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Football Manager Live "going to plan"

Sports Interactive boss not worried about churn as MMO hits around 23,000 users

The first few months of the life of Sports Interactive's MMO title Football Manager Live is "going to plan" according to studio director Miles Jacobson.

The game has now grown to encompass over 23 game worlds of 1000 users each, progress which Jacobson is happy with.

"It's going alright. The SEGA ops team is being very proactive in launching new worlds when existing ones are full," he told GamesIndustry.biz. "So it's kind of going to plan - obviously if it was going perfectly we'd have 1 billion subscribers playing," he joked, "and eventually 6 billion, but realistically with the economy the way it is we're doing pretty well...

"We're certainly doing well enough for SEGA to keep pushing us with more content, and certainly the flexibility of the business model is there. When we initially launched the subscriber periods were 3-, 6- and 12-month subscriptions having to pay upfront. We've looked at that, at the comments coming back from people who said they're interested but maybe haven't subscribed, and we've now added another business model which is more like a mobile phone contract - the longer you agree to subscribe for, the cheaper it is, and you pay per month."

He also explained that the company wasn't worried at this point about churn, usually the bane of an MMO's financial existence.

"Well, churn so far has been very low, but then when subscriptions started in January they were a minimum of three months - and when the retail version came out at the end of January it was four months. So we'll probably have much better stats on churn rate at the end of April and May.

"Certainly at the moment it's not something we're concerned about - people seem to be enjoying the game. We know where we expect churn levels to be and they seem to be lower than that at the moment."

The full interview with Miles Jacobson is available now.

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