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#1 Aug 16 2016 at 9:25 PM Rating: Excellent
Source: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-deyjtfLXZZenFtcDVPNFZCaEk/view

This is from the same guy who did the previous active player estimates.

From the OF, on the methodology: "Active is determined to be any CHARACTER (as it is impossible to determine account association at this time) above level 10 that has had any change at all to their lodestone profile between the previous unofficial census and either of the 2 passes through the PUBLICLY available lodestone data. This includes any new minions , mounts, a change of job, any gain of levels, any new achievments, or even a single change in gear. So in order to be listed as inactive you need to have not done anything at all since April (the last time they did this) making it a fairly accuracte gauge for the number of active characters. Keep in mind that this means that if someone were to have multiple characters that they are active on this would count as more than 1 therefor the active subs are less than the total of active characters (though I would say probably less than 10% of people have played actively on 2+ chracters so it should be within negligible amounts)"

So people who play more than one character per account skew the player numbers slightly, but so do players who have their Lodestone data set to private (which is probably an even smaller percentage).

My reaction? Roughly 500k players at this point in 2.x's lifespan is about what I'd expect, and it seems similar to where we were at with 3.x approaching last year, though probably down slightly. But this really stamps out the doomsday prophets who were claiming the game only has like 200k players. Turns out, the game is actually pretty healthy, which shouldn't really surprise anyone.
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#2 Aug 16 2016 at 10:54 PM Rating: Decent
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Notice the player metrics.

We've got two abnormalities in stats. First is active players, with Balmung leading the pack in chracter activity, and Chocobo leading the pack in percentage Midas savage clears.

What's funny to pay attention to is how different the values are here.

The biggest 'hardcore' server, Chocobo, with it's clears, sits at 7.8%, with the next nearest competitor dropping down to 3.42%

Meanwhile the highest population server has a clear percentage of .29 % Second highest population server for characters has a win percentage of 1.73%

Overall % of Midas clears among ACTIVE characters: Roughly 1.14% or about 5700 people total.

Now I'm sure the number of mules and Alts (especially RP alts) alter the numbers a bit. But you can truncate the entire population of Balmung and not move the metric more than a percentage point.
#3 Aug 17 2016 at 1:10 AM Rating: Good
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I wish we could know what levels the active characters are.

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but so do players who have their Lodestone data set to private (which is probably an even smaller percentage).


Mounts and Minions are public even if your settings are on private, so they'd still be counted.
#4 Aug 17 2016 at 1:46 AM Rating: Good
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Look again at the Census data. At certain points in the main quest-line you're given minions for completion. These are used as mile markers by the Census to determine player advancement. So we get markers for 20, 50, 55, 59, and various story-points at 60.

However, we are also coming up on The Rising event here soon, which may also release more Official Census data. We're about due at this point which will add and correct the unofficial data.

No need for me to state opinions I've already shared here. People can look at the data and derive what I think is happening and should be done.
#5 Aug 17 2016 at 8:40 AM Rating: Decent
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I mean I dunno considering how long of a period they use I feel like they catch quite a lot of people that are not active players, but gave it a shot for a short while. Especially considering they had a patch in there (which usually draws people for a week) as well as the "come try the game again for free for two weeks" campaign. Me and my friends played two days a few months ago. I don't think that makes us active players but we would count and the same goes for everyone coming back for the free weeks and then never touching it again.

Don't get me wrong I think the game is doing well but I don't think this is a very accurate method or definition of active unless you actually don't care about heavily inflated numbers. It just sounds like someone is trying to make it sound like there are more people to play with than there actually are.

Edited, Aug 17th 2016 10:45am by Belcrono
#6 Aug 17 2016 at 10:05 AM Rating: Excellent
This person has actually done several of these polls at different points, with no pattern of bias or certain agendas. You are right about there being a patch, but I doubt that would heavily swing the numbers -- especially not to the low numbers that some people were claiming.

Really, the numbers just look very close to what they looked like last year.

None of these counts are ever going to be accurate, but looking at the data it's pretty safe to say the game has close to 500k active players right now. I'd also safely wager that we'll see another huge influx of people returning when 4.0 hits, just like they did when 3.0 hits.

Edited, Aug 17th 2016 9:07am by Thayos
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#7Runespider, Posted: Aug 17 2016 at 10:48 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) These numbers are very poor, however given that this is a cash shop mmo it's more than enough. It does explain the increase in importance, price and volume of cash shop cosmetics.
#8 Aug 17 2016 at 11:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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All you do is make people angry who like to think it's a million sub mmo.


Those people are few and far between. Most people know the "millions of registered users" has nothing to do with subs.

These numbers aren't poor at all, though. They could be better, for sure, but Yoshi-P has stated in the past that 500k active subs is essentially the game's target playerbase. And that number is likely going to shoot up again once 4.0 is released.

In the meantime, we'll undoubtedly dip well below 500k as 4.0 draws nearer, but that's also to be expected. Many people who don't enjoy the gear grind resub at expansions or patches.
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#9 Aug 17 2016 at 2:27 PM Rating: Default
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Belcrono wrote:
Don't get me wrong I think the game is doing well but I don't think this is a very accurate method or definition of active unless you actually don't care about heavily inflated numbers. It just sounds like someone is trying to make it sound like there are more people to play with than there actually are.

Edited, Aug 17th 2016 10:45am by Belcrono


Yep - The only way to get an accurate number is for SE to release the numbers themselves because as I've said quite a few times before it's extremely hard to get any realistic number. Especially when you consider the biggest dip to XIV's population happened between 3.0 > 3.1 due to that insanely large gap of no content update, then 3.2 > 3.3 had quite a dip as well.

You can realistically only parse what's available to the public in a database which is why no matter how you slice it, we really need SE to release the numbers because you also have to take into consideration the people who don't even use said mount/minion.

That's why logging into populated servers like Balmung really disillusions you into how many people truly are playing, because most other servers don't have anywhere near as many people around. They may have characters there they use once a week to cap tomes/weekly items on reset as for how long they play, but that too is another value we need to get from SE themselves. There are ways to get it ourselves but no one wants to risk legal action.

I still think that little video series they did a short while back where they said 5 million adventurers world wide is why a lot of people bring up the "x million" number because SE themselves (or whoever does their videos) have said on a few occasions "players" and not accounts/characters, since Balmung alone would have the most made since 2 of my LS on Balmung have people with no less than 16 characters for RP purposes, so they pad SE nicely.

Just like recently ESO folks basically stated they're one of the more popular MMOs out in terms of subs which was surprising if that many people ACTUALLY are playing it.
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#10 Aug 18 2016 at 3:21 AM Rating: Default
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Hopefully the new expansion will be good and it can bring back the lost players.

Edited, Aug 18th 2016 5:22am by Runespider
#11 Aug 19 2016 at 1:49 AM Rating: Decent
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Theonehio wrote:
The only way to get an accurate number is for SE to release the numbers themselves...

Relying on SE for accurate numbers... the official website says 5 million so this new data must be wrong Smiley: sly
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#12 Aug 19 2016 at 9:20 AM Rating: Decent
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Oh how glib of you! Such a razor sharp wit you have. I am sure square enix is stinging terribly from such painfully origional and critical of statements.

Seriously guys, give it a rest. We get it. You aren't achieving anything whatsoever by being that bitter here of all places. Each one of you could just wave and say *insert my typical remarks here. Ane everyone could mqke five different yet still thematically accurate statements in your own wording.

I am seriously considering just making that thread that weekend.
#13 Aug 19 2016 at 12:02 PM Rating: Decent
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It probably is close to that but i wonder how many actually play much anymore.
Look at Tesee she still has a account just tog on once a month to walk in her house so she does not loose it.
I know several people that only play a couple times every few months. It sure does not seem like as many people sitting around as used to be when they claimed in the beginning 500,000 users it feels like half. Again I do not doubt there is that many subbed but I believe hours played are way down, which eventually leads to cancelled accounts as people get on less and less. I am not calling for the end of the game or anything but I think there is going to be a drop in population..

I just saw a huge thread where people were just ripping on this game.. One guy said FFXIV world feel like a giant game lobby where you que to run a dungeon. Other than the story there is little interaction with the environment. I thought that was very accurate.
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#14 Aug 21 2016 at 9:15 AM Rating: Good
Nashred wrote:
It probably is close to that but i wonder how many actually play much anymore.
Look at Tesee she still has a account just tog on once a month to walk in her house so she does not loose it.
I know several people that only play a couple times every few months. It sure does not seem like as many people sitting around as used to be when they claimed in the beginning 500,000 users it feels like half. Again I do not doubt there is that many subbed but I believe hours played are way down, which eventually leads to cancelled accounts as people get on less and less. I am not calling for the end of the game or anything but I think there is going to be a drop in population..

I just saw a huge thread where people were just ripping on this game.. One guy said FFXIV world feel like a giant game lobby where you que to run a dungeon. Other than the story there is little interaction with the environment. I thought that was very accurate.


That's why, until SE releases actual numbers, we'll never know. I'm one to log in every time they have a welcome back campaign, so I'm probably counted in this process. I've only actually subbed for one month in the last year though. I'm sure a ton of people fall into this category.
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#15 Aug 21 2016 at 1:39 PM Rating: Decent
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I've logged on the last two free campaigns, spoken to my (one) friend left of a linkshell/FC of 25-30, roamed around the house, changed jobs, ran Deep dungeon twice, flew around Zenith and then logged out and won't touch it again till the next free campaign.

I'm part of the 500k because technically I'm active, but am I really an active player? I certainly don't consider myself one, and I don't give SE money.
#16 Aug 21 2016 at 3:50 PM Rating: Default
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copperguy wrote:
I've logged on the last two free campaigns, spoken to my (one) friend left of a linkshell/FC of 25-30, roamed around the house, changed jobs, ran Deep dungeon twice, flew around Zenith and then logged out and won't touch it again till the next free campaign.

I'm part of the 500k because technically I'm active, but am I really an active player? I certainly don't consider myself one, and I don't give SE money.


Yep, for the purpose of unofficial parsing you count. Anyone who logged in on the free login counts if they were part of the scan. My 8 characters count as they're active. My friend's 16 RP characters count as they're active. Pretty much anyone who just so much as look at the game with a trial counts.

This is why we need SE's numbers because only they (legally) can count unique logins, which is what will get you the actual sub number.
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#17 Aug 23 2016 at 3:44 PM Rating: Good
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Thayos, I can't post on the OF since I'm not subscribed but I've followed your arguments on there--you've said before that you think 500k is still plenty of subscriptions but if it continues to dip, SE is going to be in trouble. Do you have a rough range where you personally consider it to have crossed a line and is slipping into the "this is bad" range?
#18 Aug 23 2016 at 3:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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Thayos, I can't post on the OF since I'm not subscribed but I've followed your arguments on there--you've said before that you think 500k is still plenty of subscriptions but if it continues to dip, SE is going to be in trouble. Do you have a rough range where you personally consider it to have crossed a line and is slipping into the "this is bad" range?


Just FYI, the reason I've said that about 500k is because that's what Yoshi-P said would be an ideal long-term playerbase. So it's not really about what I think as much as what SE has said is acceptable.

I expect the active playerbase to dip well below that over the remainder of 3.x, but that doesn't worry me because the same thing happened at the end of 2.x, and I'm sure SE is planning on that again. This is just me guessing, but my assumption on Yoshi-P's 500k figure is that he views that as more of an average rather than a set monthly total. Like, if an expansion cycle starts with 800k subs and ends with 300k subs, he'd probably be fine with that because the average monthly subs would be 500k over the entire cycle. With a strong vertical game like this, it's only logical that more people will leave as the expansion cycle nears its end. However, just like when 3.x launched, I expect a surge of people to return (and subscribe) to try out the new expansion.

Here's where the game could be in trouble... while XIV has no trouble getting new players, it definitely has a problem keeping people around. And that's why I argue we need a more diverse endgame than just hardcore raiding, because most gamers aren't raiders and they don't find endgame interesting (raid participation rates weren't really much better with coil, either).

XIV won't be able to keep getting droves of new players forever; that's a luxury of the game still being relatively new. But the game won't really be new anymore with 4.x, and that influx of new players will start tapering off. Retention will become far more critical. If SE fails to retain new players, then we could be right back in this position next year but with 300k players instead of 500k... and THAT would be a problem.

So right now -- while not everything is hunky dory -- things aren't bad, either. But it's pretty clear that next year could be bad unless SE does a better job of prioritizing the needs of its players.

I'm still somewhat optimistic because of content like Diadem and Deep Dungeons. We're starting to see SE implement new types of content that break the average player's grind of tome dungeons/24-man raid/story mode raid. Extreme primals and savage/extreme raids are always going to be somewhat inaccessible for most players, but SE has shown signs of acknowledging this and creating more for the bulk of the playerbase to do. But we really still need some kind of compelling progression-oriented endgame that amounts to more than something you spam with a bunch of randoms. We really need content that takes full advantage of the game's FC infrastructure.

Think about how many people stuck around in FFXI just for the people. There are hundreds of thousands of people who play this game, and SE has failed to provide substantial content that encourages people to form server communities and cooperate outside of exclusionary statics. People don't want to have to play the game like a second job -- they just want to play.

Edited, Aug 23rd 2016 3:02pm by Thayos
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#19 Aug 23 2016 at 6:10 PM Rating: Good
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You very well may be right that Yoshi himself wouldn't be overly bothered if the cycle went 800k for a spike and 300k at the very end, but one thing that might change is if he gets any pressure from higher-ups that they need to change something if it's slipped down to so few subscriptions. Now I have no idea how much freedom he has, but I would guess that every company ever has bosses that like to step in and push ideas when they see possible downturns on their profits. I wouldn't expect a big change but that would likely be a cue for more things on the mog station, or push it more aggressively etc. On the other hand if it's mid expansion cycle and they're at 300k...that's when I'd start to panic, personally. That's an official trend, ha.

I absolutely agree on the new players though--from the start that was something I shook my head over, the feeling that they wanted XIV to be something brand new and exciting to everyone--XI players, 1.0 players, WoW players, FF franchise players etc, but had no real plans to keep them. It's still has some new players, sure, but it's slowing down fast because it's simply not a brand new game anymore and word of mouth has probably reached most of those that haven't played it that might potentially by this point. Once that becomes a trickle...XIV's gonna have to change because you can't keep a disposable playerbase when you can't replace them.

And I don't even want to think about how few FC things there are, man. My LS was made up of vets from 10 years of playing together on XI and then together on XIV. Same server as you, actually. But we didn't raid, none of us were interested in it...and there's an enormous gap from 'decorate the FC house' to 'Alexander Savage!". We got people relics back at the 2.1 era, that was more our speed for 'raiding'. Our house looks nice though, and isn't that what's important?

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