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The Free Zone: Metrics with Matt Mihaly

Posted Aug 03, 2009 by Dana Massey

The Free Zone: Metrics with Matt Mihaly

This week, Richard Aihoshi brings in some expert advice and talks to Matt Mihaly, CEO of Sparkplay Media, about metrics and MMOs.

One thing he pointed out is that measurements can be tricky, especially when used for comparisons, since numbers may not be "apples to apples" even when they appear so. They're more similar in the subscription realm, but even then, there's a huge anomaly in that more than half of the 11 million or so World of Warcraft "subscribers", the ones in the Far East, pay via methods other than monthly fees. Still, despite this and the need to estimate a factor for multiple accounts, we can gauge popularity and revenue within ranges of doubt that aren't as wide as those for F2Ps.

In the latter area, Matt seems to agree with me that registration figures alones aren't particularly meaningful. In fact, he goes so far as to say they're "useless" without proper context in which to evaluate them. "If they were achieved by large marketing spends, then so what? They don't measure anything but the effectiveness and size of those programs. One can buy registrations for $2-$3 apiece. That says nothing about a game or its players. Though I admire Free Realms, this is exactly how it has neared five million registrations so quickly."

Read it all here.


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