What Does Success Look Like?


Oct 21, 2004
Chelsea, MI
One of the questions my boss (or maybe it's my boss's boss) often asks at work, when we are considering undertaking a project that will take multiple months and multiple people is this one.... what does success look like? If we're setting out to change something, or improve the way folks use our IT services, how do we know when it's successful?

I find myself asking this question about Firaxis/2K and CivWorld ... what does success look like? Some thoughts to get us started ...

Financial: OK, so nobody expects CivWorld to be as profitable as (say) FarmVille. But the developers invested time and money in its development, and they have some tools in place to monetize aspects of the game and get a return on their investment. There are banner ads on the screen next to the game screen, and players have the ability to make micro-payments of real world currency to obtain FB credits, which in turn may be used to get CivBucks. One measure of success would be the dollars / week that Firaxis/2K receives from the game.

Popularity: Measured in users per week/month, or number of game sessions / invocations per day, or similar. I understand that the active user population is significantly less now, than it was last fall when the game launched. The game could be following the trajectory described here On the other hand, some games never truly catch on, and don't follow Gartner's trajectory. Perhaps one could measure hours played (on average) per player, or the number of hours played using a median measure ... to avoid skewing the numbers for a few folks who are just obsessed.

Capturing the interest of a fan base: This measure could take two forms. 1) Have they convinced long-time fans of the franchise to play this game, on this platform? 2) Have they created a new group of players, who are excited about this game and might be interested in buying a Civ franchise game (including CivRev)? Based on the tone of the comments, and indeed, the absence of comments, here on CivFanatics, I would submit that they are not succeeding in the first form. They may yet be succeeding, measured the second way.


Oct 14, 2010
I agree. It had to be a financial disappointment at best and likely an financial disaster, but it is still operating and getting minimal support so something must be successful about it.

I will offer up another criteria.

The game IS revolutionary, but the learning curve is so steep that there is a question whether it will/can be evolutionary. I would argue that the former is not enough but the latter would make it a success.
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