APB draws just 130,000 registered players

Active figures undisclosed, but MMO has highest average revenue per paying player, claim administrators

Dundee developer Realtime Worlds has revealed a raft of player statistics for online title APB, as administrators seek a buyer for the embattled studio.

The urban combat MMO apparently enjoys 130,000 "registered" users, while the average player plays for four hours a day.

The number of active users is undisclosed at present, but the 130,000 registrations are likely to be representative of the game's sales to date.

Paying players feed an average of $28 into the game per month, defined as "a combination of game time and user to user marketplace trading".

Administrator Paul Dounis said: "These are healthy numbers and reflect positively on APB as a ongoing concern. They prove this is a very enjoyable game, which is shown by the average player daily playtime and an ARPPU (Average Revenue per Paying User) that is highest of any game out there."

The fate of both APB and Real Time Worlds has been in doubt for the past week, with the developer going into administration following lacklustre sales of APB and a reported debt of some £3 million. Although most of the studio's staff have been let go, the developer and its two projects are for sale.

Reports suggest a new studio may arise from the ashes of the developer - one that will ensure social gaming project MyWorld meets its projected spring 2011 launch.

Administrators claimed to have restructured the studio to ensure the game's future, promising a "pipeline" of future updates and game improvements.

Meanwhile, at least 23 staff continue to work on Project MyWorld.

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Latest comments (9)

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D11 years ago
130k x 28 is around 3.5m - so around 2m per month if those figures continue. That doesn't sound right if RTW had to call in the administrators? Presumably only a % of registrations are paying players, with the rest using up free time or stopping playing altogether?
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Alec Meer Director, Rock, Paper, Shotgun Ltd11 years ago
Exactly; the number of active players is necessary to get a sense of real revenues.
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Thomas Bidaux CEO, ICO Partners11 years ago
The administrator is obviously not aware of the state of the market. There are plenty of games with higher ARPPU - 50$+ per month happens with Free2 Play MMOs in Europe.
This is clearly a metric that, alone, can't tell you if the game is viable.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Thomas Bidaux on 24th August 2010 12:23pm

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Gregg Baker Head of Community Strategy, Jagex Games Studio11 years ago
130k - Registered users, those who bought the game and ran it under the 50 hours game time.

Those paying $28 is likely around 10% of that, at best (rule of thumb). So 13k * $28 = $364,000 per month, at most. A game like that would need to be earning in excess of $2.5m-3m a month to make headway at the intial development cost/staff levels.
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Will Knox-Walker Technical Project Manager, IWI / Gamesys11 years ago
Active players is the only figure that matters. If anything, the sense of "community" in a game comes from people being online, in a game and talking to each other.

I have made dozens of accounts over the last few years for MMOs that I've paid 40 for and played for a week.

I would be really interested to see how many players were consistently playing on a week to week basis.
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Volker Boenigk Executive Product Director, Gameforge11 years ago
Don't forget that it's 28$ per PAYING player.

Let's say 25% of the 130k registered are actually playing -> 32.5k active players.
Of those 32.5k players, maybe 10% are paying -> 3.25k paying players.
These players spend 28$ a month -> 91k $ per month.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany11 years ago
I think it's a shame... the MMO market seems saturated and this project seemed to be something fresh and different in some aspects. Hope it won't share the same destiny as "Tabula Rassa"
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Jonathan Lindsay Creative Director, Playomic11 years ago
They are trying to find a buyer, so it's no surprise that they're only showing the most positive statistics. Problem is, any serious buyer is going to ask for monthly revenue and retention figures, which will tell a starkly different story from the above positive statistics the administrator is promoting.

RTW did a bad job of managing expectations, now it seems their administrator is doing the same. Is this the best way to find a buyer?
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Private Industry 11 years ago
The game didn`t look bad from the beta and we all know every single MMO is going to have bugs on release and the following months, but I think there where a few problems. The graphic would be one, it looks really nice on high settings, but the minimum requirements to run it are not really low. If I look at the popular MMO`s those don`t have high minimum specs, granted some of them like WoW or Lord of the Rings online are not really new, but still on release they had considerable system requirements. I think graphic engines have to be more scalable on the PC to get a lot of costumers and a broader range between minimum and recommended system requirements especially for MMO where you also want to attracted players who don`t spend 4 hours or more per day in front of the PC and don`t have rig that can run Crysis.

The second problem I had was the Beta test dates, because the servers where only running one day per week for a certain amount of hours. You can`t expect people who sign up to play the beta to play only on that specific day in the week, people have things to do. People are not getting more interested in buying the product that way. I played the beta twice or so and after that I forgot that the servers would be open on one day at a certain time because don`t mark in my calender that I can play a game for only x amount of hours on that day. That`s only my personal experience, but I played a good amount of betas and decided after wards to buy many of the games because I could spend a nice amount of playtime and get a good overview of the game and knew if I like the game or not. Beta tests should not only serve to find bugs, test servers and so on but also to get the people interested in the game and get word of mouth spreading and that`s hard with such a limited amount of time enforced upon people who want to take place in a Beta.

I don`t think that the majority of people did a bad job sure they did all they could and invested a lot of time into it. Engine is very nice and of course for an action MMO game it`s hard to make an engine that is highly scalable in the system requirements, but I don`t think an MMO can survive only by the support of "hardcore" gamers with decent rigs due to sever costs ongoing development costs for patches, updates, GM`s and so on.
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