal poll (that according to the poster didn't have enough votes for it to really be significant) put it at about 36% of responders that had Xfire working, 39% that "had to work for it" and 25% that plainly didn't work.

We'll have a better idea on the investor report that's due to come on august 28th, anyway.

Some threads about it:


What can men do against such reckless hate?


Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/09
Posts: 812

8/08/12 5:47:00 PM#42

Xfire is usually a good for looking at trends for games. I have used it for AoC and SWTOR to guesstimate the number of players and such. The thing is that you usually need at least one point of data to start the extrapolation to actual player numbers with any level of confidence. Anyway, Funcom said they would come with an update on the performance of the game on friday.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/30/11
Posts: 205

8/08/12 5:52:34 PM#43
Originally posted by Kuppa
Im sure we will know the numbers soon enough. The only real data from all of that post is that xfire users have been playing it less and that the general xfire population for TSW is very small. The other things are more so opinions.

Well, I'm just hoping that they made their decisions about TSW for themselves and not according to shareholders desires (which are for more money not better gaming experience for customers)...NOT a good sign that Funcom stock is down almost 20% after the shareholders meeting (1.58 points).


EDIT: some shareholders sold for just over 5 points, which was decently lower than fair market price at that point. And this is after AoC had some positives happening recently, too. I say points because I don't feel like searching for Norway's currency name if it is not the euro....(I also think of the US stock market in points too...go figure lol)


Novice Member

Joined: 4/22/04
Posts: 60

OP  8/08/12 6:02:35 PM#44
Good discussions. I will update on or after Aug 28th after Funcom posts it's Quarter 3. Up until then your spectulation is as good as mine. I tried to backup my reasoning with things I've noticed so see you guys in a few weeks. 

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10959

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

8/08/12 6:16:56 PM#45
The op was fine until the poster veared off into silliville with Xfire numbers. I don't understand how people can approach things in a well thought out manner, and then use Xfire numbers for anything.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/30/11
Posts: 205

8/08/12 9:04:44 PM#46

This is interesting too:

Losing that much money on their bottom line (16.3 mill)  means that they needed to sell 280,000 copies of TSW (just to make up last years cost), then include this year's costs, probably closer to 350,000 copies needed to break even. They probably need around 750,000 subs between their games to stay a viable company and continue to make games (which they should have close to that with TSW subs). Just wanted to illustrate just how important every sub in TSW is to them (especially for the first 2 years after release).

On the reverves, Acti/Blizz is:

Hundreds of millions gain in their bottom line, even with production costs from new games.  And other bigger conglomerates (NCSoft, EA, etc) have even larger bottom lines.

As surprising as it might be to the general public, if TSW were to go bottom up (as SWTOR kind of has), they would probably be bought out or go bust. Again, I highly doubt this would happen, BUT with economies the way they are you never know...just giving warning :P


EDIT: Hadn't looked at the slide show before...apparently I wasn't far off with the 750,000 subs overall XD Thought more than 280,000 still played AoC though. Regardless, FUNCOM NV stock and the financials on the 28th will be telling for the furture :)


Novice Member

Joined: 10/28/11
Posts: 272

8/09/12 1:42:15 AM#47
Thank you for your work on the topic, OP. You hardly get appreciated for that. Good guesswork and sound logic.

Novice Member

Joined: 2/02/05
Posts: 389

8/09/12 1:01:02 PM#48
Originally posted by Orphes
Originally posted by jdnyc
Originally posted by Orphes

EVE Online perhaps started with a 250 subs and have grown to a bit over 300 000. (Notice the lack of k for kilo.)


Still why not move past the constant fixation at the tits, errr, subscription numbers.

k = 1000 no?  so 250 x 1000 would be 250,000 no?

EvE has 400k or 400,000 subs. 

As for the fixation, my post is response to the OP of this thread.  I honestly don't care about subs as long as I have friends to play with, which I always do.  I'm lucky that way.

Perhaps it is 400 000.

But the point being is that they grew from alot lower population than 250 000, saying 250  is an exegeration of course.

The lack of kilo was intentional and made overly obvious by me pointing it out. To really make it clear that I was not talking about 250 000 but 250 as in two hundred and fifty.

They grew their sub base from two five zero as in 249+1 customers up to 400,000 customers? YOu know that's kinda sorta impressive actually



Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10959

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

8/09/12 1:18:52 PM#49

If Funcom actually thought they would have one million people on day one, wouldn't they have spun up more servers than they did on day one? It seems like they brought up enough servers for the population they got, whatever that population was.

It seems likely to me that their financial statements were crafted to make sure the financial status of the company remained 'OK', and not crafted as a prediction of the subs they would get. It seems even more likely to me that the people crafting the financials were a separate bunch of people from the people who needed to know how many people would show up on day one.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/02/12
Posts: 107

8/09/12 1:23:16 PM#50
I don t see what you Are trying to achieve OP? Discredit the game? Discredit
You obviously one of them shady investors trying to Get people not to buy the game so that you can make money on the company going down ? Shame on you

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 20125

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

8/09/12 1:48:57 PM#51
Originally posted by Deleted User
Originally posted by Pale_Fire
Originally posted by Abor
Originally posted by Pale_Fire

I'm only going to focus on a few points in your "analyis".

1. XFire.  Using XFire is a blind guess.  Period.  Most people realize this by now.  I'm not saying that the conclusion is wrong, but XFire is not gonna prove anything.

2.  Your quote, "Yet the game is falling short even on that predictor. Moreover the only relatively postive review of TSW comes from MMORPG which also just so happens to have an ingame item you can redeem."  You didn't really do much homework on this, apparently.  Metacritic identifies 22 reviews ranked as positive.  You state MMORPG has the only relatively positive review.  That is patently false.  Yes, there are mediocre scores and several poor scores, but more positive than mediocre and negative combine.   It should be noted that the aggregate gamer score is 8.4.

Much of this is pure conjecture based on questionable "evidence".  No one is going to know anything about subscription numbers or the games success until they release the numbers in a quarterly or annual report.

Any credibility you would have had is pretty much destroyed by your comments I touched on in item 2.  If you can't be trusted to get that simple piece correct, why should I trust any of your other conclusions?

Every launch of every game has the same conspiracy theorists and doomsayers.  Give it a rest and let people play the games they enjoy.

You're right. But considering this is a forum for informing people about MMORPGs anyone who might be interested in my post can read it. Just like how you're free to not read it. For your cirticism regarding naysayers about games you enjoy, if you enjoy them, don't worry too much about other people's opinions or make a post yourself to tout how awesome it is. 

What concerns me is when people post information that is factually untrue.  Which, by the way, has been brought up by myself and several other posters. 

Why do you not provide a reason for the incorrect information you posted regarding the number of positive reviews for TSW?

Do you not believe that damages the credibility of the rest of your commentary?

If you cannot post factual information about an item in your post that is quite easily verifiable, were you mistaken or dishonest? 

Regardless, why should anyone trust the rest of your analysis if you can't get that one simple piece correct?

First of all there is NEVER any credibility on these forums by any think otherwise is crazy

Secondly anyone who spends this much time and tries this hard to sway peoples opinion has obvious motives.  In fact i can only think of one poster who has a serious issue with all of funcoms games who takes this amount of effort...and he went missing a few weeks ago...same writing style and same try-hard approach.

Finally...the goal isnt to be factual, it isnt togain credibility...the goal is to turn every positive thread into an unrelated argument while flooding the forum with negative titled reviews and topics.  


I have no doubt that this game would not only piss off a lot of gamers, but also draw a lot of people looking for revenge on funcom for "bweaking their wittle hawts" over the aoc launch.  Game was set as something that would appeal to a niche crowd and they did just that.  I honetly could care less if the game never grew from this point on as the community is fantastic, and the more corwded the game the less enjoyable the community is with a 100% accuracy. 


Honestly, i was warned by my roomates about this website, its a fantastic site if your jaded or hate just about any launched game, if your someone with a elvel head who can enjoy just about any game this site and its community drive you mad.

Its really become more of a political site than a gaming site.  People act like games are political parties, hence you see the types of tactics you would expect on a political site during an election year.

I really feel bad for unwitting gamers who may come across this site who would get the impression that the only decent and playable game is one that hasnt been launched yet...since this site only likes games before they come out...which i find beyond comical.

Anyway i think its time for me to stop with this site, its just not a site thats tolerant of people who LIKE mmorpgs.  I know...i was somewhat recently accused as being a paid poster and then immediately banned and all my posts deleted...the posters called me scum and those guys are still posting. Should have taken that as my first warning this site certainly isnt for mmorpg fans like its URL would suggest.

Score, another "victim" in the FFA PVP forum wars.    Who gets credit on the killboard?

I've seen some estimates where Funcom seems to believe they'll do far better in holding subs with TSW than AOC did, somewhere in the neighborhood of 500K.

That seems unrealistic, since that pretty much would be in excess of every P2P title in the past 8 years with the exception of WOW of course.

Perhaps they think they'll carve out a loyal niche of players, much like EVE does, and while I'm currently playing TSW and enjoying it, I don't see it as a long term game due to the lack of open content that a sandbox style title like EVE has.

I suspect TSW will settle in the normal niche of around 150-250K subs until they decide to flip it to a more F2P model much like they did with AOC.

Heck, this game is designed to go F2P from the start, the conversion will be easy.


In my day MMORPG's were sooooo hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow....uphill both ways.
Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon


Advanced Member

Joined: 6/27/12
Posts: 500

8/09/12 2:20:26 PM#52

Is this the I am going to keep posting negative crap because the game didn't fail like we wanted so we will keep flooding the forums with negative posts to make it look bad support group?



Novice Member

Joined: 4/22/04
Posts: 60

OP  8/10/12 2:37:03 AM#53
Originally posted by TalulaRose

Is this the I am going to keep posting negative crap because the game didn't fail like we wanted so we will keep flooding the forums with negative posts to make it look bad support group?


No, I am disappointed Funcom released another AoC when it should have learned its lesson and turned itself around. 


Here is an internal meeting note this week from Funcom.

And yes I do think the user reviews are extremely biased.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 4561

8/10/12 2:50:05 AM#54
Originally posted by Abor
Originally posted by TalulaRose

Is this the I am going to keep posting negative crap because the game didn't fail like we wanted so we will keep flooding the forums with negative posts to make it look bad support group?


No, I am disappointed Funcom released another AoC when it should have learned its lesson and turned itself around. 


Here is an internal meeting note this week from Funcom.

And yes I do think the user reviews are extremely biased.

Sure on release AOC had tons of bugs but ti turned into one of the better themepark games on the market. Problem is Funcom expected WOW numbers of subs and it was never gonna happen.


TSW is nothing like AOC it was one of the most stable MMORPGs releases I have been a part of and this time around they are not pushing for WOW numbers of subs.. I am guessing the have seen what happens if a company tries to base their earning on what if we ahd wow numbers..

This time around they have realised on general MMORPGs have sub numbers of around 250k-500k max and that wow is a one off... this is reflected in the amount of servers they brought up to start with, they then added another server when they sold more copies then they expected.


I think they are doing just fine with TSW


Novice Member

Joined: 9/24/10
Posts: 3448

The problem with censorship is ********

8/10/12 10:41:46 AM#55
Originally posted by bcbully
Originally posted by colddog04
Wasn't Bcbully saying August 8th was the day they will announce 750,000 subscriptions?

28th I think it is.


600-750k yeah that's what I think.

Now we know its well under that number:


Novice Member

Joined: 4/02/12
Posts: 1006

8/10/12 10:46:10 AM#56
Originally posted by bcbully
Originally posted by colddog04
Wasn't Bcbully saying August 8th was the day they will announce 750,000 subscriptions?

28th I think it is.


600-750k yeah that's what I think.

Your guess appears to have been a bit off.

"Loading screens" are not "instances".
Your personal efforts to troll any game will not, in fact, impact the success or failure of said game.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/09/04
Posts: 793

Your tears make my gun work better.

8/10/12 10:54:23 AM#57

what is your point?  Honestly are you typing just because you like to see the words?  The servers are busy, they have opened new ones, and all your concerns have been beaten to death since BETA.  So, again, I ask; WTF is your point?


If you want a new idea, go read an old book.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10959

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

8/10/12 11:03:13 AM#58

Originally posted by Abor

Originally posted by TalulaRose Is this the I am going to keep posting negative crap because the game didn't fail like we wanted so we will keep flooding the forums with negative posts to make it look bad support group?  
No, I am disappointed Funcom released another AoC when it should have learned its lesson and turned itself around. 

Here is an internal meeting note this week from Funcom.

And yes I do think the user reviews are extremely biased.

I played AoC. TSW is no AoC. It is better by a wide margin. Had AoC released as TSW did, it would have been a successful game. TSW may have issues, but being like AoC isn't one of them.

Of course user reviews are biased. Advertising and explaining your bias is the point of a user review. If user reviews are positive, it's because people who played the game liked the game.

The professional reviewers though, they didn't like the game nearly as much as the players. Funcom is attributing the lack of success to those reviews, and I suppose I could see that. I don't know how true that is, but it strikes me as possible. The game isn't all that approachable and the reviews of the game are going to be the initial contact a lot of people have with the game. If the professional reviews aren't favorable, it's going to turn people away.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/22/04
Posts: 60

OP  8/10/12 12:24:19 PM#59

I agree the Metacritic score is not a viable indicator of game success.

That being said I'm tired of the vitrol some of the TSW players are spewing after reading my opinion. I don't think I bashed the game but tried to delineate my reasoning for why I believe the game is not doing as well in it's current state. Granted if you disagree with that statement, good for you. 

But it's only by addressing these concerns will Funcom be able to make a viable and enjoyable game. Pretending these things don't exist or dismissing them will only shortchange the game. It's like the abused spouse who doesn't want to file assault charges against the husband; nothing is going to change if you don't own up to what is wrong. 

I'd like to point out that prior to the Funcom update people playing TSW would have one of these rebuttals at their disposal:

1. The OP is an idiot and his opinion is of no value. He doesn't know what the hell he's talking about because TSW is great, save for minor shortcomings.

2. Everyone who doesn't like TSW is a skill-less WoW amateur who can't handle its complexity. 

3. You finished all the content? Well you have no life and TSW is a casual game you play 1-2 hours a day! You're a loser.

4. Your complaint about the game is not valid because it's a new game and thus acceptable to have *insert issue*.

5. I really like TSW so whatever you say, even if it's a legitimate issue, I will dismiss and attack you, OP, to discredit your opinion because I am very defensive about this game I enjoy so much that you may not have enjoyed as much. 

6. The reviews are based on the beta, the reviewers aggregated bad information. 

The aforementioned can be reduced to logical fallacy. Moreover other rebuttals can fit into this list as well. Keep that in mind before you start attacking people who disagree with you.

The game is similar to AoC in regards to Funcom's ability to retain user interest and keep subscription levels high. The fervent fanbase has been proven misinformed after yesterday's update. I'd really love to know how accurate my guesstimation is.

Why is this happening? Because the game is not as polished as it should be. The aggregate review sites have simply said the same things over and over again. Lackluster combat, less polished zones after Kingsmouth, lack of end game content and terrible PvP.

The reasons why the game simply isn't retaining that many subscribers is because Funcom didn't spend more time burnishing their game and rushed to release when beta feedback seemed favorable. My entire post was based on the fact that Funcom misread player metrics and released a game before it was actually complete. The ~70 metacritic score, as terrible as an indicator as it is, reflects the state of the game at release. It is simply unfinished!

If in 3-6 months the game gets patched, things get solved and the game was released, do you understand that Funcom could have and most probably would have been able to retain much more of the playerbase it saw the first week after launch? And if this is indeed the scenario, this is exactly what happened to AoC; the game had a lot of hype, Funcom didn't deliver, 6 months later the game apparently was awesome but no one wanted to try again.

That's sad and when it happened to Funcom once, you fogive and forget, if it happens a second time, there must be something wrong at Funcom for them to repeat it a second time. I played beta and I honestly wasn't very impressed. Thus the reviews didn't surprise me. What did surprise me was the handful of extremely positive reviews. I really wanted to see what those players were talking about. But after a formidible amount of reading I realized that some of those people are enjoying their honeymoon period. Other's simply click with the game; much like how that annoying girl with the bad personlity is able to find at least a few guy who like her (simply a metaphor, refrain from overanalysis). The official forums are rife with displeasure after the rose-colored glasses come off while the xfire graph continue its steady decline.

Lastly the 280k scenario still had a profit margin of 43%. Thus TSW needs a playerbase of ~190k to break even. I think that is entirely possible as long as the patches and improvements keep coming. And if you think TSW is better without these players you're simply wrong, the game needs their subscriptions to keep development on track and bolster developer moral. I empathize with how the development team must feel; to put so much effort into a game and realize it's not doing as well as you'd hoped and then wonder what went wrong. 



  User Deleted
8/11/12 7:40:55 AM#60
Originally posted by Abor

Lastly if we look at Xfire statistics we can see a general trend in the player population which, unsurprisingly, correlates and corroborates peoples' experiences posted on both the official and non-official forums. The small sample size of xfire users playing TSW can be used to extropolate the general population numbers of the game. The same statistical manipulations are done when a 200 people phone call survey can be extrapolated to determine the general voting trends of a district +/- margins of error. 

One can see playtime is high at release which gradually diminishes. Based on that trend it was in Funcom's best interest to put on a free weekend to try to reverse the decline. But although the free weekend did enable a lot of people to try the game, the general trend continues. There is no reason to put on a free weekend when the last free-play time was less than 6 weeks prior, other than to reverse declining sales, subscription numbers, and waning interest. Once you release a new game, you've got to capitalize on the first wave as successive waves will always be less dramatic. 
Lastly I'll attempt a little fuzzy math to try to guesstimate the current TSW subscription population.
Xfire Stats for WoW = 11,382 players per day
SW:TOR = 1,416
TSW = 542
The current number of WoW worldwide is at 9.1 million subscribers as of Aug 2012, of which they stated most losses were from Asia.
Based on's 2010 data, I'll guesstimate the current NA/Europe WoW numbers are around 4.9 million out of the total 9.1 million. I'll also assume that most Asian WoW players will not be using Xfire, thereby eliminating them from the calculation.
4,900,000/11,382 = 430.5 players are represented by one xfire user. 
Given this SW:TOR = 1,416 x 430.5 = 609,594 SW:TOR users.
We know SW:TOR has dipped below 1 million, but they have not given us the exact number. However we also know they stated in their earnings report that they were well above 500,000. So 600,000 is probably in the ballpark. Looking at the graphs from MMOData we might infer that general MMORPG numbers seem to logarithimcally increase upwards at release, then gradual tapering decline after an apex point. Based on that observation one can infer that SW:TOR West is hovering around 600-700k subscriptions, which is in the ballpark figure mentioned above. If another point was drawn on their graph for mid 2012, it would probably hover around these numbers. A more accruate estimate would be a line of best fit through multiple data points.  
TSW = 542 x 430.5 = 233,331. This could be a good reflection of the actual number of players playing. If you look back at Funcom's Q2 2012 Presentation you can see they wanted 490k subscribers but were prepared for a lackluster launch similar to AoC's. The AoC scenario outlined states 280k average subscriptions with a profit margin of 43%. 

Statistics can handle small surveys (usually 1000 or 2000 people) because they select people at random. Xfire isn't selecting players at random, and the only thing it gives is a representation of the average xfire user. 


The way you handle data reminds me of a lecturer saying: Crap in, Crap out



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