The following article has been written and submitted to Rift Junkies by Official Forum user Imi, all work and material was done by him in full. If you wish to contact him please send him a PM on the Official Forums.
Trion has remained conspicuously silent about current subscription numbers for Rift, leaving many fans wondering whether the game is thriving or floundering. Individual anecdotes are notoriously unreliable and often boil down to a player having to spent too much time in a queue. Therefore, the reasoning goes, the game is floundering.
However, there is actual population data to be teased out of the game and it universally shows that Trion’s playerbase is gaining steam and growing.
The most obvious example is the realization that Trion recently saw its 2,000,000th account created on May 23rd. Although not officially announced yet by the game company, it is relatively easy to confirm since a player’s account number is included as part of his forum ID. For example, my forum account is “http://forums.riftgame.com/member.php?593887-Imi”, which indicates that I am the 593,887th Trion account and that I joined the forums on 2-1-2011. Using this approach, one can easily find that, as of May 25th, there were at least 2,050,000 accounts.
Further analysis shows that 18,000 to 20,000 new accounts have been created each day over the past week. If this rate continues, we could realistically expect to see Trion’s 3,000,000th account sometime in late July or early August.
Obviously, many new accounts represent trial-only players or spammers who will never purchase a subscription. It is notable, however, that the rate of new accounts being created has doubled since early March (confirmed using the same technique) and seems to be increasing as word of mouth and good reviews about the game continue to spread.
But will these new players flooding into the game stay for the long-term or just drop shortly after their trial? For that, we will have to wait and see if the number of servers that have prime time queues continues to rise. Currently two of the 49 NA servers will spike to “Full”, while 9 others reach “High” during peak times. If these numbers increase, that’s a good sign of overall growth.
Trion, to their credit, is doing their best to keep players interested by remaining responsive to concerns and pumping out new features and endgame content at an alarming rate.
Now that Rift has legitimately weathered the initial lull as the rush of initial 30-day players passed, talk of server merges is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Rift has 99 servers and the player population is still growing rapidly, making comparisons to Age of Conan and Warhammer increasingly detached from reality. It seems more likely now that we will see more servers in Rift’s future rather than fewer.