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Numbers Analysis – SWTOR vs Rift vs WoW

Published by under Editorial on Feb. 24. 2011.

My main motivation behind this post is the fact that very soon official swtor.com forums will be hitting 1 million registered users. At the moment of this article being written the number of users is 999296 (you can check this by entering http://www.swtor.com/community/member.php?u=999296 and incrementing the number at the end until you get the message “Invalid User specified”). This made me wonder how does The Old Republic fair against the market leader, World of Warcraft, and a popular newcomer that is about to be released this week, Rift. Please note that all of these numbers do not necessarily mean anything, because we are looking at three products in different stages of their lifecycle and the numbers come from “unreliable” sources. They are unreliable because they depend on how active a company is on a certain social network. There are however some trends showing up that I just couldn’t look away from.
NOTE 1: The number of forum members is a bit tricky because just having a WoW account makes you a forum member. SWTOR forum member number is based on reading the URL and it is actually a number of created accounts and not active accounts. Rift is about to be released and I think their current forum number is based on preorders and not all of the people that purchased the game. I will revisit this in a month or so to see how the numbers changed.
NOTE 2: Included are alexa.com traffic rank stats as well. There is a problem with World of Warcraft traffic rank because prior to the release of Cataclysm expansion they moved their main community site from www.worldofwarcraft.com domain to battle.net domain. I am providing a graph of both these domains traffic ranks where you can clearly see the change in traffic rank for worldofwarcraft.com and battle.net. At the same time battle.net traffic rank also includes rank for other Blizzard games. That is why I chose WoW’s traffic rank prior to Cataclysm which was around 1000. Rift’s traffic rank drastically rose around beta time. Prior to that it was at around ~40.000.


  World of Warcraf Rift Star Wars The old Republic
Facebook Likes 1,145,267 138,228 253,228
Twitter Followers 113,224 15,244 28,473
No. Forum Users Unknown 179,055 999296 (estimate)
Alexa.com traffic rank ~1000 6,450 12,494

alexa.com traffic rank 6 month comparison


I wouldn’t want to draw any solid conclusion from this but The Old Republic is doing very good for a game that hasn’t even entered pure beta stage. It is already approximately two times as popular as Rift, which can be contributed to the awesome promotion Bioware has been doing and I think mostly thanks to the Deceived and Hope trailers. We’ll revisit these numbers in three weeks when Rift should be at its peak to see if choosing this particular moment had an effect on Rift’s numbers. I welcome all your comments on the subject and suggestions and interpretations.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Numbers Analysis – SWTOR vs Rift vs WoW”

  1. Tim Skijwalkeron 24 Feb 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Nice article!
    SWTOR is going for gold =D
    Thx for the nice number overview…. Really awesome =D
    (this is Not a really useful comment =P.. just wanted to thank you for posting ;D)

  2. Swtorcrafteron 04 Mar 2011 at 7:20 am

    I also appreciate the numbers inspection.

    I look forward to the revist of the rift numbers in note 1, that will be interesting to see. If you could get a hold of the number of physical copies bought in the first month, that would make it interesting to see indeed.

    that traffic ranking graph you got up there ( which is cool btw ) makes me wonder if swtor peaks and falls like it does due to the friday updates?

    Bioware has not missed a friday update in forever, it would make sense that the spikes we see might be the “anticipation traffic” looking for an update, and then they drop off until time for the next one? The consistency of which swtor holds through the month might be due to biowares tight update schedule they have kept?

    I have a personal opinion of how I think TOR will do, but I will hold my cards on making it public just yet. 😛

    nice article!