Back in November, we told you about ZergID, a new social networking website aimed specifically at MMO players who are looking for guilds (or friends from games past) across the MMOverse. We spoke to one of the project's founders, Scott Katz, to get more information on how the service's beta is shaping up.
Massively: How many guilds have signed up since the launch of beta?
Scott Katz, co-founder, Zerg Inc.: We have more than 650 guilds currently signed up for the site, with more joining each day.
Which MMORPG is showing the most popularity so far? If the answer is World of Warcraft, what's the next most popular after WoW? What about MOBAs and other online-but-not-massive games?
As far as MMORPG's go, WoW is, of course the largest, especially with the renewed interest due to the successful release of Warlords of Draenor. The second most popular is a tie between Guild Wars 2 and ArcheAge. We have also seen a large interest in MOBA games, such as League of Legends. Not so surprisingly, Hearthstone is also highly represented with numbers similar to Guild Wars 2 and ArcheAge.
How many gamers are so far taking advantage of multiple guilds and multiple games? Are you primarily seeing one-game groups or a mix?
Multiple games is something we see a lot of. The majority of active profiles have several characters from different games loaded in. We have been pleasantly surprised by the number of characters created in games that are no longer operating, as people want to be found by their old gaming friends, who have no other way of getting in touch with them.
While some profiles do have multiple guilds, the majority list a single guild. We believe this is because people are focused on the guild they are currently in and not necessarily thinking about guilds from games they used to play. As the site grows and people move from game to game, as MMO players tend to do, we expect to see many more multiple guild profiles appearing.
What percentage of individuals who sign up actually join one of the groups? What about retention -- how many people return to the site after the initial sign-up
We were extremely happy with the number of people who joined groups and/or formed groups with other people on the site. It is difficult to nail down an exact percentage, but I would put in the 30-40% range based on user behavior. Several dozen people have even banded together to form ZergID teams in League of Legends. There was so much interest that we had to create multiple teams on each of the servers to accommodate. Overall we have found people come to the site not only to meet up with old friends, but to make new ones.
Our current data shows that more than half of the people who come to site return to it again, with about 15% of the current user base coming to the site at least once per day. Some people are initially disappointed because they want it to be like Facebook and instantly find all of their old friends, but since we have only been live for a short time, that experience is unlikely to happen at the moment. However, the comments we have received about the concept and what we are working towards have been overwhelmingly positive.
Have you seen any famous/infamous guilds migrate to the service?
Guild Umbra, a large multi-game guild, has created a presence on the site, and I have seen posts on some other guild forums suggesting they switch to ZergID. For the very large guilds, we expect this to be a much longer process, as they have invested significant time and money in their current guild pages. Even though our service offers superior tools for free, giving up something you worked hard on is difficult. We anticipate that initial appeal will be for more casual guilds that do not want to commit the time, effort and cost to build and maintain a guild website. We have seen several of these guilds already, and they have been actively recruiting on the site. In fact, Miss Chicky, whose profile you featured in the original article, ended up joining a World of Warcraft guild that she met on the site.
While the initial analytics of the site showed a 45% female presence, as the site has grown more popular over the last few weeks, the numbers have shifted. However, when we analyze the post data and who is active on the site, we see more than 30% of the posts on any given day are from female players.
First, we overwhelmingly reject the common stereotype that video games are a male thing. I play with large numbers of female gamers. I do believe the anonymity offered by the site has allowed and even encouraged more female gamers to participate. Through ZergID, they are finding each other much easier than they are on other sites and feel safer posting more often, as they see others posting as well.
What's up next after beta?
We are currently compiling dozens and dozens of suggestions that users have sent into us for features they want on the site and weighing the interest level against the viability of building the tools they request. We are releasing new features on weekly basis, with a report/block feature coming in a few weeks to make the site even more of a safe place to discuss your gaming experience without fear of in-game drama carrying over to ZergID. We are working on a full site redesign to include all the features that people find important and hope to launch by the end of the first quarter of 2015.
Our overriding goal is to create a site that is useful, and the best way to achieve that objective is to listen to our user base and learn from them the tools and functions that are most important.
Thanks for your time and good luck!
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