Author Topic: Help Me Understand the Numbers?  (Read 3572 times)

Offline Dadtallica

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Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« on: March 18, 2023, 01:53:16 PM »
I hear lots of people referring back to the good old days of hundreds of people flooding the main arenas with fights and pilots galore. I am speaking mostly about USA prime time but it trickles to the rest. I left the game to children and life sometime in 2011 I think it was but am not sure exactly. (someone can check Ratpak1’s last flight if they want. Wish I could have it still.)

Whenever it was, the numbers then were not too different then now. I think on any regular weeknight there were probably 200 or so total people playing split across three arenas.

Maybe 2/3 or so of which were in the late war arena and most of the rest in the mid war where I spent most of my time. No jets! ENY then rarely seemed liked a hindrance but it creeped up on us now and then. People would just switch arenas if it bothered them. I remember the FSO’s would get up to 400 people maybe. I’m basing this all on my anecdotal memory but I am sure someone will come with receipts. My memory is old lol.

At any rate can someone give me an idea what the numbers were like between 2012ish to today? I came back about six months ago. When were the three main arenas scrapped for one arena?

Also a bit lucky for me, the game changed visually in a dramatic fashion. Bases, and strats and all sorts of things are nothing like before. There’s freaking battleships that one shot hangers! I almost feel spoiled that it still feels somewhat new to me. Still not sure where some stuff even is. I could see how someone who started with the game as it is now might feel slighted about future development.

I guess for me it’s ok as I am rather indifferent on the number of people playing. Doubtful I would stop playing now that I am back if they go up or down. Everyone has their threshold one on both sides I suppose. I will say the number of people who have passed since I left is a bit humbling. Some big names.  :salute

I appreciate anyone who can give me some player context during the 10+ years I missed.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2023, 01:55:23 PM by Dadtallica »
Back in 2022 after a loooooong break from 2010. Old name Ratpack, same for the BBS.

Squad I did the most tours with were the Excaliburs then The 172nd Rabid Dogs. Still trying to talk Illigaf, Coola, Oldman22, and Joecrow into coming back instead of being boring old farts!

Offline Lusche

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2023, 04:30:09 PM »
At any rate can someone give me an idea what the numbers were like between 2012ish to today? I came back about six months ago. When were the three main arenas scrapped for one arena?


This graph shows the number of pilots with at least one kill or death per tour in the (LW) main arena:



In 2012 there were more than 4 times the players playing in the MA, which also roughly correlates to about quadruple numbers online (I track total played hours, too). So at balanced LW arenas, this means more than twice the numbers in the arena than we are having now.
But a much bigger difference it made to those playing outside prime time, when the arena limit was suspended, and almost all players ended up in a single LW arena. At that time, MW, EW and WW1 were already almost empty outside prime time. And on the very popular titanic tuesdays, all limits were disbanded, and almost all players went into the single LW arena.

The four main arena format ended with AH3 in September 2016.

For illustration purposes, this is what the LW arenas population looked like on a thursday in 2010:



As a non US player, I still had the chance to play with 150 other pilots in the early evening (in 2012 this would have been around 100). Today it's usually about 30-40 at the same time. Earlier in the day, I sometimes end up with nominally 10 players, with at least half of them AFK tower residents. Last tour, I even ended up being the only active player for an hour one day.


« Last Edit: March 18, 2023, 04:36:06 PM by Lusche »
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Offline oboe

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2023, 04:40:59 PM »
Thank you for this presentation, Lusche.  Incredible answer to his question.


Two remarks:

- What happened in late summer of 2017 that caused the spike in numbers?  Was that AH III's release on Steam?

- If you look closely at the end of 2022, you'll see the decline has reversed, and there has been a small, month-over-month growth in numbers.   :banana:   I feel good about that because I felt like I have been noticing more players in the arena during US prime time.   


Offline Lusche

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2023, 04:53:50 PM »
Thank you for this presentation, Lusche.  Incredible answer to his question.


Two remarks:

- What happened in late summer of 2017 that caused the spike in numbers?  Was that AH III's release on Steam?

Yes. There was an enormous number of downloads on steam when AHIII was released, which isn't even properly reflected by this chart because most of them never left the runway to die in combat.

- If you look closely at the end of 2022, you'll see the decline has reversed, and there has been a small, month-over-month growth in numbers.   :banana:   I feel good about that because I felt like I have been noticing more players in the arena during US prime time.

In winter, the numbers always go up a little, but almost every time they are still lower than one year before.
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Offline Dadtallica

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2023, 04:56:35 PM »
Thank you Lusche! I figured you to another would bring the receipts. Great stuff. I spend all building PowerBI reports… where do you get all this data?

Will be interesting to see if the current bump in players is sustained through the summer. I do remember the outside arenas emptying out at off hours. Maybe because I spent most of my time in MW it feels a bit the same to me.

Like I said I will play anyway. What did you do all by yourself for an  hour lol??
Back in 2022 after a loooooong break from 2010. Old name Ratpack, same for the BBS.

Squad I did the most tours with were the Excaliburs then The 172nd Rabid Dogs. Still trying to talk Illigaf, Coola, Oldman22, and Joecrow into coming back instead of being boring old farts!

Offline Lusche

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2023, 05:03:05 PM »
Thank you Lusche! I figured you to another would bring the receipts. Great stuff. I spend all building PowerBI reports… where do you get all this data?

Plane stats for the names (& thus number) of pilots, score page for their data like hours played in different modes & so on. Yes, I have all your scores on my HD  :devil

Like I said I will play anyway. What did you do all by yourself for an  hour lol??

I grabbed me two or three bases and ended up #1 for the second time in my AH career only because of this. It's a shame.
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Offline Dadtallica

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2023, 05:10:21 PM »
Plane stats for the names (& thus number) of pilots, score page for their data like hours played in different modes & so on. Yes, I have all your scores on my HD  :devil

I grabbed me two or three bases and ended up #1 for the second time in my AH career only because of this. It's a shame.

When was my last flight?

 :cheers: #1
« Last Edit: March 18, 2023, 05:15:43 PM by Dadtallica »
Back in 2022 after a loooooong break from 2010. Old name Ratpack, same for the BBS.

Squad I did the most tours with were the Excaliburs then The 172nd Rabid Dogs. Still trying to talk Illigaf, Coola, Oldman22, and Joecrow into coming back instead of being boring old farts!

Offline Lusche

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2023, 05:24:24 PM »
When was my last flight?

I can't say. First, because I don't know your exact in game handle, second because that kind of detailed data is available to HTC only. I only can see the same data everybody can see.
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Offline Dadtallica

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2023, 05:50:17 PM »
I can't say. First, because I don't know your exact in game handle, second because that kind of detailed data is available to HTC only. I only can see the same data everybody can see.

Was Ratpak1… you’ve done plenty already.  I will have to hunt the tour stats to see when I fell off.
Back in 2022 after a loooooong break from 2010. Old name Ratpack, same for the BBS.

Squad I did the most tours with were the Excaliburs then The 172nd Rabid Dogs. Still trying to talk Illigaf, Coola, Oldman22, and Joecrow into coming back instead of being boring old farts!

Offline Animl-AW

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2023, 08:01:24 PM »
I wonder if there is any correlation in the numbers equation with when marketing (commercials) started and slowed, or ended. I personally don't see commercials anymore. I would guess, exposure depends on what kind of channels you watch. But I would think it would be a factor. If a channel they advertised on was losing viewers that would have an effect too. Little to no marketing, no retaining new customers to counter balance those who leave for their reasons. Ya go bald when you lose more hair then new growth.

Other factors would include economy peaks and valleys. Take note: The "Great Recession" of 2008, refer to Lusche's number charts (a great informative response). I would think, things like computer or gear goes bad and no money to replace it is a factor. Which was one of my reasons I left. Time and new gaming pc is why I returned, because of better economy. I never left because the game was bad. Obviously, now common on the boards, many are returning for the same reasons. They probably left around the same time too, another common theme. Despite inflation (inflation exist because people have the money to spend too much) the economy is good, people buying new and much better gear, this is prime time to be advertising, even just a little.

One point being, the game is better off now then during the peak. Marketing could have increased to get the word out to new players.

There are a lot of variables in why numbers are what they are in all businesses. From all the readings in the forum I did, going back to when I left in 09, there were some common themes and dates. When looking at his charts, my GUESS would be that a couple small unfortunate things happened, almost at at once, that had an impact. Which have nothing to do with the quality of the game.

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Offline Lusche

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2023, 08:18:37 PM »
TV Ads and marketing in general has to recoup it costs. In the end, that didn't work anymore. It doesn't help to spend $$ on advertising when the potential players don't sign up after their trial. HT has tried all kinds of stuff, around 2010 there even was a boxed version of AH in the stores over here. The numbers still went down.
The big eye-opener to me was the steam launch. We had thousands of interested players downloading AH. not just "gamers" as some old folks here love to call them in some weird disgust, but a lot of ppl genuinely interested in the topic and coming from other sims. Almost nobody signed up.
What good is marketing for a product that apparently fails on the market?

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Offline Bopgun

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2023, 09:11:54 PM »
TV Ads and marketing in general has to recoup it costs. In the end, that didn't work anymore. It doesn't help to spend $$ on advertising when the potential players don't sign up after their trial. HT has tried all kinds of stuff, around 2010 there even was a boxed version of AH in the stores over here. The numbers still went down.
The big eye-opener to me was the steam launch. We had thousands of interested players downloading AH. not just "gamers" as some old folks here love to call them in some weird disgust, but a lot of ppl genuinely interested in the topic and coming from other sims. Almost nobody signed up.
What good is marketing for a product that apparently fails on the market?

You think any kind of F2P access to the MA would help or hurt overall subscriber numbers?
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Offline Lusche

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2023, 09:21:05 PM »
You think any kind of F2P access to the MA would help or hurt overall subscriber numbers?

I seriously doubt it would help, but that's more a gut feeling than based on a careful analysis.
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Offline Dadtallica

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2023, 09:45:33 PM »
TV Ads and marketing in general has to recoup it costs. In the end, that didn't work anymore. It doesn't help to spend $$ on advertising when the potential players don't sign up after their trial. HT has tried all kinds of stuff, around 2010 there even was a boxed version of AH in the stores over here. The numbers still went down.
The big eye-opener to me was the steam launch. We had thousands of interested players downloading AH. not just "gamers" as some old folks here love to call them in some weird disgust, but a lot of ppl genuinely interested in the topic and coming from other sims. Almost nobody signed up.
What good is marketing for a product that apparently fails on the market?

I remember the commercials!

As a father of a “super gamer” 16 year old I have refunded more steam games than I care to mention. Steam lets you refund a purchase after certain times if you don’t like something. What do you want to bet a much a bunch of younger players downloaded it and found out the learning curve was steep and then said hey dad I need to refund this? Lol. Wonder if Dale took a capital hit for that?

Bu the way, my son doesn’t know it but he’s getting a cool new rig for his bday so I can steal his alienware, soup it up and go vr!  :rock
Back in 2022 after a loooooong break from 2010. Old name Ratpack, same for the BBS.

Squad I did the most tours with were the Excaliburs then The 172nd Rabid Dogs. Still trying to talk Illigaf, Coola, Oldman22, and Joecrow into coming back instead of being boring old farts!

Offline Lusche

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2023, 10:08:23 PM »
What do you want to bet a much a bunch of younger players downloaded it and found out the learning curve was steep and then said hey dad I need to refund this? Lol. Wonder if Dale took a capital hit for that?


The players left during the trial period, no refund necessary. Also, it's a subscription service, not a game purchase.
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