My previous post on XY2 and XY3 is here:
From my previous articles, NTES originally planned to use XY3 to replace XY2, but they changed their mind and keep both XY2 and XY3 as separate games. Both game have different development teams.
In the 2nd quarter of 2007, XY2 has a PCU (Peak Concurrent Users) = 505k. In 3Q2007, it has a PCU = 305k.
In this article, I will give a chronological order of the XY2 and XY3 development.
For XY2, the last PCU record occurred on 10/1/2006. It had a PCU = 603k. But XY2 is an old game and is slowly dying. It can never get another PCU record again.
On 4/15/2007, it is the last time XY2 has a health PCU = 482k. After that, XY2 is clearly aging.
On 5/20/2007, it is about the time XY3 went into external closed beta. On that date, XY2 has a PCU =304k.
From then on, users can get to play XY3 for free (XY3 is in beta testing) and a lot of XY2 players start to migrate to XY3.
Therefore, on 9/9/2007, the Sunday prior to XY3 went into commercial operation, XY2 has a PCU = 190k.
But even after XY3 goes into commercial operation, a lot of XY2 players are revolting against Netease. A lot of XY2 players don’t want to migrate to XY3. They already had very high level player characters. Even though Netease promise them that they can migrate their player characters to XY3, a lot of XY2 users think that their characters wouldn’t be as powerful in XY3.
Netease relented. On 10/8/2007, Netease announced that they will keep XY2 alive. Rather than using XY3 to replace XY2, Netease will keep XY2 and XY3 as two separate games. There will be two separate development teams to develop those two games.
After that, XY2 is start to grow again. On 1/13/2008, the last Sunday, XY2 has a PCU = 294k.
On the same day, 1/13/2008, XY3 has a PCU = 152k.
If we adds the PCU of both XY2 and XY3 together, we will get a PCU = 446k on 1/13/2008.
Now, that is significant higher than the 3Q PCU of 305k. It is getting close to the 2Q PCU of 505k.
At this point, it is clear that both XY2 and XY3 are growing again. XY3 is growing by attracting a lot of non-XY2 players. XY2 is growing by attracting a lot of old XY2 players (who left 1 or 2 years ago) back.
After all this, by screwing up the execution, Netease got lucky. Now, from a dying title, Netease got two (or really 1.5) major titles. XY2 will keep on going to be a major title for probably another 2 to 3 years. At this point, with a PCU of 150k, XY3 is a very good hit. But it can definitely able to grow to be a major hit.
Chinese market almost amazes me.