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May 17, 2007



The browser-based aspect has to be a big factor in expanding the user base.


According to the TechCrunch post, a stumbling block for the proprietors of CP is that they donate a lot of their profits to charity and resist in-game advertising, and seem to worry that potential suitors may not be compatible with their values.

Don't these people know that we're in a boom? They're supposed to be building properties expressly for the purpose of attracting buyers, not to protect their communities and their personal visions! Sheesh. Of course, when you're making as much money as CP, it's probably a little easier to take a stand on these sorts of things.


/agrees w/ Mike very much.

Not that blue elves are bad, mind you, but I think we could do for as much healthy investment & competition in the cute & light MMO space as we have in the whack-a-rat EQ/WoW space. There's a very solid ROI here so I would hope investors are paying attention.

And, btw, lest anyone think CP doesn't give rise to fun virtual property-based social disputes, see this from Wired recently. :-)


Haha, that is a lot for a The Palace / Habbo remake.


Anyone who has talked to me or seen me at a conference lately knows that I don't consider this a fluke at all.

Club Penguin.
BarbieGirls (and Girlz and BeBratz soon)

I could go on and on. LOTRO and the like are tiny in comparison. In fact, most all MMOs are tiny is comparison. And on a territory-by-territory basis, these worlds are in the same league as WoW.

Heck, ToonTown, once seen as that neat experiment with the few tens of thousands, now counts MILLIONS of active users. All quite under the radar of the mainstream industry.


Millions of active users for Toontown, Raph? Are you falling into the trap of counting the (nearly meaningless) registration numbers as active users? Last I heard, ToonTown was doing well in the high tens of thousands of active users.

I'm not trying to take away anything from their success or significance, but we hit this here in early 2006 in "The Numbers Game": the (then) 40M members claimed by Habbo aren't the same as active users, much less paying users. I know you know this, but measuring "uniques" -- much less registrations -- for virtual world products that rely on recurring revenue of one sort or another can really bloat their apparent commercial success.

This is one reason why Sony is (rightly, IMO) concerned with churn in Club Penguin. Smaller MMOs don't need the huge numbers that higher-budget (first-generation) games do, but they do need to either hold on to customers/players for some time, or continually replenish their stock of players as existing ones rotate off. We haven't yet seen the sort of boom-and-bust cycle in MMOs that we have in social networking sites (e.g., Friendster, SixApart, Orkut, Multiply, and others that I've no doubt forgotten) but we could well begin to see this as the new generation matures, if they are unable to maintain customer loyalty in an increasingly crowded field.


No, I am not using registered users. I am using the monthly active uniques figure they gave out a few months ago.

I wrote at length about how to measure MMOs, if you recall -- I quite agree that registrations is not a useful figure.

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