[MUD-Dev] Text Muds vs Graphical Muds

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Thu Jun 20 20:51:22 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Thu, 20 Jun 2002, Richard A. Bartle wrote:
> On 19th June, 2002, Matt Mihaly wrote:
>> The Mudconnector, for instance, registers around 125k unique
>> users a month.  Not everybody in the MUD community uses it, but
>> being extremely optimistic about the size of the market, maybe
>> 1/3 do. That's an extremely optimistic estimate of 375k text MUD
>> users.
> The Mud Connector is for people who are looking to change MUDs. It
> isn't for people who are happy with the MUD they're playing.

Actually, they have a reasonably active newsgroup discussion system
set up. It's of predictably low quality, but there seem to be quite
a few posts.

> Do you believe a third of the players of your MUD use the
> Mudconnector every month? I'm pretty sure hardly any of mine do.

Very informally, I asked a few players at random how often they
visit Mudconnector. Most of them said somewhere around once every
two months.

Just think about the numbers though. Let's say there are 2000 text
MUDs. Mudconnector doesn't list every text MUD out there, but the
only text MUDs I'm aware of that aren't listed that would add a
significant amount of players would be the Simutronics games.

Of the 2000 MUDs listed on there, 21 are listed as having an average
of more than 100 players online at once. I know for a fact some of
those are lies, and that a couple MUDs that probably do have that
many aren't listed as having that many. Let's just use 25 though, to
be generous. Expand the search to look for MUDs with over 50 players
online, and you only add 5 MUDs.

Let's say those 26 MUDs average 125 players online (very rough
figures here obviously). Let's use a reasonable figure and say that
represents 15% of their active playerbase. We'll be good and
generous and say that's 1000 unique players (not characters) for
each of those MUDs.

Now search for MUDs with under 10 players online. 889 listings. So,
let's again be really generous, and say that they all have 10
players online on average (most of them don't of course). Again,
using the 15% rule, that gives them a playerbase of about 70.  70 *
889, or 62000.

That's less than 100k so far. There's 121 muds listed with average
players online of 25-49. Let's again assume the best, and say they
all have 49 online, on average, giving them rough playerbases of 325
people. So add another 30k players.

Finally, there are 420 MUDs listed as having between 10 and 24
players. We'll assume 24 for all of them, giving them playerbases of
about 160. Add on another 67,000 players.

So then, we've got about 200k players so far, using assumptions that
are unrealistically generous to begin with, and assume no audience
crossover. Let's say there's another 200k text MUDers hiding out
there....somewhere...god knows where though...and that gives us
400k, which is about what my estimate of 375k was based on
Mudconnector traffic.

So what I'm asking is what are you basing your estimation of the
size of the market on? All anecdotal evidence, and all statistical
evidence that I've seen, points to the market being smaller than
375k players, actually.

Anecdotally, Achaea and Aetolia are hosted on Wolfpaw Services,
which hosts about 120 MUDs. They tell us that we use more bandwidth
than the other 118 combined. For every MUD with large (for text MUD)
playerbases, there are a ton that have almost no players.


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