In the previous post I parrotted scalability figures for World of Warcraft. While investigating DVE's, I tripped across interesting figures for WoW and several other environments.


From this press release, we can see that in the first week of Halo-3's release,

  • 2.7 million people played Halo-3 online
  • They logged 40 million hours of online play that week

That's absolutely astonishing for a single game! 40 million hours is 19,230 US person YEARS of work, in a week!

World of Warcraft 

From Neilsen video game figures for September 2007, we see that

  • WoW was the most popular PC game by a factor of 3
  • The average player played 1051 minutes per week - 17.5 hours!

If the math holds up, that's 10 million subscribers * 17.5 hours/wk = 175 MILLION hours of WoW play per week, or 84,135 US person years of work equivalent for each week of play.

As a side note, "Traffic Analysis and Modeling for World of Warcraft" describes WoW traffic overall, and says the median download bandwidth for a player is 6.9 kbps, and the median uplink is 2.1 kbps. If we accept the peak number of simultaneous active users as 900,000, that's a total of 6.2 Gbps peak average upload from WoW datacenters for gameplay. Imagine all the processing that goes into calculating what's being communicated... Zowie!

Second Life

It's difficult to find reliable statistics for Second Life, and I haven't gone far into the research literature. From my own observations and inferences, and a quick search on the internet

  • Online user population tends to be between 25,000 and 50,000 at the times I connect.
  • A given region (a land parcel whose simulation is handled by a single server, and whose inhabitants can interact) looks able to support no more than one or two hundred users. I've seen limits of 63 attendees at invitation-only performance events, for 'technical reasons', which makes me wonder if perhaps the limit isn't 64 users per region?
  • Checking just now, it says 1,271,025 users have logged in in the last 60 days. Several months ago I saw a figure of 25,000 to 50,000 new accounts per day. If those numbers hold true on an average day today, and each new user logs in once, that would be 1.8M to 3M unique user logins. This leaves me uncertain of the active returning population in Second Life. Does anyone have better figures?

Anyways, enough random numbers for now. If you have anything to add, please leave a comment or send me mail, this sort of stuff is fascinating for me.