Author Topic: Help Me Understand the Numbers?  (Read 1389 times)

Offline Dadtallica

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2023, 10:15:16 PM »

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

Right same premise. Steam lets you refund base on time during a certain period. I don’t know the exact math.
Back after a loooooong break. Old name Ratpack1 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 #16 on: March 18, 2023, 10:30:40 PM »
Right same premise. Steam lets you refund base on time during a certain period. I don’t know the exact math.

Max two hours of gaming time and only up to 14 days after purchase. For subscriptions, it's 48 hours, but only if you didn't use it.
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Offline Dadtallica

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2023, 10:36:12 PM »
I envision a 12 year old absolutely flummoxed and running upstairs to mom!  :joystick:  :furious
Back after a loooooong break. Old name Ratpack1 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 #18 on: March 18, 2023, 10:38:23 PM »
I envision a 12 year old absolutely flummoxed and running upstairs to mom!  :joystick:  :furious

 :rolleyes:
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Offline Shane

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2023, 01:24:29 AM »
Have you ever did one for the CT/AvA? I spent quite a bit of time there learning the various planes in their historical matchups which let me use them better in the MA as well.   :joystick: :airplane:


Now it's basically... Thursday Tank Night...  :noid


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

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Offline Lusche

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2023, 03:08:46 AM »
Have you ever did one for the CT/AvA?


The data for that arena is very unreliable - scoring and stats tracking were often disabled for extended periods, so I did gather data only occasionally, depending on availability.

But quick and dirty I can give one example, how the recorded playing time was distributed between the arenas in January 2012:
LW Arena 111,000 hours 4303 pilots
MW Arena 4,500 hours 522 pilots
EW Arena 500 hours 156 pilots
WW1 Arena 892 hours 450 pilots
AvA Arena 585 hours 196 pilots


As time went on, those minor arenas lost players (and spent hours) even more quickly than the (LW) main arenas.

 

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Offline Vraciu

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2023, 04:59:01 AM »


- 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.

It's way too early to know if that's a long-term trend or just another short-lived spike (like several that preceded it).

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Offline Dadtallica

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2023, 08:23:28 AM »

The data for that arena is very unreliable - scoring and stats tracking were often disabled for extended periods, so I did gather data only occasionally, depending on availability.

But quick and dirty I can give one example, how the recorded playing time was distributed between the arenas in January 2012:
LW Arena 111,000 hours 4303 pilots
MW Arena 4,500 hours 522 pilots
EW Arena 500 hours 156 pilots
WW1 Arena 892 hours 450 pilots
AvA Arena 585 hours 196 pilots


As time went on, those minor arenas lost players (and spent hours) even more quickly than the (LW) main arenas.


I miss Mid War!  :(
Back after a loooooong break. Old name Ratpack1 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 oboe

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2023, 09:42:07 AM »
It's way too early to know if that's a long-term trend or just another short-lived spike (like several that preceded it).

Agreed.  Looking for hope in what appears to be a pretty bleak set of data for Aces High.   It is missing data from the first 3 months of 2023 though, and it would be interesting to know if we pushed up past that first threshold of 1,000 players.   

It would also be interesting to include data points from the wider world - for example, what effect did recessions really have?  I see a dip in numbers in the 2nd half of 2008, but overall the player base seems resistant to economic cycles?   Would also be interesting to see the introduction dates of War Thunder, IL-2 Great Battles multiplayer, and DCS WWII, and the ending dates of Air Warrior and Microsoft's Fighter Ace, and how those developments impacted AH's player count.   I think I can see a small "COVID bump" in early 2020.

Interesting to see the slope of the decline in players is consistent; player numbers declined at nearly the same rate after the Steam peak as they did after the game's 2008 high point.   But that slope has more or less flattened since 2019.   


Offline Animl-AW

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2023, 10:00:16 AM »
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?

Always informative replies from you. I'm jumping into speculations mid-stream, after being gone for so long. But I was here at the beginning, the peak, and present. The reason I went back in time on the forum was to inform myself with what I missed in the grape vine.

But I still look at the 2008 recession as a factor in the equation. That could also be a factor in why the ads didn't work well.
If it fails in the market I would assume it would not exist, but I get the failing ad concept.

JUST MY POV. On the gamer thing, I don't think sim/games like DCS draw as much mixed crowds like the AH MA does. It can be played sim or game. it is assumed by "old timers" that a gamer is after points and how to game the game,.. in destructive ways, like the HO epidemic or kamikaze style piloting, exploiting bugs, constant talk of other things we can't mention.

Simmers who like scenarios practice in the MA, which is what most gamers like. They are somewhat conflicting concepts. My average is, 6 out of 10 flights is being HOed. Ya, that disgust me. Why waste 10-20 min of time getting up to alt and to a fight just to not even get a shot off and being HOed. The most often reason I log off is because of that, not that it's too late, ... it's too much. That alone could be a reason for losing people. It's about to lose me. Aw never had this kind of HO epidemic. The wya I see it, the players/gamers are ruining it themselves. Simmers just don't commonly do that stuff. So ya, they come thinking it's more of a sim and find out it's being gamed to death. And the very people doing it are saying "Where'd everyone go?". It's like a drunk in a bar who makes everyone move away from him because of his antics. I don't mean to sound harsh, almost all good peeps, but sometimes a bathroom mirror should be held up.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2023, 10:03:03 AM by Animl-AW »

Offline Nefarious

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2023, 10:42:13 AM »
FSO Numbers - I only have a few logs from before 2009. If I recall correctly, there was some kind of server switch or move, something which caused us to lose arena logs. In the few records I have before Jan 2009, it seems that at some point in late 2008 we reached the peak numbers of FSO of near 600 pilots.
 
There must also be a flyable computer available for Nefarious to do FSO. So he doesn't keep talking about it for eight and a half hours on Friday night!

Offline oboe

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2023, 11:37:03 AM »
To Animal's point about marketing ads - here is a quote from Hitech I've saved from the time recently after AH's release on Steam:

Quote
Quote from: hitech on November 29, 2017, 10:21:00 AM
Don't mean to jump on ya but on this rare occasion I want to point out how mistaken almost all people on this board are about the dynamics of AH.

In the last 100 days aprox 40,000 people have installed Aces High, 20,000 new people have created accounts and entered an arena. Of the people entering the arena 65% are gone and do never reenter by the 10 minute mark of being in the arena. 75% are gone after 30 Minutes. HiTech

I think if you compare the cost of ads versus their effectiveness of getting people to download and try the game - even a stellar ad with an excellent response would absolutely pale in comparison to the numbers of new accounts facilitated by AH's release on Steam.   And I don't think Steam has an upfront cost like marketing would have - rather, I think Steam just takes a cut of the subscriber fee?  Not positive about that.   But anyway, Steam must be several orders of magnitude more efficient at exposing people to the game and getting them to D/L and try it out.   And you can see the dramatic Steam bump in the chart - but the player numbers just don't last. 

Here's Lusche's player numbers chart, with some events added in for context:

« Last Edit: March 19, 2023, 12:04:51 PM by oboe »

Offline Dadtallica

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2023, 12:38:55 PM »
FSO Numbers - I only have a few logs from before 2009. If I recall correctly, there was some kind of server switch or move, something which caused us to lose arena logs. In the few records I have before Jan 2009, it seems that at some point in late 2008 we reached the peak numbers of FSO of near 600 pilots.
 
(Image removed from quote.)

Thank you for validating my memory!!
Back after a loooooong break. Old name Ratpack1 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 #28 on: March 19, 2023, 01:24:12 PM »
To Animal's point about marketing ads - here is a quote from Hitech I've saved from the time recently after AH's release on Steam:

I think if you compare the cost of ads versus their effectiveness of getting people to download and try the game - even a stellar ad with an excellent response would absolutely pale in comparison to the numbers of new accounts facilitated by AH's release on Steam.   And I don't think Steam has an upfront cost like marketing would have - rather, I think Steam just takes a cut of the subscriber fee?  Not positive about that.   But anyway, Steam must be several orders of magnitude more efficient at exposing people to the game and getting them to D/L and try it out.   And you can see the dramatic Steam bump in the chart - but the player numbers just don't last.

Well, I never thought it is THE issue, I simply stated it could be a factor in the equation, most of which is educated speculations, I suggested several possible indicators.  While expensive advertising may not yield the desired result, or pay for itself, that's the whole risk. There are types of marketing that are fairly costless.

Many games join Steam for direct exposure and/or connection to gamers verses advertising on the History Channel where only a percentage is into gaming. It really all comes down to how one squints their eyes just right to have the golden answer. I think these charts tell several stories.

I don't think any of it is because the game is bad, its not. I just don't think flight sims and combat sim games are the biggest draw in the gaming industry. It's a niche. Everyone I know that does some gaming, don't fly flight-sims. This is a different caliber of gaming. It's a lot of work to get up to standard pace in kills. When I came back it took a few weeks to get up to any pace and I'm still not close to what I used to be yet. We may be bored with anything else.

It's a shame AH3 didn't come during the peak, it is better.

I'm not committing to anyone one reason individually.

Offline Animl-AW

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Re: Help Me Understand the Numbers?
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2023, 01:27:39 PM »
To Animal's point about marketing ads - here is a quote from Hitech I've saved from the time recently after AH's release on Steam:

I think if you compare the cost of ads versus their effectiveness of getting people to download and try the game - even a stellar ad with an excellent response would absolutely pale in comparison to the numbers of new accounts facilitated by AH's release on Steam.   And I don't think Steam has an upfront cost like marketing would have - rather, I think Steam just takes a cut of the subscriber fee?  Not positive about that.   But anyway, Steam must be several orders of magnitude more efficient at exposing people to the game and getting them to D/L and try it out.   And you can see the dramatic Steam bump in the chart - but the player numbers just don't last. 

Here's Lusche's player numbers chart, with some events added in for context:
(Image removed from quote.)

BTW, I like what ya did with that chart.