Is hardcore PvP a growth market?
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 February 2013, 5:46 am
In yesterday's thread a commenter remarked about Wizardry Online: "My guess is the same 10-20K people who like that sort of stuff and complain about carebears all the time will gravitate to it". And it struck me how invariable that 10-20K number appears to be over the years. There were about 10-20K hardcore PvP players left in UO Felucca, once the others left for Trammel in 2000. EVE Online has about 10-20K players in nullsec. Darkfall has about 10-20K players when it's up. Mortal Online even less. Compared to the casual PvE part of the market, which grew a lot from 2000 to now, the hardcore PvP market appears to be rather stable in size. Why is that?

Normally I would assume that in any population the hardcore make up a certain percentage. If the MMORPG market overall grows by a factor of 20, the hardcore PvP niche part of it should have grown as well. But other than by mathematically dubious methods of counting every EVE account as a PvP player, which is doubly incorrect due most players having several accounts and 80+% of players staying in safe space, no growth is visible.

Of course I don't think it is exactly the same 10-20K people playing these games for over a decade. At least some must have dropped out and some new players arrived. But the overall size of the group seems remarkably stable. Is there some inherent factor that makes it impossible for a hardcore PvP game to grow bigger than that, unless it offers a lot of safe space for the not-so-hardcore?
Tobold's Blog

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