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quru

Degradation and retention in playerbase due to cheap sales

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Is it worth sacrificing the quality of the player base (my only experience been Australian and West Coast US servers) for the sake of an extra 1000 or so of what I would assume are likely temporary concurrent players?

 

https://steamcharts.com/app/393380#3m

 

If a player considering how long this game has been out before has not purchased this game until now its likely they generally are not familiar or prior fans of the more sim/tactical shooter. The quality of experience on all public servers has dropped due to new players unfamiliar all flooding the servers within a similar time frame. If you're new to a title like this, what a mess of a first experience you'll have. ~16000 players towards the end of July back down to approx ~6500. All this does is turn players away from the game and I've noticed a lot of what are/would have been regular players (especially due to the smaller size of the AUS/NZ player base you saw the same names often) have seem to taken a break from the game due to the reduction in quality of any given game.

 

I think a model of slower longer duration growth, maybe free weekends or so after every significant update that involves new assets or maps is simply smarter and retains a better average experience level within the player base (which is what new players need to understand this game).

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I think generally speaking more players are good. We want the playerbase to grow. I think the experienced players need to step up and take up squadlead positions to focus the game effort. Over the last weeks I have had numerous people joining my squad stating they are new to the game and they generally perform adequatly as long as there is a competent squadlead with some experienced squadmates to focus new players attention.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, quru said:

Is it worth sacrificing the quality of the player base (my only experience been Australian and West Coast US servers) for the sake of an extra 1000 or so of what I would assume are likely temporary concurrent players?

 

https://steamcharts.com/app/393380#3m

 

If a player considering how long this game has been out before has not purchased this game until now its likely they generally are not familiar or prior fans of the more sim/tactical shooter. The quality of experience on all public servers has dropped due to new players unfamiliar all flooding the servers within a similar time frame. If you're new to a title like this, what a mess of a first experience you'll have. ~16000 players towards the end of July back down to approx ~6500. All this does is turn players away from the game and I've noticed a lot of what are/would have been regular players (especially due to the smaller size of the AUS/NZ player base you saw the same names often) have seem to taken a break from the game due to the reduction in quality of any given game.

 

I think a model of slower longer duration growth, maybe free weekends or so after every significant update that involves new assets or maps is simply smarter and retains a better average experience level within the player base (which is what new players need to understand this game).

Squad has several positive features and attributes that are completely unique in the genre like the logistics building system, the ticket system and AAS & RAAS game modes. ARMA 3 has similar large maps and a more complete combined arms system but it's PVP is only a janky TKOTH mode.

 

That said, a proper system has yet to be put into place to support and retain new players. So while the statistics taken from Steam by 3rd parties may have shown over a million units sold awhile back that doesn't take into account how many people played the game and then got a refund. Which of course is the missing factor in any mathematical equation that would explain the miniscule playerbase numbers when compared to the supposed sales of over a million.

 

However, with that simple missing factor missing this would explain why if you disregard the peaks in the chart which correspond to the free weekends and only consider the normals trends the stable playerbase is at around approximately 6000 which is certainly better than some similar games in the genre.

 

Edited by Zylfrax791

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20 hours ago, Zylfrax791 said:

Squad has several positive features and attributes that are completely unique in the genre like the logistics building system, the ticket system and AAS & RAAS game modes. ARMA 3 has similar large maps and a more complete combined arms system but it's PVP is only a janky TKOTH mode.

 

That said, a proper system has yet to be put into place to support and retain new players. So while the statistics taken from Steam by 3rd parties may have shown over a million units sold awhile back that doesn't take into account how many people played the game and then got a refund. Which of course is the missing factor in any mathematical equation that would explain the miniscule playerbase numbers when compared to the supposed sales of over a million.

 

However, with that simple missing factor missing this would explain why if you disregard the peaks in the chart which correspond to the free weekends and only consider the normals trends the stable playerbase is at around approximately 6000 which is certainly better than some similar games in the genre.

 

By observing the player population in Steam chart. It is reasonable to predict the potential of the game. It is almost universal for all game to lose 75% of the initial playerbase within the first 3 months after launch, which SQUAD is not an exception to this trend. 


The next trend is the effect of DLCs and sales, each DLC launch or sale will make a bump to the player population for a month. However, the population usually dives back down to the initial 25% retailed players. One way to observe the quality of the DLC is by looking at the bottom playerbase after 1 to 3 months and compare the "Bottom" playerbase before and after the DLC launch.

 

By observing both trend in squad. I see the "bottom" playerbase has increased 2200 to 3200 from Feb 2017 to Apr 2019. This is an indication of a healthy game and it is in the "correct direction" in terms of development. 

 

I would say the next point for observation is the October "Bottom" playerbase. That value would be the best indicator for the current state of the game.   

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