Brand Loyalty (was Re: [MUD-Dev] Requirements for MM (wasComplexities of MMOG Servers))

Dave Rickey daver at
Wed Jan 1 00:02:30 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

From: "Dubious Advocate" <dubiousadvocate at>
> From: "Dave Rickey" <daver at>
>> From: "Amanda Walker" <amanda at>
>>> On 12/17/02 11:45 PM, Dubious Advocate
>>> <dubiousadvocate at> wrote:

>> I have to second this, if anything, players show a fanatical
>> degree of loyalty to their game of choice.  Sure, there's a
>> percentage that is waiting to bolt to the next alternative that
>> seems viable, but it's fairly small (no more than 15%, as near as
>> I can guess).

> What you're asserting is an 85% retention rate.  85% of all people
> who looked into your product were converted to and retained as
> customers?  Or is there a missing set of percentages that we
> should also take into account?

> That's the danger of relying on an operative phrase of "game of
> choice".  Customers who have not been shed off maybe "fanatically
> loyal", but that ignores the larger population that left for other
> reasons.  Brand loyalty is not equivalent to fanatical loyalty.

What I am saying is that the number of players prepared to give up
their current game and go to a new one seems to be no more than 15%,
no matter how good the new game is or bad the old.  That's based on
evidence from UO, EQ, and AC, nothing has yet had any measurable
impact on DAoC subscription levels (I've been watching for it).

Conversion rates run around 65-75% (new accounts to subscribers).
Long term churn after the conversion is around 5% monthly.

> There is no recognizance of consumers converted to customers but
> then lost.  This is an immature industry.  Most industry uses a
> broader definition of "brand loyalty".  This upcoming 2003 year
> will see new competitors, new choices, ... and the same old market
> realities intruding into this sector.  And that 15% may just
> alter.

Hell, we don't know that much about who the customers *are*, never
mind where they came from and where they might go.  "Immature" is
putting it mildly, I flatter myself to think I know as much about
these games and their players as anyone, and I am regularly amazed
at the depth of my ignorance.

But recent history is not too encouraging for those expecting the
new to sweep away the old....


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