[MUD-DEV] a shrinking pool of players?

Sellers Sellers
Tue Feb 15 17:55:04 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


Johan wrote:
> On Tuesday, February 15, 2000 11:56 PM, Mike Sellers wrote:
> 
> > Or they
> > could all be cannibalizing off of the same shrinking pool 
> of players.
> 
> I see this point referred to time and time again: a shrinking pool of
> players. Is this
> list absolutely convinced that the pool is shrinking, because (and I may
> very well be wrong), to me the sums just don't add up. Ten years ago, for
> example, we had what, 100 muds or so, with 100-300 patrons at peak times.
> Now we have 3,000+. Sure, a lot of muds have a  negligable playerbase, but
> even of these, most seem to manage 10-20 at peak times, with the top 5-10%
> making 100-300 - do the sums, they speak for themselves.

Are you assuming that each of those are unique players?  Many of the more
active players maintain a presence on several muds at once, it seems.  I
don't know what the size of the active mudding population is, but I'd bet
it's between 10,000 and 200,000 at the extreme high end.  Probably around
50K.  Just a gross estimate, but I've run these numbers before and I think
we tend to overestimate them.  

And yeah, I think the number of people actively playing text muds is
probably shrinking.  I think this is the last echo of what happened to the
paper-game industry in the 1980s and early 1990s.  Too bad too. (FWIW, one
of my pipedreams along these lines is to put out paper RPG
systems/supplements as a labor of love, without worrying about turning a
profit, as that's almost impossible to do these days in that part of the
industry.  Who knows, maybe someday...)

Mike Sellers



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