[MUD-Dev] Attracting players

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Sun Sep 19 12:14:54 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Sat, 18 Sep 1999, Petri Virkkula wrote:

> 	While I was calculating BatMUD's statistics for first half of
> 	1999 I started thinking how to measure success of a mud. The
> 	thinking was triggered by the statistics report I wrote and
> 	that is also included below. My interpretation of our
> 	statistics was that our players play more that they used to
> 	be, but at the same time the player base smaller than it used
> 	to be.
> 
> 	The questions that I thought about (and almost sent to the
> 	list) were something like:
> 
> 	- is peak or average online players a good meter for a mud
> 	- which is better, growing peak player count or longer play times
> 	- is it enought that existing players like the mud, or should
> 	  we seek (actively) for new players

I've thought about this quite a bit too, though it's a bit different for
pay-muds. In my case, non-paying players are only useful insofar as they
contribute to the community being larger. So, I suppose I could decide how
successful Achaea was in terms of revenue, but then I have to ask myself
if the competence (or lack thereof) of our marketing and general business
development strategy should be counted in the success of the actual mud. I
guess it should, if you are using any sort of player-base as a term of
success. 

But do pure numbers or pure revenue equal success? For instance, take a
movie. What if a movie is incredibly well received (like, say, last year's
Hurly Burly with Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey and so on), but doesn't do that
well commercially? Is it a success? I'd certainly say so. So, perhaps
awards or top reviews from established gaming sites should count too. I
think though, that in the end, you can only measure the success of your
mud by your own terms. If your goal is to get a large player base, then
you are successful if you do that. If your goal is to get rich, and you do
that, then your mud is successful, etc.
--matt




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