Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kingdom of Loathing announces 2 million accounts

And now for some free advertising. The guys from Kingdom of Loathing want me to let you know that recently the 2 millionth account was opened in their game. They also announced KoL Con 6, the annual gathering of players in Mesa, Arizona, on September 19th-21st. I'm not posting all the press releases I get, but this one was signed by the "Director of Propaganda" of KoL, so how could I possibly refuse?

I kind of liked their formulation of "For those keeping score, that makes the free-to-play KoL only 2/11ths as popular as World of Warcraft, yet it remains infinitely less expensive.", because you can feel it is tongue-in-cheek. Free accounts never expire, and as far as I remember you need several accounts if you want to play several characters. So if you'd really want to measure "popularity", you'd better look at numbers like peak concurrent users, where Kingdom of Loathing like most other free games ends up looking a lot smaller than 2/11th of WoW.

This reminded me of an old question I had, for which I never found an answer: How many boxes of the basic game (as such, or as part of a pack with expansions) of World of Warcraft did Blizzard sell overall? I know that WoW still regularly appears in the top 10 of PC games sales charts, which makes me believe that they still sell tens, if not hundreds of thousands of boxes every month. We always hear about those fabled 11 million subscribers, but if everyone who ever had a WoW account would resubscribe, how many players would we have then? 20 million? 30 million? 50 million? More?

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