Why New World Is Quickly Losing Players

Was New World's recent player count drop inevitable, or can it be blamed on some of the game's lingering issues?

New World
Photo: Amazon Games

Recent figures suggest that New World is currently peaking at around 300,000 to 400,000 concurrent players, which represents a significant percentage drop from the game’s all-time concurrent player count peak of over 900,000 players.

On top of that, a recent report reveals that only 8% of New World‘s players have reached the game’s level cap. While these figures do not mean that New World is in any kind of serious trouble (it’s actually doing quite well, but we’ll talk about that more in a bit), it is clear at this point that New World is starting to lose players and has seemingly lost quite a few active players so far.

Why is that happening? Here’s a look at a few of the biggest reasons why players have decided to walk away from New World, at least for the time being.

New World’s Initial Player Count Was Incredibly High (and Destined to Fall)

Before we go any further, let’s make it very clear that these recent player numbers do not mean that New World is already a failure or even in serious trouble. In fact, quite a few people are still playing New World, and it has to be considered Amazon’s biggest gaming success.

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However, there’s a degree to which New World‘s hot debut contributed to this somewhat sudden decline in players. We’ve talked about this in the past, but there was no way that New World was going to be able to maintain its absurdly high debut figures. It was always just a matter of how far New World was going to fall and how soon the decline would come.

New World is still in very good shape and, for many, is still the source of hundreds of hours of entertainment. Still, it’s worth noting that this drop can’t entirely be blamed on inevitability.

New World’s PvE Endgame Is Pretty Weak

We always knew that New World‘s PvE content was going to play second fiddle to the game’s PvP elements, but it’s still a little surprising to see just how thin New World‘s endgame PvE really is.

Right now New World‘s PvE largely consists of Expeditions, Arenas, Elite Enemy encounters, Invasions, and acquiring Legendary Weapons. It’s all pretty standard for an MMO endgame, and that’s kind of the problem. There’s just very little PvE endgame content that feels truly unique to the endgame. For that matter, little of it is designed in such a way that inspires you to spend a substantial amount of time trying to complete it or a substantial amount of time recycling earlier content to work your way towards the endgame (although we’ll talk more about that in a bit).

At the moment, New World‘s PvE endgame feels more like the eventual conclusion of the leveling process than something you’re just dying to reach because it opens up these incredible new possibilities that really show you what New World is all about. That’s where New World‘s PvP content should carry some of the weight, but…well, let’s talk about that.

New World’s PvP Just Isn’t Where it Needs to Be

For many, the biggest selling point of New World was the promised ability to participate in large-scale faction warfare that would change the power dynamic of the game’s worlds and provide truly unique PvP experiences.

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So far, though, that really hasn’t been the case. While a big part of the problem with New World‘s PvP systems so far is the fact that the game’s Outpost Rush feature has been disabled since launch (Amazon just recently restored it), there are inherent issues with New World‘s large-scale PvP conflicts that still need to be solved.

Actually, one of the biggest problems with New World‘s endgame PvP at the moment is the fact that it’s so difficult to participate in those large-scale conflicts. Properly organizing New World‘s wars requires a lot of time, resources, and even a bit of luck. That has left many players participating in organic world PvP conflicts that are enjoyable but not necessarily enough to form a viable and sustainable PvP endgame.

I do feel like New World‘s PvP is salvageable, but it’s going to take a bit of work to ensure that it’s something more players feel truly inspired to keep coming back to.

New World’s Leveling Process is Incredibly Slow

Until now, we’ve talked about why New World may be alienating some hardcore players and not necessarily inspiring them to keep logging in. Well, we should also talk about why some New World players may have checked out of the game before they even reached that point.

The leveling process in New World is incredibly slow. While it’s clear that the leveling process is meant to be slower than it is in some other modern MMOs, the fact is that there are just some players who won’t like how…methodical the game is and will simply decide to stop playing. That’s especially true for those who intended to reach Level 60 as soon as possible and quickly burned themselves out trying to do so.

Even those who like New World‘s pacing may be choosing to embrace its slower style and simply not feel inspired to keep longing in to complete that grind to the level cap. Again, that idea that there’s “no rush” is also arguably supported by the current endgame issues.

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New World’s Deliberate Gameplay Loop Could Easily Chase People Away

We typically refer to New World as an MMO, but the truth is that it’s as much of a survival game as it is an MMO. That means that many New World players will spend as much time gathering resources, crafting, and simply trying to stay alive as they will participating in typical MMO activities.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but survival games have a very specific kind of gameplay loop that requires you to embrace the grind (as we mentioned above) and, ideally, learn to love playing with others. I honestly think that New World probably has a better chance of appealing to survival game fans than typical MMO fans, which isn’t necessarily a problem were it not for the fact that the MMO elements of the game may also chase away some survival game fans who aren’t necessarily into that genre. It’s just a very specific kind of experience.

I find it fascinating that New World so boldly combines two of the slower genres out there and then slows things down further, but I certainly can’t begrudge those who feel that the whole thing just comes across as a bit repetitive and even unrewarding.

New World’s Economy Is a Mess

We’ve talked about this problem elsewhere, but despite the New World team’s recent assurances, the game’s in-game economy is a bit of a mess at the moment.

As New World suffers through a rather unique deflation problem, players are discovering that many of their goods are essentially worthless and that it’s better to somewhat boringly sit on your coin than it is to spend it on many of the game’s goods. Things are slowly getting better, but it’s not a very fun situation at the moment.

I could certainly see the economic problems scaring off some hardcore players, but even new players may feel a bit dismayed by the game’s rough economic prospects and, on some level, dread the prospect of grinding to the endgame even more.

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