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|
|No. Forum Users||Unknown||179,055||999296 (estimate)|
|Alexa.com traffic rank||~1000||6,450||12,494|
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.
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