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“Sticky” RuneScape Stands At #1

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How familiar are you with RuneScape?  According to Hitwise, it’s number one among the plethora of virtual worlds for children and teens, and about ten days ago, Nielsen//NetRatings called RuneScape one of Britain’s “stickiest” sites.

So, for those of you who aren’t familiar with RuneScape, it’s a MMORPG, or in the company’s parlance, “an evolving world of remarkable depth and flexibility.”  Think of it as World of Warcraft for a younger set.  And, judging from LeeAnn Prescott’s latest numbers, it’s evolving into a very big world.  “RuneScape is by far the #1 site,” she wrote, “with 44% of visits to the category.”

RuneScape’s closest competitors owned the bragging rights on growth; “[w]hen comparing the weeks ending 4/29/06 and 4/28/07,” Prescott continued, “the market share of visits to Webkinz was up 1141%, Club Penquin up 545%, and Stardoll up 275%.”  In terms of overall market share, however, those sites fell far behind, with just 14.08%, 10.57%, and 5.89%, respectively.

Which leads us back to the Nielsen//NetRatings info – taken together, the reports seem to indicate that that kids pick up on things quickly and possess a long attention span.  (And lest any adult RuneScape players feel insulted, I should note once again that Hitwise was measuring virtual worlds for children and teens.)

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, then, “Games brands account for four of the top seven sites by average time per visitor – RuneScape, Electronic Arts, King.com and Adventure Quest.”  This qualifies these sites as “sticky,” and so, while that’s not the nicest-sounding term, RuneScape (and its players) should be glad that it applies.

“Sticky” RuneScape Stands At #1
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