Friday, May 14, 2010

Things the NPD MMO poll wanted to tell us..but we're afraid to ask.

Big ole title, for some big ole fun.

Recently released, Massively has the info on a poll by the NPD group. Basically the poll is a piece of a larger puzzle of MMO players and their likes (or dislikes). You can check the info here [SOURCE].

The poll is very specific and toward a certain group of players. As noted, the poll is called "What former World of Warcraft Players are Currently Playing". The sample size is rated at 19,000 players. This makes me wonder just how many were polled that were FORMER players (is that 1%, 10%, of actual size of former, etc.), and many other numbers come to mind. We at least know 68% were Male and the age group.

But, there is a lot that is not noted in the article, and I wish to help YOU, my informed readers know what the poll is REALLY telling us (than just what this select group is playing NOW).
  • A Large group were once Final Fantasy XI players (thus the reasoning for the title being so high on the list, as most will go back to what they are familiar with)
  • The noted need for something else to be either CHEAP or FREE (Runescape, Guild Wars, DDO, Toontown)
  • A large number of boys like their Super Heroes (Both Champions Online and City of Heroes/Villains make showings on that list)
  • EvE ranks lower on this list, and helps with the debate I constantly have that Sci-Fi just does not rank highly for MMO players, and Fantasy is king (SWG is at the bottom there...but that is more likely a case of a bad game)
  • Why is Everquest 2 not on there at all? (either it is usually these players skew older (search Google for "average age of everquest 2 player" get 31+), or no one really likes the game like some want to believe)
  • Maybe PvP does NOT sit well with MMO players, like many wish to believe? (Aion, WAR, EVE and DAoC ranking so low)
  • Dangit people...upgrade your COMPUTERS already... Calculators and Toasters do not good PC's make (Runescape, GW, Second Life, Treasure Hunt, Toontown and more)
  • These players are easily entertained with Cartoony Games (playing WoW, Disney Toontown, Champions, Pirates of the Caribbean, Treasure Hunt)
  • A dedicated group of players want some naughtiness to their game (Second Life and AoC having high showings)
I may have missed some, but these are the main points I pulled from this report. Do you have any specific data YOU can pull from this report? Let me know.

PS: This is still part of the fun of analytics, and as such, this is truly in jest...but, you gotta admit, there is a lot there that makes sense. So...enjoy and comment away.


Spinks said...

The comment that leaps out for me is 'what about those people who arent' currently playing a MMO any more?

Also I'd be really surprised if the same number of people were playing Aion as DaoC (I don't know anyone playing DaoC any more).

Longasc said...

As you already stated, the survey was about what *former* WoW players now play.

EQ1/2 totally missing could be explained this way: Tons of WoW designers were addict EQ players and raiders, and the game is basically EQ in a Warcraft setting.

So if those players stop playing WoW, they are probably looking for something else and not something very similar.

The sudden popularity of DDO amazes me. Sure, they went F2P, had tons of good press and the business model fits the game perfectly.

But "playing" DDO is perhaps overstating what people do. My friends quit DDO because it was not worth a sub to them, because they only occasionally played a dungeon now and then. This was in the months after the release of the game.

With this playstyle you can easily play several F2P games at the same time, unlike WoW where just doing your dailies probably takes about as long as a dungeon run in DDO.

I also think people no longer have this "I want to be able to solo a MMO!" desire that was one of the driving factors of the success of WoW.

WoW itself was it that told them that only the raid and dungeon endgame counts, so the new mantra became GROUP+RAID. And to allow everyone to participate, raids and dungeons became ever easier and shorter. Compare Blackrock Depths or Caverns of Wailing to the new WOTLK dungeons, that's a totally different design.

DDO delivers that. Group Dungeons/Quests in personal instances - which were interestingly once the prime reason to bash DDO, "it is all instanced, boo!"

GW1 is doing very well after all these years without any release, I think Guild Wars 2 will profit immensely from the new desire to cooperate. The dynamic events and open grouping might become the next big thing.

Scarybooster said...

Sounds like they polled 10 yEar olds.

MrAnderson said...

After re-reading the article this afternoon, I noticed a bit I missed the first time and wanted to quote a bit of it for clarity.

"They surveyed nearly 19,000 gamers of all ages in January of this year, looking at every aspect from hours played per week to what former WoW fans are currently playing."

So the survey was not just former WoW players. Sure, that was one aspect of the survey and the aspect the image referenced as well as what the last section of article was about. Though there was other information in the article, about overall MMO play. I wish we had more information on those results but here was the article said:

"Now that we know who we're looking at, what are they playing and how? Unsurprisingly, WoW is king: the game has held the top spot in the "MMOs currently playing" section since the January 2008 survey. It's not a small lead either: 30% of the participants are currently playing WoW, with RuneScape holding the number two spot at 10%. The next spot, however, is where the numbers start to get interesting. In 2008 and 2009, Guild Wars held easily to the third position with 7% while DDO languished somewhere below Disney's Toontown Online at 4%. As of this January, Guild Wars held steady with that number, but DDO doubled its numbers and took over the number three spot. "

Dickie said...

So I feel the need to reiterate what MrAnderson stated, although a bit differently: This was a broad-scale study of Online Gamers. Not just former WoW players. There were also a VERY large amount of questions that we won't see at all.

NPD is a professional market research firm. As someone that went to school for market research and worked in the field for a few years (not enough money in it until you get to the top), I can safely say that this one question was released a s a teaser. It's information that grabs the eye, but there is FAR more interesting information likely buried in the study. We, the avergae joe, will not see that information because NPD will be selling that to major corporations to help them plan business strategy.

Further, this one question doesnt even fully answer itself. There are more likely several other questions that when crossed with this one provides a more interesting and in depth look at the audience.

So, that said, the points Openedge1 makes are a bit premature. They may all be true, but we don't know unless we see the rest of the study. It is interesting to not some of the obvious trends they pointed out, namely that contrary to belief on hard core gaming blogs, F2P MMOs are on the rise in public opinion.

EQ2 not being on the list probably has a lot to do with what others have said: It is similar to WoW. Not exactly same, but in the mind of the average WoW player, I would venture to guess that they perceive EQ2 to be a knock-off.

Dickie said...

Sorry, just an additional quick post so i can subscribe to the comment feed... nothing new to see here ;)

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about how people may have moved on from eq1/eq2 to WoW, and then just did not want to go back. *shrugs*

Other than that, good post dude.