It’s a shame that developers don’t really give you any official player numbers any more, but that’s the state we live in. Players have done their best to step up to the plate with unofficial player census operations, though; games from EVE Online to Final Fantasy XIV have players using various tools and methodologies to figure out how many players are there and active in the game.
The problem is that almost all of them are certainly wrong. It’s like trying to count the number of dogs on a suburban block by counting the number of doghouses; it’s not an awful methodology, but it’s mostly useful for an estimate rather than a number.
For some people, this information is still welcome as the closest thing you can get to an actual population count when studios are disinclined to provide “official” ones. For others, the lack of official numbers doesn’t make these any more plausible or more helpful. So what about you, readers? Do you trust player census numbers for MMOs?