Black Desert talks up a rather vague 300% increase in daily players

Here are some other numbers you might like

    
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Fair warning: The information in this article is going to frustrate you. That’s because Pearl Abyss has released relative numbers for Black Desert, claiming that daily players have surged by over 300%. Over 300% of what, you ask? Hey, look over there!

“Pearl Abyss announced Black Desert Online has seen an over 300% increase in new and returning daily players, thanks to new content updates, season server, and sales promotions,” the studio says, also suggesting that the Heidel Ball, summer season server, new Corsair class, and free trial helped account for the surge. “As a result the popular game also reached the number one position on Steam within the MMORPG category.”

As of last fall, Pearl Abyss was counting 40M lifetime registered BDO players across all four platforms, although of course we have no idea how many of those are actually logging in every month now. According to SteamCharts, the game’s PC version – again, only through Steam – has seen a more modest gain in the last month, still quite a bit down from its high of 60K peak players on Steam in 2019.

For comparison’s sake, since we’re playing with numbers: Elder Scrolls Online last counted 18M lifetime players, Albion Online saw a daily population peak of 140K players this past spring, DC Universe Online is Daybreak’s biggest MMORPG with 419K monthly active players as of 2020, Blizzard’s online titles including WoW have lost 11M aka almost 29% of their overall active playerbase in the last three years, and I’ve had exactly two cups of tea this morning.

Source: Press release, SteamCharts
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Charlie November

New seasons was released. Numbers will fall off quickly…

EmberStar
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EmberStar

So that number could mean anything. They had three people logging in every day, now they have nine. (Assuming they don’t mean +300%, in which case they’d have an entire twelve people! Also assuming I am math correctly, which I likely am not.) I mean, yesterday I earned 1000% more money than I had when I woke up. Is that a lot? Here’s a hint: it was barely enough to buy a tank of gas.

Fisty
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Fisty

But what kind of tea?

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Vanquesse V

I was looking at steamdb metrics on bdo and I can’t figure out why the game went from 14k to 60k and back in the span of 2-3 weeks. There wasn’t any free trial events, no major updates and twitch viewership was business as usual during this time.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Korean companies typically give numbers year over year. But who can really say.

I doubt Steam will ever be a big indicator of BDO numbers. Most everyone who bought the game went direct through Kakao and they would have been moved straight over the the PA accounts.
A lot of people probably have free accounts from when it was free on steam. I do. It’s my third, largely unused account.

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Vanquesse V

I don’t think that’s the case any more. BDO has grown quite significantly since the days where you had to buy it on their website.
Either way using steam charts as a metric for players is even more muddy in this case since they merged all the regional versions of the game a few weeks back (this is why the game now is listed as “Black Desert” without the “Online”)

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Hikari Kenzaki

60k Steam players is the most it has ever been, per the article. That’s a drop in the bucket. Steam is just not a good judge of a game like this.

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Vanquesse V

Compared to what though. Do we have any numbers on active playerbase beside just steam? Since they don’t specify platform I assume the 300% is across every version in every region.

Obviously most people didn’t switch to steam when it launched there as you had to start over from scratch, but BDO was launcher only for just 14 months and has been both places for just over 4 years now.
BDO is much more visible to potential players on steam than the launcher so I’d be shocked if pc has less people playing on steam vs launcher.

And 60k is players playing at the same time, not owners.
Steam owners are estimated to be between 5 and 10 million, but the amount of people that have ever tried out your game is barely relevant compared to the amount playing right now.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Funny thing is, the number of people “who have ever tried the game” *does* get mentioned by some companies. I’m specifically thinking of Warframe, and the devs bragging that their game had over 30 million registered accounts. It’s a Free To Play game, available on PC and consoles, including the Switch. (But not mobile. Yet.)

And the “30 million accounts” is still kind of a meaningless number, since it doesn’t mention if they filter for single players who have multiple accounts on different platforms. I have two, because copying my account to the Switch version was free, and I thought I’d like to still have some of my stuff if I decided to try that version. Then I realized I hate playing the game with a controller, and stopped trying to play it on Switch.

And obviously it doesn’t seem to account for people who tried the game for a little while, couldn’t wrap their head around the layers and layers of interconnected mechanics and just quit and uninstalled. (Which would include 100% of the people I’ve invited to try that game. I apparently suck at introducing people to the game.)

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Vanquesse V

It’s used because it’s the biggest possible number they can use, and it’s a number that will never go down no matter how bad the game is.
The most important thing to pay attention to when reading a corporate statement is not what they’re saying it’s what they’re NOT saying

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Wilhelm Arcturus

If they gave you context you might not be as impressed. It is much more effective to throw out an unanchored number and let people make up a story in their mind.