Guild Demographics
By Black Label
October 2008

The Daedelus Project by Nick Yee has always been an inspiration reference tool for all
MMORPG players and guild creators. The data obtained can help us understand of how players
think and behave. By using the scientific data obtained by Nick Yee, we're going to interpret
what these data means for you as a guild creator/officer. Below are excerpts from the Daedelus
project (in italics) which can be found in its entirety
here and our interpretation.

"Let’s start with the basics. 89% of respondents said that at least one of their characters belonged to a
guild. There were no age or gender differences in this percentage. 25% of these players belonged to
more than one guild. Female players were more likely than male players to belong to more than one
guild (32% vs. 22%). There was no age difference in this percentage. So the majority of players who
belong to a guild only belong to one guild."

The key factor here is that 25% of the MMORPG players who belong to a guild belongs to
more than one guild. Guildhelper's creation guide and MMORPG guild management articles
have always stressed that the best players you want on your guild are those who are loyal and
committed. The statistics base don these studies suggests that 25% of your current members
in the guild are not 100% committed to your guild. Their lack of commitment to one guild
suggests that they are guild-shopping/hopping around, using the guild's resources (material,
references, social networking, raiding secrets) and possibly becoming potential liabilities to the
guild. The note to all guild creators and officers is to find these 25% semi-committed members
and evaluate whether they provide any asset to the guild.

"Players were most likely (23%) to be in guilds that they themselves created (either alone or together
with other players)."

The data here suggests that 23% of people create their own guilds and 37% join guilds with
Real Life and online friends. Data suggests 60% of the people who are part of the guild either
help create it or knew someone who are part of it, suggesting that most guild are created and
built among groups of personal friends. Thus, using your guild members in recruitment drives
is key since most members join up with people they know. Random invites and split/mergers
tend to do poorly.  

"Most players have been in their guilds for 1 year or less (64%), although about a quarter of
respondents have been in their guilds for more than 2 years."

These data suggests that 64% of your guild members have been with your guild 1 year or less
and only 37% of your guild members will last beyond that. These data means you must
attempt to replenish 2/3 of your guild members on an annual basis or else, your guild member
volume will decrease leading to extinction.

"When asked to estimate the number of active players in their guilds (excluding known alts), the
average guild size was estimated to be 38.9. The median was 30. And about a quarter of players had
10 or fewer players in their guilds."

If the average guild size is 39-40 people, then by using the data above, you will lose about 25
members in a year (64%). By understanding these statistics, you come to realize, in order to
maintain a 40 member guild, you need to recruit approximately 2-3 new member per month.

"The majority of players have someone in their guild that they know in RL, whether this is a friend, a
colleague, a family member, or a romantic partner. The most common categories were friends (59%)
and romantic partners (35%). "
The data suggests you have a high chance of getting members to join if you chase after couples
since there is a high percentage of couples joining the same guild. But this also suggests the
inverse in that if you lose a player who is in the guild with his/her significant partner, you will
likely lose both of them. Thus as guild officers, handling guild members who have partners in
the game may sometime be problematic since they are handcuffed to each other. Upset one
guild member, and you may lose two players.

"And finally, I asked respondents how happy they were with their guilds. Unsurprisingly, most players
were very happy or extremely happy with their guilds (which they had previously noted they had a
strong affiliation with). Female players were much more likely to be extremely happy with their guild
than male players. This is consistent with trends we’ve seen elsewhere where female players tend to be
happier with the game in general and less likely to quit in the near term."

What this means is that most guild members are happy with their current guild. However, this
does not tell us if the guild is effective and whether the guild will last. Since the previous
statistics suggests that 2/3 of the members will be gone in a year, it appears many players are
happy for only awhile.

The Bottom Line...
The main points to these data are as follows
  • 25% of your current members belong to more than 1 guild and are thus semi-committed.
  • 60% of members join a guild because either they played a part in its creation or know personal
    friends, thus emphasizing the needs to include guild member participation in recruitment drives,
    rather than finding random people.
  • Only 37% of people stay in a guild for more than a year suggesting that you will lose 2/3 of
    your guild population in the course of a year. Thus recruitment on a continual basis is important
    to sustain guild longevity.
  • A guild with the average of 40 members will loose about 64% (or 25 members) be years end,
    suggesting a need to recruit 2-3 members per month in order to sustain the same guild member
    volume and activity.
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