New World has a problem. This weekend is a free weekend for the game, but it doesn't seem anyone cares. Based on player activity on nwdb.info and Steam charts, other than the highlighted "Free Weekend" note on Steam charts, you would not know anything was happening. There is no discernible bump in player populations. This was the case the last time a free weekend was tried. Why is this the case?
I think the main reason on the lack of interest for the free weekend was New World's massive success at launch when we saw a peak of 900,000+ concurrent players. Most gamers that wanted to try the game bought it and tried it already. As there is no subscription cost for the game players can return at any time "for free"; they don't need a free weekend.
And what brings back players to New World? New content. Brimstone Sands and the fresh start servers were hockey stick charts for the game. Players returned in droves, consumed the content, and now are settling back out to wherever the came from. I am sure the next big content drop will see the same sort of bump and settle. That is where resources need to focus; not free weekends.
The question is what level of resources does the free weekend cost? And what is the loss to other development efforts? Nothing ever happens in the world of software development free of cost; there is always a trade off. Only AGS can answer this so I don't want to dwell on it and I hope AGS is considering it when planning these events.
At least with this free weekend they didn't create 70+ new servers (yes, they literally had 70+ dead servers for the last free event and none of the servers hit more than a small handful of players). This free weekend players just play on the existing servers.
What do you think? Leave a comment.