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Thursday, February 17, 2011


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ColeMarie Soleil

Doom was the first game we had on our PC and now Ravenwood is the first game on FB I actually keep playing every day... hmmmm I wonder O,o XD


>Romero who's innovating with new genres and expanding the audience for gaming

Nothing in that sentence meant anything. Keep pushing the "I'm so smart about 'social' games thing", but there's no substance to it. Nintendo gave this "expanding the audience" speech (meaning "dumbing it down for old people") to its shareholders, you're just riding their coattails, perpetually.


This is a fairly meaningless observation (and a laughably misleading, click-baiting headline, of course).

The 10m MAU figure for Ravenwood Fair is a metric of the number of people (in an ecosystem of 500m users) *who have ever even clicked on an ad once* for a *free to play* game in a rolling 30 day period. Not installed, not played, but navigated to the facebook app landing page.

It's an impressive milestone (although without knowing how much has been spent on marketing the game in that four month period it's difficult to compare to other FB games), and lets us make some fairly safe bets on the game's ongoing viability, but this metric sets an extremely low bar for gauging 'popularity'.

When DOOM was launched (in 1993), it was distributed via shareware (on retail/mail order floppy discs and dialup BBSes) to a relatively tiny community of people with access to relatively high-end ($1k+) PCs. The 10m figure here is meaningless (and sourceless). With no way of 'phoning home', it's impossible to accurately gauge how many shareware, registered, pirated and ported (and the game was eventually ported to a LOT of other platforms) units of Doom were in the wild at any time after launch.

There are myriad examples you could have picked to illustrate how the landscape has changed since Doom came out two decades ago. The fact you can give something away faster and wider in the wake of broadband, social networking and PCs becoming ubiquitous is a weak one, to say the least.

Hamlet Au

"This is a fairly meaningless observation... It's an impressive milestone"

Interesting if perplexing juxtaposition of statements, Robin. Your other points are noted but I think ultimately pedantic. The Doom figure also refers to installs, not necessarily people actually playing the game:


I'm a perfect example: I installed Doom on my first PC, only to discover it could barely run with my low level of RAM, so I reluctantly deleted it. Doubtless many in that 10 million were in a similar boat. However, since I'm not going to split hairs on that side, I'm not going to split hairs on the Ravenwood Fair figure either. Especially at the rate it's been growing. If it had *peaked* at 10 million you'd have a more valid point, but at current rates (it added about 250K MAU in the last week alone) it should have 15-20M MAU in the next few months. At which point it'd be hard to deny at least 10M are actually playing the game.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

I played Doom in one of Michigan Tech's labs in 1994. I kept thinking (while getting wasted by other players) "okay, make this about more than shooting people and we'll have something like the 3D environments Gibson keeps writing about."

I'm still waiting!


"Interesting if perplexing juxtaposition of statements, Robin."

The first refers to comparing the two stats (meaningless), the second to Ravenwood hitting 10m, which is notable in so far as many FB games top out lower.

The 10m installs figure for Doom is still a wild stab in the dark.

"At which point it'd be hard to deny at least 10M are actually playing the game." (etc.)

Well, a couple of fallacies at play here. Assuming that anything will continue to grow indefinitely at its current rate is wrong ("ice cream sales from Jan->Jun have increased 10x, so they'll have increased another 10x Jul->Dec") - there is a finite pool of users that most FB games appeal to.

Trying to figure out how many people are sticking around and playing after installing is tricky. The game has 1m+ DAUs which suggests a lot are. But hang on, didn't we just say we're *not* making any assumptions about the quality of the hits on the Doom side?

This is starting to seem a lot like mashing together two numbers that aren't directly comparable or even very concrete, purely to come up with a nice soundbite.


Yeah, this seems off to me. Doom was released in 1993 and required a semi-high end PC. This is also ignoring the fact that two million is about the minimum for a big name videogame to turn a profit these days. I'm pretty sure Call of Duty and Pokemon regularly pull those sorts of figures.


I should have checked my facts first. Call of Duty Black Ops didn't pull 2 million in the first month.

It pulled seven million in 24 hours.

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