Oberon has been kind to Albion Online. The March 20th update has apparently driven a big spike of users for the not-quite-two-year-old game, and you know it’s good because the devs are actually posting numbers and graphs. It’s 2019. Nobody does that anymore. But Sandbox Interactive just did, and it looks like this week the game’s pushed up to around 17K daily players, when prior to that it was hovering around 10K-11K.
And this is before the game goes free-to-play next week.
“We expect that this change will bring large numbers of new players into the game, and we are already making preparations to ensure that this new phase goes as smoothly as possible,” the devs write. “Improvements thus far include upgrades to our server hardware and optimizations of the game code. However, even if everything runs smoothly from a technical viewpoint, we know from the B2P release in 2017 that there can be a point at which certain zones – in particular, some of the game’s starter cities and surrounding areas – may become clogged. This situation greatly improves as new players disperse more evenly across the game world, as well as after the day-one hype (where it is not unusual for players to run sessions of 10 hours or more).”
In other words, the game might be too popular – expect queues. The studio’s even posted an activity chart to help people figure out when queues are likely to be shortest.
“[If] the total player numbers become too high, we may need to activate a queue to ensure that the game world can handle the inflow. If there is a queue, characters with Premium will get preferential access. This is to make sure that the existing player base – as well as all players who directly support the game’s development – do not get locked out of the game. (Note that free Premium days given out by the game, such as during the tutorial, do not count toward preferential queue access unless your character has previously bought at least 30 days of Premium.)”
Eh, there are worse problems to have.