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How many people play NWN Single-Player, Multi-Player, on Persistent Worlds

Do we have reasonably accurate numbers about how many people play in these different modes? I've been playing on and off since forever but only single player. When I get the modding bug I always have this question in my mind.


  • ProlericProleric Member Posts: 433
    For single player, it's hard to tell, because people can play without leaving a record anywhere.

    However, recently, popular new SP modules on the Vault have been achieving between 1,000 and 2,500 downloads. Clearly, the number of players of custom modules is much larger than that, since only a fraction play any given offering. Also, if I remember correctly, past surveys showed that most players never venture further than the OC.

    Those of us who mod NWN do so primarily for fun, not fame. Having said that, few games have such dedicated players, so the quality of feedback we get is excellent. Also, of course, NWN is almost unique in the amount of good quality fan-made custom content available.

  • peardoxpeardox Member Posts: 36
    Before I start this analysis I have to mention that I legally purchase all my games (found one of my colleagues was using an illegal copy of NWN:EE so bought it for him)

    It's possible to to estimate numbers by checking any torrent site for the number of downloads

    These numbers are only a guide using one specific torrent site (it's not one of the famous ones)

    For this analysis I'm using Call Of Duty: Black Ops as a reference as it's reported to have 18 million sales

    The problem is I only play RPGs + Adventures so this is chalk + cheese maths (comparing two completely different things) If anyone has a better example as a base reference I'll run the numbers on that

    Wii Illegal downloads 2209, XBox 1290, PC 576 for a total of 4075 from which we can then see that they sell roughly 4x Wii vs 2x Xbox per pc sale (these are important multipliers in a bit)

    Armed with that information we have a set of known numbers allowing us to extrapolate the sales vs illegal downloads

    We've got a 2.26% rip-off rate for COD Black Ops

    A vital number for the comparison is the PC torrents compared to known sales which is about 14%

    We now have a ball-park number of PC COD sales as around 2,520,000

    Now we can go the other way and do NWN:EE

    Mac 14, Linux 87, PC 213 for a total of 314

    Hmm - I expected the Mac number to be higher and the Linux lower

    From this you can easily work out the sales of NWN:EE approximate to 37% of sales on the PC compared with COD giving us,,,

    PC - 932,400 of an all platforms sale of 1,374,523

    I'd have to guess that Steam / GOG take 20-30% (it's variable) so for those of us (Me) who paid full price it's easy to work out roughly how much BeamDog have in sales

    Please note that these numbers are extremely tentative but in the right general area (unless I've trashed my maths)

    Please don't ask for my sources

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 685
    It's almost impossible to get accurate numbers, especially for single player, but also for any platform that isn't steam. Maybe Beamdog has been tracking this but they haven't released any data as far as I know. The best way to track player activity is to look at concurrent numbers, both averages and peaks. I'll try to explain my observations as detailed as I can but I'm going off memory and the data itself can only be used to form a vague approximation of which modes are popular and when, and with what frequency.

    We can't track Beamdog and GoG player users, but they only show up in the Beamdog master server list which doesn't specify the platform. This means a lot of guess work and estimating of numbers. The primary ways to track active player population is through Steamcharts and the Beamdog master server list. Both show concurrent player totals but not total player logins, so you'll need to extrapolate a bit for that.

    Steamcharts only shows monthly peaks after a while and displaces the totals slightly, so doesn't show where it peaked or how quickly concurrent peaks fell and reached a stable number. It does help giving a somewhat good guesstimation of player activity however.

    What I remember is the Steam launch peaked at around 1800 concurrent players. Roughly 800 on the Beamdog multiplayer list if I remember right, of those about 200-300 were co-op, the rest persistent worlds. Steam total concurrent dropped, so did co-op, persistent worlds increased slightly with various DE server migrations.

    Fast forward to October, Steam was reporting around 700 concurrent weekend peaks, multiplayer list around 400-500, mostly persistent worlds now, almost no co-ops. In comparison NWN:DE multiplayer list (minus NWN:EE servers on there) plus Sinfar was also at 400-450 concurrent peaks, with slight shifts for EE at US peak times and DE at EU peak times.

    Sales also distort tracking. November hit with 60% off I believe, then 70% in December, and 60% again in early-mid January. Steam peaked just over 1400 concurrents, multiplayer peaked around 900-1000 concurrents. Currently it's 900ish for weekdays, 1100ish for weekends, multiplayer is around 700-800.

    There are other platforms to consider like mobile and GoG, however when they released the multiplayer numbers barely changed. It's possible people own multiple versions and switched platform or that they only play single player.

    I would estimate during peak activity persistent worlds are 30-40% of active players, 10-20% for co-op multiplayer, 30-50% for single player. Most co-op is for the OC. During non-sales periods (like October) it's about 50-70% persistent worlds, 0-10% co-op multiplayer, 30-40% single player.

    If NWN:EE could gain the NWN:DE pw players the total pw players total would go up about 150% during sales seasons, and up by 200% during off seasons. Increasing the max seasonal pw share to about 60% and 80% respectively.

    Keep in mind this is only based on observations of concurrent players which is the number of active players at the same point in time. It isn't the total log ins per day, and it isn't the total number of purchases or the total number of people that have spent any amount of time playing the game.

    My estimate on sales is that it may be as few as 50k-100k. If it's much higher than that then it doesn't seem like they're actively playing. Before Steamspy stopped working well it reported units sold in the vicinity of 20k-30k. It's unlikely that any of the sales broke the initial Steam sale number, but we don't have the numbers so it's anyones guess how many buy but hardly even (if ever) play it. It's certainly possible over a million bought it and never play it, only Beamdog knows the answer to that.

  • CalgacusCalgacus Member Posts: 135
    Thanks, that is interesting. I would have guessed that single player mode is still the vast majority of play - even among players who play community content. Maybe I should have phrased my question to be more pointed about community content players as, by definition, it is only that part of the community that can play a mod I might release.

    Does the vault list a modules number of downloads somewhere?

  • TarotRedhandTarotRedhand Member Posts: 604
    It's on the project/download page. If you look at the download link(s) you will see a number enclosed in brackets. That is the number of downloads for that particular file. So looking at my "A is for Adventure 0" module you will see that there have been (at the time of writing) 235 downloads of the module, 196 downloads of the optional movies in bik format and 42 downloads of the same movies in EE's wbm format.


  • ProlericProleric Member Posts: 433
    These rankings of popular modules might also help:

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 685
    It might be that single player is still the vast majority of players but they wouldn't be actively playing all of the time in the same was as multiplayer players do. What that means is if you have people that play single player on average 2 hours a month then you could in theory have 360 players in a 30 day month count as 1 hypothetical player that plays 24 hours a day in that same month.

    It still seems that community module popularity spreads through word of mouth. Most people play the same few popular modules, but if you want to draw a larger audience then you might consider tailoring the experience slightly. There is also a trend of occasional twitch streamers that stream community content modules in co-op mode with there friends. If you make sure that your module works well with co-op that might broaden the appeal, so when another big sale does hit you can advertise your module and list that as a feature.

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