[MUD-DEV] a shrinking pool of players?

Sellers Sellers
Wed Feb 16 07:17:51 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


JC wrote:
> My own poorly educated guess for ##1 [number of players of graphical MUDs]
is 
> somewhere approaching 200K players.  

Just from what I see of the industry, I'd say that's not far off but maybe a
bit low.  There is a real question here though: if the number of people is
200K or 300K or 400K... eventually you hit a saturation point where there
are too many games and not enough players.  Will the market keep growing to
support the majority of commercial MMPOGs being developed now?  That's a
big, big question.  

> For #2 I suspect (sucked out of my thumb) that actual size of the
> player base has grown in recent years, but that the churn rate is
> massively higher than it used to be, and that players are, by the
> percentages, much more fickle than they used to be.
> 
>   -- Text MUD players don't play as much or for as long as they used
>      to, and the total length of a MUD player's life is shorter
>      (they cease playing MUDs sooner).
> 
>   -- They carry significantly less attachment to the games they play
> 
> Translation: The pyramid is much broader and the bottom is violently
> churning with players coming and leaving.  The pyramid used to be
> taller and narrower, of less total volume, but also of greater
> _apparent_ stability.

I think this is reasonable.  Whether there are actually more or fewer people
today playing MUDs than say five or ten years ago is anyone's guess, but
just given the increase in number of people online it would seem to be
larger... but maybe not.  And I think the rest of what you say, about the
broader, more unstable pyramid, is definitely true.

Mike Sellers



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