Two HUNdred MILLion…Players?

posted by on 27th July 2012, at 5:08pm

As I write this the RuneScape Player countdown (count-up?) is at 199,571,517 (and going up). In fact by the time I finished writing that last sentence and this sentence it is now 199,571,587. Strangely quick-moving, eh?
This has got me wondering how many of these new players are humans.

“Well all of them, of course! Duh!”

Yeah, that’s what one might think, but riddle me this, Batman. For a few weeks after the Bot Nuke there was 60k-80k players on Runescape DURING PEAK PLAY TIMES. Before the Bot Nuke there were 130k-150k during normal play times. Now, a few months after the But Nuke, there are ~165k characters logged in as I write this. Seems strange that so many players would take a hiatus right after Bot Nuke and come back a few months later.

Unless, of course, there was no hiatus taken, only a brief set back and now they’ve found a hole in Jagex’s armour. If that’s the case then there was roughly 70k bots on before and now there’s roughly 80k. Jagex set off a nuke in one part of the battlefield which drained resources from another part and left a gap, seemingly.

But what does this have to do with their milestone? Well I was just thinking… if half of Jagex’s currently active players are bots, and if Jagex actively bans (Note: banned characters are not deleted) bots that they find and if they’re finding bots regularly, then this milestone is utterly flawed. Because for every one bot Jagex bans another one will be created.

But, let’s look at another picture.

Let’s say half of Runescape’s total characters are humans, and the rest are active or banned bots. So if Runescape has roughly 200m total characters with half being legit humans, that gives us 100m legit human players and 100m illegal bot/sweatshop characters. If there’s an average of 160k players on at any one time and if that is also split half and half then you have 80k of each one each day. If it was always the same 80k legit players then that’s a true activity percentage of .08%. If there are 80k different legit players playing each day then that’s an activity percentage of .56%. That means less than 1% of all registered accounts are active. That, in my opinion, is not really a statistic to be boasting about.

I could go on all day about stats and possible bot:human ratios but there’s not really any point. The numbers I’ve given are fairly conservative, and in reality are probably much higher than they actually are (meaning the true numbers are worse and there are less real players than I estimated).

I rest my case about the bots and move on to other topics.

Oh, By the way, the total players since launch is now 199,574,586. They’ve gained over 3,000 new characters in less than 30 minutes. At that rate (1,000 per 10 minutes or 100 a minute) it will take roughly 4,254 minutes or 70.9 hours. So I’d estimate by afternoon on July 19th they will have reached there goal. So by the time you read this you’ll be able to see if I was correct.

What’s the significance of two hundred million accounts? Well any way you look at it it’s a big number. 200,000,000. Two Hundred Million. Yep, pretty big either way. Does that number really mean anything to the game of RuneScape? Not directly. It might and probably will though because Jagex is very likely to add something in game because of it.

I do wonder if two hundred million ‘players since launch’ will make or break any records. Currently the only record Runescape holds is Most Popular Free to Play MMORPG. In my opinion this record is a farse with them because I guarantee you they do not have enough active free players to hold the record versus some other games simply because there is not enough content in the free demo to constitute that many people playing it. Nevertheless, they have it due to the their 200 million accounts(of which less than 1% are active as I mentioned earlier).

Currently there are 34 normal free servers with roughly 700 players on each.
There are 78 normal members servers with roughly 1,400 players on each.
That means there are currently roughly 23.8k free players on and 109.2k members. That means roughly 17.9% of current players are free to play. If that number roughly translates to total accounts (which, it probably would when those accounts were active) then out of the 200m accounts about 35.8m are free with the remaining 164.2m being members.

The RuneScape Hi scores only shows members so we can get a firm number of how many members are currently subscribing: 1,892,723. If we use this number combined with the percentages of players on right now we could fairly safely assume there are ~412,000 active free players.


But I digress…

Either way I put it, 200,000,000 total accounts, whether active or inactive is a big milestone and they deserve some congratulations on it. If this number includes all banned bots, I wouldn’t be surprised. If it does not include them then it really is something worthy of note.

Good job on the milestone, Jagex. Now let’s move on and get some decent non-kiddy updates for us older crowds.

By the way, the countdown/up is officially at 199,591,243 as I finish writing this. They’ve gained roughly 20,000 players since I started writing!

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