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De la Démocratie en Sosaria

Discussion in 'UO Siege Perilous' started by Sturdy, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Sturdy

    Sturdy Guest

    Hello all,
    I have just completed an exhaustive survey of all the land masses of Sosaria and have a few observations I would like to share. The thread title is just a lark- this has very little to do with Democracy.

    I estimate the current number of houses on all land masses to be somewhat shy of 1000. Perhaps as few as 700. I was not keeping a tally so I could be way off. I have found less than ten no name houses. There were only a couple of houses marked Grandfathered.

    The highest concentration of houses was in Felluca. It is surprisingly settled but 80-90% of the houses are towers, 18x18s, keeps, and castles; Very few small houses. (Which I guess means very few new players)

    Based on this and my own experience I estimate that there are at least several hundred paid accounts. I am not sure about the various possibilities for owning more than one house. I did see a couple of names pop up more than once but since names are not unique they could be distinct accounts.

    I am guessing that we have 150-250 "active" players, almost all with multiple accounts. We are spread out geographically and by time zone so no more than 20-40 players are generally on at once. There are probably another few hundred inactive players who do not want to drop their homes.

    I know this is all ball-parking and estimating, but there has been a of discussion on these boards about population and I thought a little direct observation could shed some light.

    Now for my opinion on this. -Everyone has an opinion rolleyes:

    • Lower the subscription fee
    • Spend money on marketing

    We need some new players. Poaching from other servers is not a sustainable strategy. Game development and customer service are vital but they are secondary in attracting new players. (They primarily support retention)
    If Mythic wants UO to be a going concern they will have to treat the game as an active property and support it in the marketplace.

    Just my $20
     
  2. Kat

    Kat Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran TnT/TnA

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    I agree that EA should be advertising Ultima Online, but it isn't our decision. How do we convince them? I think thats the real question.
     
  3. Mook Chessy

    Mook Chessy Certifiable
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    The very best ways to market UO are also the worst things for UO.

    Bring a friend, trial account...abused by the kids

    Turn on deactivated accounts for a month...again will be abused.

    I think EA knows that they are working with a loyal player base and that is why they do not advertise UO.

    The only chance Siege has is to attract players from different servers, EA see no extra $ from that so...
     
  4. Quantum Ace

    Quantum Ace Guest

    I think they could benefit from banner ad type advertising. Hell, even I have checked out some of the games advertised here on Stratics. I know several guildies that have done the same.

    I have since blocked all that crap after last weeks fiasco, but hey, I'm a diehard UO player. I've never played WoW, D&D, SWG or any of that stuff, but I'm never opposed to checking things out, until I start getting virus warnings. x.x
     
  5. OldAsTheHills

    OldAsTheHills Lore Master
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    Hello, I glad you did explorations. Now some opinions from me.
    It take over three weeks of game time to walk to each house sign and
    record sextant coordinates and name of owner. By the way, the name
    of the owner is hardly ever the name of the players character.

    " Very few small houses. (Which I guess means very few new players) "

    Unfortunately small houses have not few new players, but fewer storage
    capacity. If smaller houses had the same storage capacity as Castles,
    then I sure there would be more of them. Perhaps if all houses had the
    same storage capacity, then you would see more of random selection of
    style.


    I am guessing that we have 150-250 "active" players, almost all with multiple accounts. We are spread out geographically and by time zone so no more than 20-40 players are generally on at once. There are probably another few hundred inactive players who do not want to drop their homes.

    I did a name census at the luna bank two years ago and obtained slightly
    more than 200 active named characters...however those are names...some
    of these are duplicate characters of the same player.

    We are spread out geographically and by time zone... with peak time is
    4PM EST to 7PM EST.

    I have noticed many underdeveloped housing plots...< you see just empty
    plot >.

    If Mythic wants UO to be a going concern they will have to treat the game as an active property and support it in the marketplace.

    The best way for Mythic to improve the marketing of Ultima Online is to
    publish an Anniversity Addition 12 and place the box at Gaming stores.
    Electronic publishing is cheaper but puts this game out of the sight of new
    gamers who do not see it in Gaming stores.

    *stares*
    Yahaxithonix
     
  6. Sturdy

    Sturdy Guest

    I agree that some marketing strategies are problematic. To me the single biggest thing is to keep the game on retail shelves. How this is done in the game industry, I do not know. I do know something about retail in general and it comes down to whether or not the retailer makes money on the item.

    I also know that sales volume and price directly correlate. 39.95 is too much for the UO box. How much profit the stores keep is not as dependent on the box price as on the number of boxes they sell- "fast nickles vs. slow dimes"

    I really hesitate to make specific pricing suggestions because the economics of the business are probably finely balanced on a certain set of assumptions. If they cut the prices without marketing support they could easily fold.

    That being said I am going to go ahead and throw out some numbers.

    Sell the boxes at 19.99 retail. Give the retailer a solid cut provided they give enough shelf space and marketing support to move enough units. This is how it is done in the part of the retail industry I do know about; it works.

    Online resellers like Steam really need to be in the loop- I repeat get UO on Steam!

    Lower the subscription price to something significantly cheaper than WoW. This will allow current subscribers to open more accounts and give new subscribers a reason to gamble on UO. How about 7.99/mo with discounts for multiple accounts and prepayment. This really wont work unless an actual significant amount of money is spent on marketing. Without this investment it will just be the beginning of the end.

    As for how we can support Mythic's marketing from within the game that is another discussion.
     
  7. Sturdy

    Sturdy Guest

    Thought i'd add this:

    http://www.gamespot.com/news/6203825.html

    Looks like downloads are dominating retail sales more than I thought.

    "On the other hand, sales of PC games at brick-and-mortar stores are down--way down, in fact. One week after announcing a recession-bucking $21.3 billion in non-PC game industry sales, the NPD Group revealed that US PC software sales had plummeted 23 percent to $701.1 million dollars at retail. The drop to 29.1 million units was pronounced, given the trend of the previous several years: In 2007, the figure was $911 million, down $59 million from 2006's $970 million haul, which was itself a 2 percent increase from the year prior. Thanks in large part to WOW's launch, US PC game sales hit an all-time high of $1.1 billion in 2004. "