Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The winter is coming, but it's still autumn

Noizy gamer wrote a piece on the recent Average Concurrent User data, finished with the claim "But winter is coming and EVE historically sees an increase in player activity during this season." Is that a true, or just a bad line from a TV series?

So I jumped on the EVE Offline data and divided every week with the average of the half year before and after it. This calculation cancels out long term trends (the average of 1, 2, 3 is 2, so if you divide the middle point with the average, you get 1) and provides only the in-year pattern. Since the data goes back to 2006, we'll get 8 data points for each week. You can see these points and their averages on the chart below:

Well, winter is indeed the most active season. However it's s only about 7% above average, so it won't turn things upside down. Strangely, autumn is the worst season and the transition between them is pretty steep, while the transition back is a slow, constant change during spring and summer. I have no clue why, but it's the observable fact.

One thing worth noting is that the steep transition will probably see a temporary price drop in PLEX, since the free-players are stable and the PLEX producers come and go. If many come back at once, they can push the prices down for a short time.

PS: extreme moron down.


Anonymous said...

I wonder how a guy like him ( can get only two death in such a long period of time. I'm guessing must be an alt toon... but still... Hmm.

maxim said...

The usual industry explanation is that people spend more time at home during winter, so there is a general rise of interest in home entertainment during that period, which generates the spike of participation you are observing.

Then over the year this participation spike bleeds off, with some people being done with games mid-january, while others keep playing until spring, while others staying until summer, while others still only get distracted when the new schoolyear rolls over in autumn.

Rasmus Forlorn said...

On which hemisphere are the majority of EVE players?

If the answer is northern hemisphere, then I would guess there is a correlation with reduced hours of daylight, reduced demands from school/study/work after the first wave of things to do(tm) after the summer break/holiday.

Average age would also be interesting - as a kid my playing time was much more seasonal around the breaks than now working full time for many years and raising a family.

Gevlon said...

@Rasmus: that would explain a sinusoid line with winter top and summer bottom, slight transition in-between. Not a cliff wall on Dec 1

Anonymous said...

"that would explain a sinusoid line with winter top and summer bottom, slight transition in-between. Not a cliff wall on Dec 1"

Release date: December 18, 2003 (Castor)
Release date: November 17, 2004 (Exodus)
Release date: December 16, 2005 (RMR)
Release date: November 29, 2006 (Revelations)
Release date: December 5, 2007(Trinity)
Release date: November 11, 2008 (Quantum Rise)
Release date: December 1, 2009(Dominion)
Release Date: November 30, 2010 (Incursion)
Release date: November 29, 2011 (Crucible)
Release date: December 4, 2012 (Retribution)
Release date: November 19, 2013 (Rubicon)

May go some way to explaining it, especially when you look at the dates of the "best" expansion.

The summer expansions do not cause such a spike as player numbers and participation are lower, whereas in the winter, lots of games launch expansions as they know it will generate a big spike in player base, even temporarily.

MoxNix said...

"I have no clue why, but it's the observable fact."

It's the students going back to school in the fall.

Early in the fall they're still settling into the school routine and the weather is still nice for outdoor activities. But as fall progresses and moves on into winter they have more and more time for gaming.