Monday, June 29, 2009

Is Australia becomming the new China?

Hey all,

It has been circling in the news for a while now, but I haven't had the time yet to comment about it, I am talking about censorship and content blocking here.

Australia apparently already had an internet filter which they now want to use to filter out all game downloads and online games that are not suited for 15 year olds, this in addition to all the websites already blocked ... so if you are a 30 year old wanting to have some fun in a game like Age of Conan, Second Life, or even World of Warcraft, you may be out of luck in the near future.

Now many MMO's may be able to get rated and found suitable for 15 year olds ( EVE Online is rated and allowed ). The main problem here is that there is no 18+ classification for video games in Australia ( there is one for Films though, I mean wtf? ), so if it is material not suited for a 15 year old, you are out of luck.

In the past there have been occasions that the Classification Board themselves had advised that MMO's do not have to get classified, and it was unwritten knowledge for MMO developers and publishers that you did not need to classify your MMO in Australia.

They were wrong however, and soon many MMO players may find this out the hard way when the new filter starts blocking everything.

But it gets even crazier and I quote : "The list of what is actually blocked and why it is blocked is to be kept secret from the public (though in March a version was leaked to Wikileaks, which is now itself on the blocklist)." That is nuts; you can expect something like that from China or Turkey, but from Australia? I am so glad I live in Belgium! I do not consider Australia a free democracy anymore, but rather a police state with no freedom of speech.

And it goes even further :
"Currently nine ISPs are trialing the network-filtering plan until next month, which has already proven to block some quite unexpected things: "Alongside child porn, bestiality, rape and extreme violence sites, the list also includes a slew of online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist. Other Australian sites on the list are ("Tuckshop and Canteen Management Consultants") and animal carers The dentist, Dr John Golbrani, was furious when contacted to inform him that his site,, appeared on the blacklist." – Sydney Morning Herald "

Can you believe that?

I hope the Aussie gamers, internet users and the rest of the people there start some serious protesting and don't go down silently. For what it’s worth, I got your back!

Here some links on the story :

Sunday, June 28, 2009

MMOData Charts version 1.5 Live !

Hey all,

The next version is live.

Version 1.5 notes :

- Revised subscription data points for : Aion, Runescape, AoC, FFIX, LOTRO
- Revised and/or added PCU data points for : Aion, Zhengtu Online, MapleStory, SUN
- Renamed "Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates" to "Puzzle Pirates"
- Changed Accuracy Rating system into 3 categories instead of 4
- Revised Accuracy Rating and added links to most of my sources.
- Made some cosmetic changes to the charts
- Made some cosmetic changes to the site
- Added a hit counter to the site

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MMOData Charts version 1.4 Live !

Hey all,

The next update is live, not much new, mostly keeping it real.

Version 1.3 to 1.4 notes :

- Made an Accuracy rating for all the listed MMO's.
- Removed some estimates.
- Removed some duplicate datapoints
- Removed some disclaimers about EVE Online and Second Life
- Removed following charts for various reasons : Top 10 premium western mmo's, All listed MMOG's CAS, Total MMOG contribution
- Made the Second Life chart internal only
- Added disclaimers
- Added credits
- Changed from html charts to png charts
- Made various cosmetic changes to the site.
- Fixed domain/link

Next version will contain more revised and updated numbers and links to sources.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WoW China servers down while transferring

Well, It has been old news that The9 would loose the rights over WoW and that they would be transferred to Netease.

However, it was only recently that the servers shutdown, june 7, and they will be down for 3-6 weeks.

Now the downtime in itself will make them lose some players, but at the same time Aion is gaining momentum in Asia, so it will be very interesting to see what will happen and how many players will return after their 1 month break, or if they decide to try Aion and stick ...

Here are some links to the news articles :

Sunday, June 14, 2009

MMOData Charts version 1.2 Live !

Hey all,

I am happy to announce that my first version of the MMOData Charts is live.

It took a lot of work and researching to fill the 1 year gap that Sir Bruce left. I also made revisions to the excel so I could change the data faster, because the MMOG scene is evolving rapidly and new MMOG's come and go all the time.

My work is far from complete, there are still gaps to fill, mmog's to add to the list, and new features that I'd like to implement.

One of the main features I'd like to add is Worldwide Active Players charts, currently I use 2 main data types, Subscription Numbers and Peak Concurrent Users, an Active Player chart would allow us to compare Asian and Western mmo's with eachother. This won't be an easy task, and it will not be as accurate as the Subscription or PCU numbers, but it will give us a good indication. I am hoping to make this in version 2.0 or 3.0

Version 1.0 to 1.2 notes :

- Revised/Updated data points
- Added Aion, WAR and AoC
- Merged Neocron and Neocron 2 data points into Neocron
- Divided the MMO's in 4 active subscription charts instead of 3
- Removed relative contribution chart- Added PCU cluster chart
- Added Second life chart
- Added the CAS top 20 chart
- Added following rows : peak subcriptions, CAS and Genre to the subscription data and CAS sheets for easier sorting and easier CAS Derivations.
- Combined Combat simulation, FPS, Social, Puzzle and Other genres into "Other"
- Renamed Sci-Fi / Superhero RPG into Sci-Fi RPG
- Combined sheet 3, 4 and 5 into CAS Derivations
- Changed the MMOG market share by genre and by mmog charts to 3D
- Labeled all the sheets and charts
- Removed redundand data points that cluttered the charts, added them as comments in the excel.
- Added CAS Top 10 PW
- Removed ACU data
- Added All Listed MMOG's CAS chart
- Removed SL Bot numbers from PCU cluster chart
- Added Rankings to CAS Derivations
- Added WoW west data to the WoW chart and sheet
- Added CAS ordered by Region and Premium to CAS derivations
- Made various changes to the working of the excel
- Added PCU Asia numbers chart
- Changed from html charts to png charts
- Made cosmetic changes to "All Listed MMOG's CAS" chart
- Made cosmetic changes to the chart titles
- Made various other cosmetic changes

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hey all, welcome to, is live, and I am happy to start serving you the latest charts and numbers of the MMOG scene.

My work is based on what Sir Bruce started with , but since he did not update his charts for over a year, and a lot has happened during that time, I decided to continue his work here.

So stay tuned for my soon to be released Charts.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Requirements and definitions

Requirements for MMORPG's to be allowed on the charts :

1. They must be in line with the MMORPG definition :
Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
- The game should have the capability to support at least 500 concurrent users on a single shard.
- The game must include a graphical common area where players can interact with one another inside of the persistent game world. This excludes lobby and chat room based interaction.
- Combining point 1 and 2 : There must be a graphical common area where in theory 500 players can come together and interact with one another.
- The game must make use of persistent characters or avatars. This means that you should be able to log in after logging out and find your character or avatar as advanced as you left them (or more).
- The game must contain some form of advancement.

2. Need to have at least 2 good datapoints to be allowed on a chart.

3. For PCU or Active Account datapoints to be valid, an MMORPG has to be in Open Beta or beyond. For Subscription datapoints to be valid, an MMORPG has to be fully released.

4. Subscription definition :
Subscription based MMORPG's are tagged with SS
MMORPG subscriptions must meet one of the following requirements to be allowed on the subscription based charts :
- Susbcribers who have paid a subscription fee of minimal $1 per month.
- Players who have an active prepaid card of minimal $1 per month.
- Players who have purchased an mmorpg and are within their free month of access.
- Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days, if there is a revenue of $1 or more per subscriber per month.
- Players who purchased virtual items or ingame currency for $1 or more per month.

The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards.

5. Active Account definition :
Active Account based MMORPG's are tagged with AA
For an account to be regarded as active, there must be a completed login into the game server at least once per month.
Also included in this definition are all valid subscriptions in accordance with point 4. Subscription definition.

Note :
If anyone thinks some MMORPG made the charts while not fulfilling these requirements, please send an email to to report, and it will be investigated.

Note :
The MMORPG list and charts are based on latest available data, if no new data is made available, certain MMORPG's may be misrepresented. Furthermore many MMORPG's are not listed here because I have not enough information.

MMORPG Glossary

Active Accounts
As opposed to SS : Subscriptions.
See Requirements and definitions for a more elaborate definition, as used by

Alternative characters, as opposed to a main character.

Artificial Intelligence
Refers to the "intelligence" programmed into a game that controls the actions and reactions of NPCs, simulating independent intelligence.

The graphical representation of a player in a game, this can be a person or creature, but also a ship or a car for example.

Automated/scripted character, which is illegal in most mmo's.
It can also be a second character on another account brought along merely to buff or heal, in this case it is mostly called a buffbot.

A general category of skills that allows players to manufacture objects from raw resources.

A backbone of servers that power a single shard. Examples are the EVE Online and Second Life shards, each powered by hundreds of servers. But also the traditional MMORPG's use server clustering to run their smaller shards, albeit on a more modest 2 to 8 servers on the most common mmo's.

Combat Upgrade
A not very well received revamp of the combat system in Star Wars Galaxies.

Illegal copies of particular items obtained while using an exploit or bug.

Eastern countries, most notably, but not limited to : China, South Korea and Japan. Opposed to West - Western countries, most notably, but not limited to : Europe, North America and Australia

Electronic Entertainment Expo

Taking advantage of a glitch or game mechanic to gain an advantage that is not allowed per the terms of use of the game.

Free To Play
As opposed to pay to play.
Free to play systems use microtransactions and cash shops.

Free For All
A loot option that allows any party member to loot. Also used in terms of PvP, where you can fight everyone and/or where you can loot everyone.

Game Master

Clan, Corporation
An organization of players. Most of the time guilds are supported by in-game systems that allow for sharing of resources, experiences, and information with other members.

These are private non-persistent area's on a server where there can be 1 or more identical copies. In SWTOR they are called flashpoints. Examples from WoW : The Deadmines, Molten Core, ...
In EVE Online there are no instances, there are however complexes, which are areas inside systems ( read zones ), they can be persistent or non-persistent but they are always public ( as opposed to instances which are always private ) and thus everyone can find and enter them.

In my humble/honest opinion

In Real Life

Slowdowns in an online game as a result of latency with the connection to the server.

Laughing My Arse Off

Your primary character of all the characters you play

A payment system where players buy virtual items, currency, services or other virtual parts of an MMORPG, these kind of MMORPG's are also often called F2P because some parts of it are free to play. This is the opposite of a subscription system where the players pay a monthly fee for the complete package.

Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
The definition of an MMORPG can be found here :
See Requirements and definitions for a more elaborate definition, as used by

Massively Multiplayer Online Game

Massively Multiplayer Online
Pretty much the same as an MMORPG, minus the roleplaying part. This could be for example an MMOFPS or MMORTS. Sometimes without avatars as we know it in MMORPG's.

Massively multiplayer online first-person shooter

Massively multiplayer online real-time strategy

Monthly Unique User Repeat Logins
Used in Second Life as a means to determine the amount of active players. Previously they used MUUL.

Monthly Unique User Logins
Used in Second Life, World of Warcraft and others as a means to determine the amount of active players and/or subscribers. Second Life now uses MUURL instead though. Blizzard still uses MUUL to count their Asian Internet Café players, but only in combination with prepaid cards, if you haven't bought a prepaid card, you won't be counted. ( aka Trials etc ).

Multi User Dungeon
A digital world that contains multiple players, most of the original muds were text based.

Mobile Object Block
Strictly speaking, Mobs are all computer controlled characters in the game, but in practice MOB is only used for NPC's you can attack. While the term NPC is used for characters you can interact with ( like vendors, quest givers, etc. ).

MUD Object Oriented
Users in MOOs are able to create their own content - both static and dynamic objects.

When players attempt to create their characters as powerful as they can be by crunching statistics, planning their future routes, and any other methods in order to make their characters the statistically best character possible.

To downgrade, make less effective.

A term that means a new, inexperienced player, also used to suggest that a player is not good.

non player character
The characters are controlled by the system. A "computer" character.

To loot something very quickly before anyone else can take it, considered the same as stealing.

New Gaming Experience
A complete transformation from the old, pre-NGE SWG sandbox style MMORPG into the new SWG, theme park style MMORPG. Sony Online Entertainment hoped to replace the userbase at that time with a new bigger userbase. Generally accepted as one of the biggest mistakes in MMORPG history.

Oh my god
Term used to express surprise about something.

Player Killing

Pay To Play
As opposed to free to play.
Pay to play means using a monthly subscription model.

A downloadable update that fixes bugs, improves stability and introduces new features to a program.

Player versus Environment
Combat between players and computer controlled opponents.

Player versus Player
This is the fighting between players, as opposed to fighting mobs.

Peak Concurrent Users
The highest number of players online at the same time.

I use the term Premium for all MMOG's with a monthly subscription higher than $10.

An adventure requiring cunning, discipline and bravery to succeed, but invariably undertaken with idiocy, disorder and cowardice. Reward is always inversely proportional to the effort and risk involved.

A raid is a large-scale attack on an area by a group of players.

Real Money Trade
This is the trading of real life money for ingame items or currency between players. Often this is not allowed/legal by the EULA.
RMT has a broader scope than microtransactions, microtransactions are always between the player and the company running the MMORPG.
RMT can be between the player and the company, between players themselves or both.
In EVE Online there is a special system using PLEX ( Pilot License Extension ) where you can buy a PLEX from CCP which is worth 1 month of playtime. You can use it for the playtime or sell it for ISK ( ingame currency ) to other players, effectively buying ISK for real life money. This is a form of RMT between players, because you do not buy the ISK from CCP but from other players. Players with enough ISK can play the game for free, while other players pay extra.

Role Playing

Realm versus Realm
A factional PvP system where there are generally 2 or 3 sides ( realms ) fighting each other.
This was essentially invented by Mythic with the MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot, but since then never really successfully replicated.
For an RvR game to work there are a few important requirements :
- There have to be ideally 3 sides, so in case when one side becomes dominant, the 2 underdog sides can work together.
- There have to be some elements of persistence and rewards, for example :
Claiming and holding keeps until you decide to release it or an enemy takes it over by force.
Being able to take a relic from the enemy ( which gives a realm wide boost in power ) and keep it until the enemy takes it back by force.
Being able to control a number of keeps and by that unlocking extra content as long as these keeps are under the control of your realm ( for example Darkness Falls ).
- There has to be Realm Pride ( players working together to defend their realm ), you can get this by having persistent elements as described above and having the choice of your realm locked.
Meaning you can't play 2 or 3 different sides on the same server.
- There has to be population control, when there are too many players in one Realm, this Realm should be locked ( no new player can create new characters on the locked server and only part of the locked realm can log in ). There can also be given boosts to Realms that have less population ( best example is to boost guards, so the fight evens out a bit ).
- There has to be a certain level of balance between the classes of the realms.

The full state of the game world is usually not saved permanently on the game servers continuously, but is done at intervals. To fix a big problem with a gaming world, the game may be rolled back to a previous state. Players possessions, their whereabouts, their state, etc. will all be rolled back and appear to be in the same state as they were on that point in time.

A Realm has 2 meanings :
1. Used in RvR games and has essentially the same meaning as a Faction.
2. Used as a synonym for Shard, however this is not recommended to avoid confusion.

A region can have several meanings :
1. The MMO server region, often servers are divided into several regions, some examples are : Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, ...
On many occasions it is not possible to play in a different region depending on IP address or Serial code.
2. EVE Online Regions : These are a collection of Constellations, which are in turn a collection of Systems. The EVE Trade market is based on these regions and if you wish to do inter-regional trade you will have to physically transport the goods.

Real Life
As opposed to your virtual life.

A type of MMORPG where you have more freedom than more traditional MMORPG's. Notable examples of sandbox MMORPG's are : EVE Online, Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies Pre-CU-NGE, Second Life.

Various abilities the character is capable of using, such as wielding specific types of weapons, wearing specific types of armor, casting specific types of spells, or even creating specific types of items.

A Server is a combination of hard and software that services a client computer, in the case of MMORPG's they service the game world, mail system, item and character database and more.
Even though it is often used as a synonym to a Shard or Realm, it is not the same, there can be many servers in 1 shard, and many shards can use a single server for specific purposes ( i.e. a mail system ).
Generally it is best to use the term Shard instead of Server when talking about a single MMORPG game world.

This is the collection of 1 or more servers that make up a single entity or game world, in principle, all players can go to all the places inside this game world as opposed to going to another shard, which is generally not possible.
The main EVE shard Tranquility is an example of a large clustered shard that can hold 50k players and more at once.
Second Life is also an example of a single large clustered shard.
In World of Warcraft many small shards are used. Using the term shard is preferred over server or realm when talking about single game worlds.

As opposed to AA : Active Accounts.
See Requirements and definitions for a more elaborate definition, as used by

Theme Park
A linear MMO, with less freedom and more prefabricated content as opposed to a Sandbox MMO. Notable examples of Theme Park MMO's : EverQuest, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online.

Western countries, most notably, but not limited to : Europe, North America and Australia. Opposed to East - Eastern countries, most notably, but not limited to : China, South Korea and Japan.

These are public persistent area's on a server, there are no identical copies of zones.
Examples from WoW : Northrend, Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, Outland ... , these zones are interconnected by Portals, Zeppelins, Boats, ...
Examples from EVE : Regular Empire and 0.0 systems ( these are interconnected by jumpgates ), Wormhole systems ( these are connected to regular systems by wormholes ), Stations, ... these are all examples of zones in EVE online.

A combat strategy where a large group of players play together and generally overwhelm the enemy by numbers ( mostly used in PvP but also possible in PvE ). Often seen as a simple-minded strategy that requires no skill, then again often a necessity ( safety by numbers ) or a more social approach. Originated from the Zerg rush tactic from StarCraft.

Accuracy and abbreviations

Accuracy Rating :

A rating – Most or all of the datapoints come from official or other reliable sources and are in line with other numbers and information.

B rating – Part of the datapoints come from official or other reliable sources and part of the datapoints come from estimates, third party sources, unclear official sources or other indirect information.

C rating – Some of the datapoints may come from official or other reliable sources, many of the datapoints come from estimates, third party sources, unclear official sources or other indirect information.

Game List :

A Tale in the Desert
Abbreviation = ATitD
Accuracy Rating C

Age of Conan
Abbreviation = AoC
Accuracy Rating B

Abbreviation = Aion
Accuracy Rating C

Anarchy Online
Abbreviation = AO
Accuracy Rating C

Asheron's Call
Abbreviation = AC
Accuracy Rating C

Asheron's Call 2
Abbreviation = AC2
Accuracy Rating B

Ask Tao
Abbreviation = AT
Accuracy Rating B

Auto Assault
Abbreviation = AA
Accuracy Rating B

City of Heroes / Villains
Abbreviation = COX
Accuracy Rating A

Conquer Online
Abbreviation = Conquer
Accuracy Rating A

Dark Age of Camelot
Abbreviation = DAoC
Accuracy Rating C

Abbreviation = Dofus
Accuracy Rating A

Dungeons and Dragons Online
Abbreviation = DDO
Accuracy Rating C

Earth and Beyond
Abbreviation = E&B
Accuracy Rating B

Era of Eidolon
Abbreviation = Eidolon
Accuracy Rating B

EUDemons Online
Native name = Mo Yu
Previous name = Realm of Magic
Abbreviation = EUDemons
Accuracy Rating B

EVE Online
Abbreviation = EVE
Accuracy Rating A

Abbreviation = EQ
Accuracy Rating C

EverQuest II
Abbreviation = EQ2
Accuracy Rating C

EverQuest Online Adventures
Abbreviation = EQ OA
Accuracy Rating C

Fantasy Journey Online
Abbreviation = FWJ
Accuracy Rating B

Fantasy Westward Journey
Abbreviation = FWJ
Accuracy Rating B

Final Fantasy XI
Abbreviation = FFXI
Accuracy Rating B

Giant Online
Abbreviation = GO
Accuracy Rating B

Horizons - Istaria
Abbreviation = Horizons
Accuracy Rating C

Legend of Mir II
Abbreviation = LoM2
Accuracy Rating B

Abbreviation = Lineage
Accuracy Rating A

Lineage II
Abbreviation = Lineage2
Accuracy Rating A

Abbreviation = Majestic
Accuracy Rating B

Abbreviation = Mankind
Accuracy Rating B

Abbreviation = Maplestory
Accuracy Rating B

Motor City Online
Abbreviation = Motor City
Accuracy Rating B

Mu Online
Abbreviation = Mu
Accuracy Rating C

Abbreviation = Neocron
Accuracy Rating C

Abbreviation = Perpetuum
Accuracy Rating A

Pirates of the Burning Sea
Abbreviation = PotBS
Accuracy Rating C

Pirates of the Caribbean Online
Abbreviation = PotCO
Accuracy Rating C

Abbreviation = Planetside
Accuracy Rating C

Puzzle Pirates
Abbreviation = Puzzle Pirates
Accuracy Rating B

Ragnarok Online
Abbreviation = Ragnarok
Accuracy Rating C

Abbreviation = Rift
Accuracy Rating C

Abbreviation = RuneScape
Accuracy Rating B

Second Life
Abbreviation = SL
Accuracy Rating A

Abbreviation = SB
Accuracy Rating B

Abbreviation = Shaiya
Accuracy Rating B

Shou Xue Fei Teng
Abbreviation = SXFT
Translated Name = Beast Blood Boils
Accuracy Rating B

Abbreviation = Sphere
Accuracy Rating C

Star Trek Online
Abbreviation = STO
Accuracy Rating B

Star Wars Galaxies
Abbreviation = SWG
Accuracy Rating C

Star Wars The Old Republic
Abbreviation = SWTOR
Accuracy Rating B

Soul of the Ultimate Nation
Abbreviation = SUN
Accuracy Rating B

Tabula Rasa
Abbreviation = Tabula Rasa
Accuracy Rating B

The First Myth
Abbreviation = TFM
Accuracy Rating B

The Lord of the Rings Online
Abbreviation = LOTRO
Accuracy Rating C

The Matrix Online
Abbreviation = The Matrix
Accuracy Rating C

The Realm Online
Abbreviation = The Realm
Accuracy Rating C

The Sims Online
Abbreviation = The Sims
Accuracy Rating B

Abbreviation = There
Accuracy Rating B

Tian Long Ba Bu
Abbreviation = TLBB
Accuracy Rating B

Abbreviation = Tibia
Accuracy Rating B

Toontown Online
Abbreviation = Toontown
Accuracy Rating C

Ultima Online
Abbreviation = UO
Accuracy Rating C

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
Abbreviation = Vanguard
Accuracy Rating C

Warhammer Online
Abbreviation = WAR
Accuracy Rating C

Wen Dao
Abbreviation = Wen Dao
Accuracy Rating B

Westward Journey Online II
Abbreviation = WJO2
Accuracy Rating B

World of Legend
Abbreviation = WOL
Accuracy Rating C

World of Warcraft
Abbreviation = WoW
Accuracy Rating A

World of Warcraft East
Abbreviation = WoW East
Accuracy Rating B

World of Warcraft West
Abbreviation = WoW West
Accuracy Rating B

World War II Online
Abbreviation = WWII Online
Accuracy Rating B

Wu Lin Wai Zhuan
Abbreviation = WLWZ
Accuracy Rating B

Abbreviation = Yulgang
Accuracy Rating B

Yu Yan
Abbreviation = YY
Accuracy Rating B

Zero Online
Abbreviation = Zero Online
Accuracy Rating B

Zhen Feng Shen
Abbreviation = ZFS
Accuracy Rating B

Zheng Tu Online
Abbreviation = ZTO
Accuracy Rating B