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Real Online Player Stats PartII

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    Real Online Player Stats PartII

    As some of you old timers may remember, I posted Part I in the continuing saga of "advertised vs. real" online player stats back in summer of 2003. The thread made several gaming news sites front pages, and was widely discussed at the time since the issue of server bots being displayed as "online players" seemed such a farce.

    http://www.ina-community.com/forums/...hreadid=305644

    I promised back then that I thought UT2003 would be dead just a few short months after UT2004 was released, so here is my follow up on this topic. This isn't an "I told you so" post or me trying to be an a**hole, just wanted to post the FACTS as a fan of this series, and a loyal customer whose been playing these games since the release of Unreal in 1998.

    I manually went into the UT2003 built in server browser in-game to compile these player stats. I manually counted the displayed players who had a real ping, thus accounting an accurate "real human" player count vs. what is displayed in Gamespy stats and other online services. The first number displayed is the real human player count, the number in parenthesis is the Gamespy stat as displayed on their website. Realize, the Gamespy stat includes server bots in their overall count, and is not an accurate depiction of true online player activity.

    DM = 105 (669)
    CTF = 66 (241)
    TDM = 58 (191)
    Invasion = 39 (46)
    DDom = 2 (41)
    BR = 56 (39)
    LMS = 0 (0)
    Mut = 0 (0)

    At the time of this study, only 326 true human online players were playing UT2003 as opposed to Gamespy (and other reporting agencies) showing 1301 players. Server count shows as 613 total, whereas there were over 2100 servers listed for this game last July when the first study was conducted. The bottom line is that in less than 1 1/2 years from the date of it's release, UT2003 now has less online players than 7 year old Quake2.

    I would say that UT2004 is the bright spot in all this, but aside from Onslaught, UT2004 online player numbers are pretty dismal as well. It is continually being beaten by games like Quake3 in total online players, and gametypes like CTF are just completely and totally dead. Not sure what this portends for the purist who loves fast action gaming, but it seems the trend is now thoroughly established in reference to slow, plodding, tactical borefests like BF1942 being "state of the art" and games like our beloved Unreal being widely ignored.

    The purpose of this study is once again not to degrade or otherwise insult this community. I have been here for a very long time, and have been running online UT, UT2003, and UT2004 servers for many years. The fact of the matter is that our game is dieing fast, and it seems UT2004 has failed to bring over the "die hard" UTer's who still frag daily on their favorite UT servers, ignoring the newer offerings (UT has 1372 online players at the time of this study, mainly CTF and not counting TACOPS). I hope this can spark intelligent, relevant and topical conversation rather than the juvenile flame fests of the past. If we don't figure out how to bring the players over to Unreal soon, i have the feeling UT2004 is will soon end up just like UT2003 is: Dead as a doornail. :bulb:

    #2
    Was ut2003 as 'dead as a doornail' before UT2004 hit the shelves?

    I'm not sure it was. I didn't actually play it, but I'm pretty sure UT2003's major decline has been due to the release of '04.

    Which is exactly the intention of even its creators.

    BTW, you failed to mention:
    1. Other games which also have bots counted by gamespy
    2. THe significance of offline play

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by TheGreatFoo
      Was ut2003 as 'dead as a doornail' before UT2004 hit the shelves?
      If you'll follow the link in my first post, it shows UT2003 was pretty dead even back then. But yes, UT2004 was the major impact on the huge decline of UT2004. Not sure about you, but I like being able to play a game longer than a year or so before having to "upgrade" for just a few extra gametypes. Besides ONS and AS, what does UT2004 really bring to the table exactly?

      I'm not sure it was. I didn't actually play it, but I'm pretty sure UT2003's major decline has been due to the release of '04. Which is exactly the intention of even its creators.
      Exactly my point! I think this type of marketing is a mistake for building lasting customer loyalty. Why does UT have more CTF players than both UT2004 and UT2003 combined, twice over even? Because that game built a huge community that has players who have played for years in leagues and clans. The same can be said for Quake3, CS, etc. Those games are going very strong many years after release. Where will UT2004 be in a year or so do you think?

      BTW, you failed to mention:
      1. Other games which also have bots counted by gamespy
      2. THe significance of offline play
      I can think of only a few offhand, one of them being Quake3. Most servers in that game do not have any server bots, so I don't think it's as big an issue. Offline play has it's place, but realistically a game and it's online player base are what makes/breaks the community. BTW, thanks for the constructive response.

      Comment


        #4
        Well imho the thing is... that UT2k3 dissappointed all UT players. Me and my friends, we used to play UT about 5 hours a day (we had loads of time at that time). Well .. we all bought ut2k3 and thought it would kick ***... but after a week or a month... we kicked the cd over into the trash section. Well... I'm one of those who find that ut2k4 is very similar to UT classic, and thats why i play it. It does a lot of fun. And also... i grew older and i like to work around with the engine (scripting, mapping, modding...). But my friends, just think UT2k4 is the same **** thing as Ut2k3 used to be, they are not interested in modding of any kind, and thats why they still play UT (and other classic games.. like TO and Counter Strike). What I wanna say is... that many of those hardcore players think that games in general, lost their "feeling" to all the graphical advances...
        my opinion

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by nightstormer
          If you'll follow the link in my first post, it shows UT2003 was pretty dead even back then. But yes, UT2004 was the major impact on the huge decline of UT2004. Not sure about you, but I like being able to play a game longer than a year or so before having to "upgrade" for just a few extra gametypes. Besides ONS and AS, what does UT2004 really bring to the table exactly?
          Wait, this is flawed.

          First you say that UT2004 had a major impact on the decline. This must mean, therefore, that a lot of people chose to upgrade to the new version.

          Then on the other hand, you're arguing that UT2004 brought little in the way of new things.

          Surely if you're correct and there was a good reason to stick to UT2003, people would have done so en masse. Therefore, there would be no decline.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by nightstormer
            Exactly my point! I think this type of marketing is a mistake for building lasting customer loyalty.
            What use is customer loyalty if you dont issue any new games for them to buy?

            That really is a very silly statement.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by nightstormer
              Why does UT have more CTF players than both UT2004 and UT2003 combined, twice over even?
              Let me guess, you took this figure from the gamespy stats, and are counting bots in that total :bulb:

              Comment


                #8
                First you say that UT2004 had a major impact on the decline. This must mean, therefore, that a lot of people chose to upgrade to the new version.

                Then on the other hand, you're arguing that UT2004 brought little in the way of new things.

                Surely if you're correct and there was a good reason to stick to UT2003, people would have done so en masse. Therefore, there would be no decline.
                I'm not arguing anything. I simply am posting the facts as can be easily seen by anyone who has tracked online player stats over the last year or so. And I've already stated that UT2004 online player stats aren't anything to write home about either. It hovers around #10 most of the time, and BFV came out and doubled it's player numbers in the first week. Don't shoot the messenger.

                What use is customer loyalty if you dont issue any new games for them to buy? That really is a very silly statement.
                Customer loyalty is built upon supporting and nurturing a platform that has time to grow a community and base of regular players. The yearly release of new stand alone games which are basically just like the previous version, but kills said previous version, is not likely to make to many fans IMO.

                Let me guess, you took this figure from the gamespy stats, and are counting bots in that total
                UT does not count server bots in the online player stats. What you see is what you get.

                Comment

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