“Sticky” RuneScape Stands At #1

    May 1, 2007

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.