Bruce Woodcock's MMOGChart.com has updated with his latest tracking of MMO subscriptions. You may be able to guess what the bright green line disappearing into the sky is.
To be honest, the first graph of games with over 200,000 subscribers is difficult to get anything more than a single bit of information from. That is, that single proud green line reaching for the heavens, and a rainbow of colours trailing along the bottom. Frankly, you can't even decipher them. The message being, WoW has a lot of subs, and no fuck else.
Which is why, when you've got past that piece of perpetual industry wisdom, the 70,000 to 700,000 graph is a lot more useful. If only because it uses some of that lovely Y-axis for more than World of Warcraft. In terms of big games last year, Lord of the Rings online - extrapolated from statements from Turbine - floats in at around 200K, as of the middle of last year. He extrapolates from NCSoft's financial reports that as of December, Tabula Rasa had 125,000 subscribers - which is, to my eyes, not quite as disastrous as everyone was saying if true, though clearly a disappointment. NCSoft's prediction for 2008 is between 80,000 and 100,000 users, so by that I'd speculate that 125K is falling. In terms of pre-existing games, there's patchy reporting on some of them, but RPS beaus City of Heroes and Eve caught my eye. Eve continues its steady climb, with an impressive 224,942 subscribers - though you have to wonder how many are Jim's multiple accounts. There's like a Ozymandias-from-Watchmen wall of monitors up there, y'know. Meanwhile, City of Heroes 136,250 continues its slow descent - but it really is a slow one.
I suspect the pair of them are evidence that when a game has no obvious competitors, it tends to buy an impressive degree of loyalty. Jim's oft heard to lament that there's nothing he can play other than Eve if he wants his Eve-like kick. I suspect he's not the only one, and - looking at what's in development - you can't see those City of Heroes or Eve-fans emigrating elsewhere.
Oh, and linked to that, to finish - MMOGChart's breakdown of games by genre. That big slice is "Fantasy".
That's just depressing.