Star Citizen’s Arena Commander module is out so that means that the Community Pre-AC Census results are in! I’m going to use this post to review the results and provide perhaps some insight into what they mean for the future and what may have affected them. If you have comments to add to these results, please reply in the comments section at the bottom of this page!
Poll Results Overview
The poll was distributed world-wide. The graph below shows the geographical distribution of visitors to the poll. In blue are 100% never before seen visitors and in red are repeat visitors (#sessions minus # of new visitors). Data provided by Google Analytics.
Raw data provided at the bottom of this post.
I did not collect geographical data in the poll. I may in the future. Please let me know your interest in providing and seeing this data. If there is enough interest, I will collect geographical data limited to country, at the lowest level.
As the graph above hints at, the amount of respondents were dismally low. I originally anticipated to receive over 3,000 responses and that was a low figure. The low number of results received can easily be attributed to the community’s reluctance to submit answers to polls due to the sheer number of seemingly menial polls that plague the community. While I did receive nothing but positive constructive criticism from the community, it apparently did not serve to convince others that this poll wasn’t just another useless poll.
The poll received 1,064 responses from a total of 459,491 registered (at the time of poll closure) Star Citizens. Only 0.23% of citizens.
The poll ran from May 21st, 2014 to June 4th, 2014 with the first response being recorded at 5/21/2014 11:24:03 and the last response being recorded at 6/4/2014 12:10:29.
The average of players polled was 27.98 Earth years and the median was 26 Earth years. This was roughly what was anticipated by most. (While age is not necessarily a factor of maturity level, I only had to delete 16 responses that were obviously false information according to human data validation techniques.) Below is the age distribution.
As can be seen, the majority of players are between the age of 20 and 30 with dwindling populations of players between the age of 30 and 50 and under the age of 20. Below is a pie graph and data table demonstrating the age breakdowns using the above groups to include a 50+ group.
The low number of players of the age 19 or younger can easily be attributed to Star Citizen’s higher-than-average cost to get involved. Pledge packages and the cost of a next-gen computer to run the finished game are much higher than most games. More on this factor later on when I do a comparative analysis of Age versus Dollar Amount Spent.
The male-to-female ratio is always interesting in some titles. Some games break the mold. According to this 2014 survey, 48% of gamers are female. In Star Citizen, of the players polled, only 1.5% of players claimed to be female. In fact, more respondents did not specify a gender (2.54%) than those that specified female. Below is the pie graph. This means that for every 64 male players of Star Citizen, there will be a single female.
Commitment to Gaming Analysis
Onward to how serious our average Star Citizen might be about gaming in general.
Of players polled, the average number of years a gamer estimates to have been gaming for is 18.94 years with the median being 19 years. This correlates roughly to the age distributions that we saw above.
The average of players polled when it comes to hourly time expenditure on gaming stands at 20.55 making the average Star Citizen player fall more or less in line with the US national average of 22 hours per week (According to Game Informer and NPD). The median was 18 hours per week.
In the poll, respondents were asked “On a scale of 1 to 10, how serious of a gamer do you consider yourself?” Described as “This is how seriously/casually you take your gaming NOT how “hardcore” of a gamer you are.” The average of responses was 7.14 out of 10 with the median being 7 out of 10. This falls in line with everything covered so far and can be attributed to age, although Star Citizen is also a fairly serious game due to simulation components.
Commitment to Star Citizen
Respondents were asked a series of questions to help gauge how serious of a commitment they have made to Star Citizen. Considering that the game is currently being paid for up front by the future players of the finished product, the results for this should be much different than other titles which merely have a pre-order while the development of such games are largely paid for ahead of time by other sources.
Players were asked how many ships they have purchased. I was questioned a lot about my decision to do this instead of just stripping the numbers from the question about which ships a player had purchased. I asked this question in the case of multiple purchases of the same ship. While the number of different ship hulls a player bought can indicate their commitment to Star Citizen… a player who only bought the base Aurora model but purchased 50 of them to give away to his organization upon release would not have his or her apparent commitment known if I had not asked the number of ships purchased.
The average number of ships purchased by players polled is 2.89 ships and the median being 2 ships. However, if you only purchased one ship, this doesn’t mean that you are alone – the majority of players polled only own a single ship. In fact, 43.73% of players polled only own a single ship.
Below is a graph showing the number of players that own a particular amount of ships.
The highest number of ships that a respondent claimed to own was 50.
In order to purchase these ships, a player must spend money or be fortunate enough to have the ships gifted to him or her. Of players polled, players spent an average of $448.76 USD. That’s a lot more than I’ve spent! The median spent wast $180 USD, which should put a lot of players at ease. The highest response to this question was $15,000 USD by three separate respondents each.
Star Citizens love their ships, there is no doubt in that. Below is a table of the raw count of each ship hull and the percentage of players polled that own that particular hull. I’ll complete more graphical analysis on these numbers later.
|Xi’an Scout (Khartu)||49||4.61%|
Below is a focus on the three ships that would be available in the initial release of the Arena Commander Module I – the Aurora, the 300i and the Hornet and their variants.
|Ship Family||Own One From Family|
Star Citizen will also be pushing the envelope for a computer game in every aspect. Being built for next generation computer hardware, it will require a lot of players to build a new PC in order to play the game. Respondents were asked if they were planning on building a new computer to run Star Citizen, how many months they would be waiting to do so.
The majority of respondents (68.52%) did not give a respond, indicating that they either did not plan on building a new computer at all or they do not have a time frame for building a computer for Star Citizen.
Below is the bell curve showing the distribution of players waiting X amount of months to build a computer.
As can be seen, the vast majority of players that intend to build a new computer for Star Citizen are waiting roughly 12 months from the pre-release period of Arena Commander. Assuming the majority of them follow through, the community should see a lot of brand new computers and hardware to run the game on in roughly May 2015.
The average of responses was 9.87 months with the median being 10 months. The highest was 38 months.
Obviously this factor can change based on game development and through future census data, I will monitor the change closely.
Player organizations will be big business in Star Citizen. For many, whether they are in an organization or not, their experience playing the game will be shaped and influenced by one or many organizations.
Players were asked if they were planning on joining an organization, here is the breakdown:
Just because a player is planning on joining an organization doesn’t mean that they have yet. Here is the data of players who have or haven’t joined an organization:
Not all players that are interested in joining a player organization have necessarily joined a player organization. Below is a graphic that was generated by only looking at those respondents that indicated that they want to join an organization. In the blue are those that said that they want to join an organization and have joined an organization while in the red are respondents that indicated they want to join an organization but have not yet joined one.
When it comes to organization sizes, size means everything – whether a player wants a small or large group – so we asked players what they felt was the ideal organization size. The average of all players polled was 224.96 players with the median being 50 players. The median of anticipated organization size seems to agree more with the next piece of data.
Lastly, we asked players what they felt their preference towards the size of the group that they would actively fly with. This was a focus on how large the party or group will be when actively flying and not necessarily related to the size of the organization. Below is a graphic showing the breakdown of responses to that inquiry.
It is very interesting to see that the majority of players (51.3%) expect that they will be flying alongside 2-5 other pilots during typical gameplay. This may be due to players preferring groups that naturally only need smaller groups, such as exploration. More on that later.
General Gameplay Expectations
There is a lot of information out there about the type of game that Star Citizen will be. A lot of the information is vague or general without a lot of the details. A lot is known and a lot is not known. Of course, the community surrounding Star Citizen has daydreamed and imagined what the game will be like.
A lot of players have already, at least partially, decided what they want to do in the game. Players were asked what in-game role to be their most anticipated and least anticipated. Below are the two graphs portraying that information.
A large portion of players did not provide an answer as has been common in this subject – a lot of players do not want to pre-commit to a particular play style until more is known about the game. A few players indicated that “racing” was not a very popular role and our census data proves that point. Below is the same data with data rows that contained “Racing” or those that had no response omitted from the calculation.
Below are the two graphs like above, but for least appealing.
And with “Racing” and rows without a response omitted.
And here is a column graph of the data with most appealing in blue and least appealing in red.
Exploration is clearly the popular vote with Transport/Trade being a distant second.
Overall, the community largely prefers the “Good Guy” roles as seen by the data above.
Star Citizen isn’t just flying internet space ships around. There will be a lot more to the final product. Players are definitely aware of those game play aspects that are external to the space ship. Players were asked what game play mode that didn’t involve flying or crewing a ship was the most appealing. Below is the data on that.
It can easily been seen that both Planetside activities, such as terraforming – to name one – and First-Person-Ship boarding combat are the two most anticipated aspects of non-ship gameplay roles.
Game Control and Input Methods
There has been a ton of discussion on how players will physically play the game – with what controllers. Below is the data collected on which controllers players intend to use. The graph shows the percentage of players polled that intend on using that particular controller. Note: Players were able to make multiple selections.
As can be seen, Keyboard, Mouse and Joystick top the chart with Throttle in a distant fourth. Gamepad, such as a Playstation or Xbox controller is fairly high and the Oculus Rift rated high as well.
Arena Commander Expectations
There were a lot of levels of expectations surrounding the Arena Commander launch on June 4th, 2014. Despite being largely put off by the delays, players had high expectations of most aspects of Arena Commander. The census data shows this.
Players were asked how successful they believed Arena Commander to be on a scale of 1 to 10. This was a question entirely about their opinion and was given in order to gauge what the general predisposition of the community had towards Arena Commander. The overall average of players polled was 7.99 out of 10 and the median was 8 out of ten.
They were also asked how buggy they felt Arena Commander would be on a scale of 1 to 10. This was largely opinion but it also shows the community’s faith, or lack thereof, in the Star Citizen development team to produce a solid product. The overall average of players polled was 6.03 out of 10 with the median being 6 out of 10.
Below is a distribution graph that overlays the distribution of responses for both anticipated success and anticipated bugginess.
There was a general high anticipation for a successful release, however the range of anticipated bugginess was fairly wide. The wide range of responses for bugginess can easily be attributed to the poor performance at the Dog Fighting Module debut in April.
Arena Commander brought with it five gameplay modes. They are Free Flight, Vanduul Swarm, Battle Royale, Squadron Battle, and Capture the Core. The data on this is shocking to some.
And here are the gameplay modes that were least appealing…
It appears that players either don’t want to fight other players or they want to fight other players while flying alongside other players in a team.
Capture the Core may have a lack of interest due to lack of information. Some have speculated that it is a lot like Capture the Flag and others have speculated that it would be more like Capture and Hold.
There was definitely a lot of great data here. Some factors were surprising, others… not so much.
I had a lot of fun running this poll and analyzing the data. I hope the community enjoyed the fruits of my efforts. I look forward to running the next poll, which will be roughly one week after all players have access to the multiplayer game modes of Arena Commander – which is currently being rolled out.
Moving forward, I’d like to see the next poll distributed and completed by more players to get a stronger and wider base of responses. This poll had a huge English bias and I’d like to see more players that may not speak English as a primary or native language complete the next poll. I can only do so much to distribute the poll – it is up to the community to go the last mile and share the link to the next poll within their organizations.
The next poll will focus on the same general topics and also focus on Arena Commander opinions and facts post release, such as, “Which Arena Commander game mode did you spend the most time playing?”
But what about the comparative analysis? I will complete this at a later date as my time for it has run short due to a work commitment that came up. Please post in comments what types of data comparisons you would like to see so I can know what to focus on when I return to my chair and keyboard.
If you have any comments, suggestions or questions about this poll, please post them in the comments below.
Respondent geographical demographic data