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Steam Charts: some statistics of interest

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by alpaca, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    I thought it would be interesting to compare how many people play BE compared to Civ5. These days, Steam provides very accurate real-time info on this. A graphical comparison can be found here

    As you can see, Civ5 has had a rather stable number of players in the last couple of months, with an average of 40k-50k players. BE, shortly after its release, was played by more than 80k people on average, but now has declined to only 15k-20k. A comparable graph of Civ5 shortly after the release also shows a significant decline, but much less pronounced than BE. Also for comparison, you can find a graph for Total War: Rome 2 shortly after release here, which is also significantly less strongly peaked than BE.

    I'm pretty sure the people at 2K will be looking at similar graphs. Now, I guess everybody's waiting for a patch, but the post-release behaviour sure doesn't look like the game was well-received by most players. This agrees with my impression about the crowd in this forum, so we might be more representative than we sometimes seem to think.

    Please don't use this thread as another venting location about your pet peeves, there are already plenty of those around. It's meant to be a meta-thread about how the game was apparently received and whether or not the reception on this forum might be representative.

    Edit: As m15a correctly pointed out, the initial release peak is perhaps not as strongly suggestive as it looks, as BE was released on a week-end simultaneously across the globe, which makes the week-end peak and the release peak coincide. It should probably be imagined to be more like 65k players when assuming a 35% increase in player numbers due to the week-end effect. The player base also seems to have become more stable now, as can be seen on another website

    Edit (Dec 23): It appears as if the patch did not have any immediate impact on player numbers. The holidays will probably see some increase due to the christmas sales, we shall see how the game does afterwards. It would be interesting to compare the player number to the sales number, but unfortunately, that information isn't really accessible. New graph
     
  2. Bandersnatching

    Bandersnatching Warlord

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    While I have not played BE (or Civ5, for that matter) over the past few days, that is less about problems with the game - which certainly exist, and make replaying it less fun - and more about lots of homework. That's probably true for a large number of other people as well.

    I think that you've got the right idea though, and that the level of dissatisfaction on this forum is representative of the community as a whole.
     
  3. m15a

    m15a Emperor

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    I'm not sure how strong if an indicator of satisfaction that is, really. BE seems to have a shorter rise time, which is probably due to the fact that it was released worldwide within the span of a day, rather than having multiple release dates. There are probably a lot of other factors (competition with Civ V, for example), but at least the release date factor has to be deleted in some way. Can you get values for specific countries/regions?
     
  4. Thrar

    Thrar King

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    The strong marketing effort may also play a role. Firaxis did a lot to promote BE, which may lead to higher sales to casual players.
    Even if they like the game, those players don't play as often, leading to a lower curve like the one we see.
     
  5. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    I also find it quite interesting that Civ:BE hasn't done much to actually lower the playtime we see in Civ5, meaning a decent chunk of the peak are probably lapsed players or new players who might not be as much into it.

    I wonder what conclusions 2K draws from that, though. Overall, Civ5 actually had an increase in active players - that's something other games would kill for. If 2K is smart, they realise that this is the potential Civ:BE has as well - if they are willing to commit resources to it (patches, DLC, expansions).
     
  6. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    "This game in boring." is an opinion that is heard a lot in the steam forums though, so I guess that's one of the reasons why "casual" gamers don't play more - it's different for Civ5, you see a lot of people still playing it, without EVER trying to min-max anything, just enjoying the game.

    Civ5 had a similar problem at the beginning, but I'm not sure if it works out as good for BE - I think for most people Civ5 had a lot more "character", even in its raw, unpatched, vanilla state, so I wonder if these people will really come back to BE once it's become better or if they just stick to Civ 5. After all, for a "casual" player both games probably feel rather similar from a gameplay-perspective. So why play the "soulless" BE, when they have a full-patched Civ 5?
     
  7. MechMedic130

    MechMedic130 Warlord

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    A lot of people were also willing to dedicate a lot of playing time one release. People took off of work and such just to play the game at release. I'm sure dedication has just waned down to normal video game playing time for most people at this point.
     
  8. Talcove

    Talcove Slayer of Spies

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    Not surprising, seeing as Civ 5 has had 2 expansions, several DLCs, and multiple patches to flesh it out, whereas Beyond Earth was just released in an, admittedly, less than fully satisfactory state. Give it some time, a few updates to expand on the concepts and some patched to balance it out, that should draw in a larger crowd.
     
  9. Ghost_Nappa

    Ghost_Nappa Chieftain

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    ^yup


    I've seen that in a lot of games: once a patch comes out, lots of people are coming back to play again usually.

    I haven't been playing as much compared to the release, too. Waiting for a patch myself.
     
  10. markusbeutel

    markusbeutel NiGHTS

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    Mirrors my experience. I had enough frustrations with Civ V's release, to not want to go through that process again with BE. Just an hour with the game was enough to realize that the AI still didn't have a clue about tactical positioning and diplomacy, that the game was horribly balanced, and that the tech web and UI were a nightmare to interpret. I don't have time for that - these are issues that should have been caught by the beta testers (which we all essentially were for the past 5 years considering BE is built with the V engine). Just look at multiplayer - it's still an unplayable mess. Ended up playing through a handful of games on Apollo, had insurmountable leads through all my playthroughs, quit all of them before 200 turns, and uninstalled.

    A friend of mine actually contacted Steam and demanded a refund, which they surprisingly obliged him with... Thought about doing the same, but doubt they'd go for it considering I've had the game for weeks already now.
     
  11. Fabio1701

    Fabio1701 King

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    What, really? I don't believe you. "Steam, I bought this game but I am not enjoying it, can I have my money back?" "Yeah, sure, any other games you don't like?" Why would they do that? What's to stop me asking money back after a day of playing anything I pay for? What about all those Rome2 players and many other games that suck?
     
  12. soprof

    soprof Warlord

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    They reserved the right not to do the refund in the vast majority of cases.

    Nobody says you can't try to do it, esp. if you have a long steam history with lots of dollahs put it. Sometimes they'll do it in a "one time" manner, kind of similar to restoring your stolen items in games like dota2.
     
  13. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    A lot of you seem to be talking about special release date effects, but these will happen for any game. Civ 5 was only released 3 days later internationally than in the US, so this shouldn't make a big difference two weeks after. It might be the reason why BE had a little more players immediately after the release than Civ5, but I don't think it explains the much stronger time dependence we see for BE.

    Compare the week-end peaks, where Civ5 and TW:R2 only lost maybe 25% of players in the first week, while BE lost more than 50%. TW:R2 was also launched simultaneously all over the globe. This is such a strong effect that I'm quite convinced it isn't a statistical fluctuation of any sort, but an indication of the game's reception. Of course I would be hesitant to quantitatively analyze this without a lot more insight into other factors, but qualitatively, I think it's a decent indicator given the large number of players involved in the statistics.
     
  14. Fabio1701

    Fabio1701 King

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    wow, that's pretty amazing. makes me respect Steam even more (and they are already on of my favourite companies!)

    back on topic, I will be interested to see what the graph looks like when a patch comes.
     
  15. lietkynes

    lietkynes Hello sword !

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    It reflects my experience. I purchased the game, played it for 2-3 days, then uninstalled it.
     
  16. Breezin

    Breezin Warlord

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    I haven't played it in a few days but I don't know if I'll return until a patch is released. I think there are a significant portion of players who will do the same so I'd expect a bump in the BE stats.

    I would expect it to be a temporary jump though as the base game will likely still be weak as I can't expect them to revamp diplomacy or the other major issues quickly.
     
  17. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Yes, I think it might actually be a good strategy for 2K/Firaxis to delay a potential patch release until they can make a really good patch. Seeing that most players apparently aren't playing anymore already, there's little point in rushing out a fast patch for the fraction that already likes the game enough to keep playing. A mediocre patch may lead the people who stopped playing already to decide not to touch the game ever again. If they, instead, wait some time to create a great patch, they might have a good chance to win a large fraction of those players back, while not aggravating too many due to their lack of quick patches.
     
  18. Halbbruder

    Halbbruder Prince

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    Lol, tf2 would have been a better example because of weapon items that can change your gameplay. Dota 2 items are all cosmetic. :p

    As for the graph, OP, thanks for showing us. Initially, I thought most of the people who got and hated civbe were mostly just a bunch of civ 4 players giving it a try and raging. But now, I see that a majority of people who bought the game do have at least some irritation with the game. I also added civ 4 as a factor and apparently there are about 10-20k more people playing civ 4 than civbe.

    For some odd reason the graph contains the same number of people playing civ 5 and civ 4 (timeframe to past week). When I wanted to examine the number of people playing civ 4 over the past month, it said 0, so I must be missing some sort of feature to correct this discrepancy. :confused:

    And I bookmarked steamgraph because it looks awesome to see game activity and stats, although some variables don't even work.
     
  19. m15a

    m15a Emperor

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    You specifically mentioned the decline from peak in your first post. The height of BE's peak is definitely affected by the fact that it was released on a single day instead of three days apart. Civ V didn't reach the peak until after the global release and thus the rise time is much slower. Also, since BE was released everywhere on the same day, it was released right before the weekend everywhere. Maybe with a three-day gap in release dates, the peak simultaneous BE plays would be 60,000 or 70,000.

    I agree that there is some difference in the trend after a week that can't be attributed to the release schedule, but it's not as drastic as the peak difference. And there could be other factors that affect play rates. Definitely, people might be playing less because they don't like the game as much. But I think the data only seems to so clearly suggest that because we already know that people don't like the game, so the data isn't really proving anything we don't already know.

    I don't want to sound like I'm criticizing you (alpaca) for posting the data. It's interesting to ponder, but it's just not definitive.
     
  20. BroOfTheSun

    BroOfTheSun Warlord

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    I know there's a lot of problems with the game, but I can't stop playing it...
     

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