SiliconANGLE: Free Realms Hits 20M Registered Users

Posted by | October 21, 2011

free-realmsIt looks like Sony Online’s Free Realms is doing really well for itself, recently, they’ve hit 20M registered users. According to Kit Dotson over at SiliconANGLE, though, this doesn’t say very much about the overall health of the MMO game:

This may be a wonderful milestone, but it’s still not as useful as the monthly user count. The reason is because Free Realms happens to be a free-to-play MMO, which means that users can fire-and-forget their accounts and it will build their registered user base. Subscription-based MMOs, such as World of Warcraft and RIFT both continue to charge participants whether they play the game or not (thus generating revenue even if players do not participate that month.) Free-to-play MMOs depend instead on users purchasing from their virtual item shops.

As a result, while 20 million registered users sounds extremely daunting, how many of those users are active during a month would probably be a better indicator.

Of course, we agree, when it comes to free-to-play games it’s the monthly active users that really shows the overall trend of how well the game is doing. Attracting new players is extremely important; but if there’s a gigantic amount of churn, and nobody sticking around to use the cash shop.

Well, that’s a slow boat to a quick death.

Link, via SiliconANGLE.


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