My last article on XY3 and XYQ can be found here:
As I predicted, XYQ’s new expansion pact was released on 9/25/2007. See the following link for the official announcement:
On that date, the number of searches on Baidu went up by more than 100%. However, it was not reflected on the server count the same date. It is to be expected since 9/25/2007 is a Tuesday. Again, this is another demonstration that Baidu's statistics only tell us about the amount of curiosity. It is really the server count that matters.
The upcoming National day holiday would most likely tell us more, but I do expect a nice pickup. The timing is perfect for this release of XYQ expansion pact.
For XY3, I am starting to become confident on the longevity of this game. During this weekend, in preparation for the upcoming National day holiday, XY3 is going to add 7 new servers. They are going to add 3 on the upcoming Friday and 4 on the coming Sunday. It will make the total server counts 138. The official link is as follows:
I had seen the estimate of 50% to 60% retentions rate from open beta to commercial operation for XY3 from quite a few wall street analysts. I never think it is possible. It might be true 2 or 3 years ago. But ever since the flood of free-to-play game in the market in recent years, it will be lucky for a paying game to achieve a retention rate of 20%.
For XY3, my rough estimate is about 30%. It might disappoint a few wall street analysts, but I consider it a good start.
But most importantly, NTES is adding tremendous amount of new content and the game is growing again.
At this point, XY3 has 131 servers. But it is NOT a 131 server game. It is really a 70 (my rough estimate) server game. There are two types of servers, open beta servers and local servers.
There are about 115 open beta servers. These are the servers that are open since open beta. These servers (except for a few) are dying. These servers have enough players that they could be consolidated into roughly 50 healthy servers.
Then, there are the local servers. Most of these servers are opened after the commercial launch. There are 16 in total. They are basically full most of the date and NTES can’t add enough local servers fast enough to meet demand.
The 7 new servers NTES planned to add this weekend are of course the local servers.
Therefore, at this point XY3 is a solid 70 to 80 servers game. Just for comparison sake, XY2 has 273 servers and XYQ has 430 servers.
But XY3 is growing. Most importantly, it has a major ace in its sleeve, the conversion from XY2 to XY3 hasn’t started yet.
XY2 is a game with 273 servers. It is a game with a PCU of 592k. It is an old game (> 5 years). For every one current player, there are at least 10 older players who no longer play the game. The amount of players who had played XY2 is tremendous.
Every one of these players, older or current players, have play characters in XY2. They can all be converted into XY3 and becoming high level players instantly in XY3.
At this point, the design team in XY3 is adding tremendous amount of content every week so XY3 is complete enough and with good play balance so the conversion can take place.
It will probably be one to two months before the conversion can take place. But when that happens, we may be talking about a quantum jump of double or triple in size.