Friday, 19 November 2010

Just how many of us are there?

I am amazed.

Shocked, sometimes, at how many people play World of Warcraft. I mean - yes - there are at least three in my company, and even though my attempt to recruit someone else failed that is still quite impressive for "just a game".

I think it's very easy to loose track of the sheer number of people around. I mean ... I don't doubt that Gevlon has a lot of readers, but claiming a recent patch was basically based on his activity in Wintergrasp is probably being slightly megalomaniac.

Just out of curiosity... let's play with some numbers.

World of Warcraft apparently currently has around 12 million subscribers. Gevlons blog had around 3000 regular readers about a year ago. I'm sure the number has fluctuated - increased a bit since then and dropped with the flow of players abandoning WoW for the moment as well. Let me be generous (and make my math easier) and assume he has around 4000 readers now. That is a rough 0.03% of the player base. Impressive - certainly more than my blog - but not statistically significant.

To think his words affect any amount of playerbase seems overconfident.

And why am I jumping around on this silly little number game so much?

Well... I was recently wondering what people were up to in-game. See, I did get a new achievement:

I went around to check on my progress and found that according to this data I am roughly at position 65000 worldwide for achievement points (and this info is outdated, so I might be even higher up). That sounded depressing.

But wait - that means roughly 0.5% of all players worldwide have more achievement points than me. Not so bad at all, suddenly.

So what does that tell me, though. Not all that large a percentage of the playerbase enjoys hunting after achievements. Actually, there also seems to be some regional difference there:

Is that five people from Russian servers in the top 10?

What do all the other people do, though. Some pvp, obviously. Many raid. Lots of people level alts. Some like playing the auction house. Each of those groups has their own fanbase and information sites on the internet. I'm sure there are tons more groups of interest that I cannot even guess at.

And with the numbers above, it doesn't even surprise me all that much.

12 million subscribers.

Just to put that into perspective: That is less than the 71 most populated nations of the world have as inhabitants (according to this list). Or the other way round: World of Warcraft has more players than Zimbabwe has people. Or Cuba. And as both of those countries are far away, and I never managed to have a holiday there - more than Greece or Portugal or Belgium, too.

And somehow - the population of Portugal does not strike me as people who all want the same thing. There are at least sixteen different political parties, lots of different hobbies and things to do.

So ... erm. Why exactly do we presume that everyone else playing World of Warcraft wants to do the things we do? I mean... I need only go outside and ring on the doorbell to my right to find people with a completely different idea about how to spend their Saturday afternoons (hint: It's not achievement hunting in WoW).

I might have to actually consider accepting different styles of play. Even though people who don't know how to DPS on their warriors drive me mental in pickup groups *grin*.

P.S. The achievement is not called "It's over 9000" for effect. You actually need more than 9k points.


  1. Considering that what our next door likes to do on a Saturday afternoon is mow the lawns in his speedos on a good day (without them on a bad day), I'm pretty glad you stuck to achievement hunting.

  2. I could be "Iridescent Speedo Man"! It's like being a superhero.. just .. creepier!

  3. O.O


    Screenies or it didn't happen...I want to see Speedo-Mower-Man!!!

  4. If you remind me in summer, I'll see what I can do. At the current temperatures he's unlikely to go out .. although I won't say it's impossible.