Less than one in four play online multiplayer

According to statistics posted by Stardock regarding the game ‘Demigod’.

Only 23% of people who have purchased Demigod have ever even attempted to logon to play Internet multiplayer

From RPS;

I recall something similar but with even lower numbers from Oleg Maddox about the IL-2 series. People who play online a a very loud but, I would wager, very small minority with most games.

I wonder if the numbers are similar for the 360. Or for a more popular game, like Modern Warfare 2?

I can state that the same is true with Gratuitous Space Battles. A huge chunk of people haver bought the game and never even chosen an online username.
The silent majority who aren’tplaying online don’t post on forums, so they get underrepresented.
singleplayer FTW

The only reason I signed up for an online username in GSB is so I could issue challenges to myself. I really have no desire whatsoever to compete against other players.

If very few people play online, how can you explain MMOs?

OTOH, can I slap back at Raph for calling singleplayer a random chance mutant that shouldn’t have ever existed?

I post on forums, and I never do multiplayer in those games. MMOs don’t count, Foxstab, and you know it. Try to look at the context of the post. There is no single-player variant of MMOs, but if I had the option of playing WoW as a single-player game, I would probably take it.

It has more to do with the type of game than the popularity. Playing Demigod or a RTS usually involves a bigger time commitment per session than MW2. People don’t like losing a match after investing 30-60 minutes into it. With MW2 you also get immediate satisfaction from each kill and it doesn’t matter as much if your team lost at the end of the round. Also personally I find RTS pros more intimidating than FPS pros. I have a chance to kill a FPS pro but to beat a RTS pro with his micro skills which he’s been sharpening since Starcraft came out seems near impossible. I’ve pretty much given up on competitive RTS even though I used to play a lot back in C&C days.

Demigod is easier than other RTS but I still feel that I have to go through too many losing matches against people who have been playing much longer.

I wouldn’t necessary say that. A few years back I recall someone from Epic saying that less than half of the people who bought UT2k3/4 took it online. It probably has more to do with how robust the solo skirmish modes are, which tend to be better in RTSs than FPSs.

Just because only 23% of people playing Demigod played online has little to do with how many people actually play online.

People who buy and install MMOs don’t have an option to play it single player.

And before you say only an idiot would buy WoW without knowing it requires a sub/net connection, you should see the numbers on just how many people buy an MMO box but never get beyond logging in. IIRC, Lum said it was something like 15-20%.

There’s another silent minority, albeit a small one, that plays multiplayer games exclusively… but also exclusively on a LAN. Especially when it comes to RTS games, I never, ever, ever play competitive RTS games online with people I don’t know. The last games I did that were Starcraft and Warcraft3.

RTS competitive gameplay in my past experience has always boiled down to using a cheese strategy or a particularly effective rush strategy (or the ever-prevalent “disconnect-when-losing” strategy). Even when a counter to these ubiquitous tactics are learned, I find the game becomes extremely repetitive and boring. So I play RTS games with my friends on a LAN, where we’re more interested in having fun rather than fluffing up our win/loss ratio.

Granted, that’s going to be a small minority, but we are out there. There’s a reason we never picked up GalCiv2, but are frothing at the mouth for Elemental.

If very few people play online, how can you explain MMOs?

What percentage of WoW subscribers enjoy the solo/leveling game but never want to group with other players for dungeons or raids or participate in PvP content? I’m sure the kind of people who play WoW as if it were a single-player game make up a non-trivial amount of the total population.

Yep, same here. When I lived in Seattle, I only ever played strategy games either hotseat (for MOO2, Age of Wonders, etc) or on a LAN (MOO2 again, C&C: Generals, Warlords Battlecry series, Warcraft 3, etc.). I never played them online until I moved to Kansas City, since I still have friends in Seattle I want to play with.

How many people pay for an mmo like wow or eve and then NEVER interact with other players at all? That would be pretty much the same thing as a single player game, except with monthly fee.

I’m definitely one who never plays competitive multiplayer online. I like playing co-op with friends, but that’s about it. Hell, I bought Frontlines and played only the single player portion (which I loved).

You guys need to play more RTS games online. Particularly those of you who haven’t tried since Starcraft/C&C. But yeah the lack of team play options or the ability to contribute without bothering to learn game strategies like mp shooters certainly should cause lower online numbers for RTS games. Demigod, even though it’s intended as multiplayer, isn’t the best measure of all gamers.

I would bet the data supports a mixture of these two possibilities. Again, have to go with anecdotal evidence at this point, but being a mature gamer, I rarely jump into online games outside of MMOs and some FPSs.

I have Demigod, played a couple of matches and jumped out. Same with Command & Conquer. Dawn of War 2, Starcraft, Warcraft 3, and Sins of a Solar Empire are games where I never even got on to play, only single player.

Most FPS games though, I have played online that have that component. I even own all the Battlefield games for the PC, as well as Frontlines, L4D and such. The reasons are simple, time, satisfaction of play, and other players.

Think about an FPS, usually you can just jump in and play for a round or two and leave. This could be 10 minutes even. While my gaming usually ends up being longer than that, I go in knowing I am not making a huge time commitment. However, an RTS or strategy game almost always has a 30 minute commitment or longer.

Satisfaction is simple, if I play a lot of games, which I do, I don’t often invest a large amount of time into a single game. So if I jump into the newest FPS, I can shoot bullets, kill people and feel satisfaction that I made some accomplishments. However, jump into the online strategy community for a game and you will be destroyed unless you have that singular title well studied. If you don’t have the correct build order for your RTS, don’t have the perfect synergy of powers for your Demigod, or don’t understand all the complexities of espionage in BTS, then you will lose and lose handidly.

Finally, other players. Usually, even a team based FPS can be experienced as a solo player. If you do something wrong or incorrect, it is unlikely you will get called for it, and if you are, it is easy to mute the player with minimal impact on your gaming. Strategy games, usually with a smaller group of players, and more need to coordinate with team members, this becomes the opposite effect. I have jumped into too many Demigod games, tried to work with my teammates to take the flags only to be called viscous names because I didn’t build my character right. While I could mute them as well, this lack of team work in the game will cause an almost guaranteed loss.

An exception to the norm. Also, a lot of people solo their way through MMORPGs.

True, but I believe they’re consistent with every other time I’ve seen stats like this published: that SP-only gamers significantly outnumber the MP ones for games which include both types of gameplay.

Still a pretty big improvement. IIRC, only 10% of UT2k3 keys were ever used online. Warren can probably refresh that number.

Thing is, most players just want to play the game, and aren’t interested in the kind of competitive multiplayer most games offer. Most online multiplayer is hardcore in nature, involves direct skill based conflict, and requires interacting with the scum of the internet.