So I mentioned having joined the PvE group Mobius recently, including a little picture from the UI that happened to include the currently number of members for the Americas group. Sylow, a fellow Elite player, who’s also the one who told me about Mobius to begin with, commented on how much lower those numbers were compared to the Eurasian group.
I had several hypotheses about it, like difference in regional ownership of the main game or maybe US people maybe being to… combative… for an exclusively PvE group. I wasn’t content to assume though, and went looking for some answers.
I debated on who to contact first, Mobius or Frontier, and ended up with Mobius because it was more obvious how to do so. I spent a small amount of time on the forums and saw that they had a community manager, Saberius. This seemed like the right person to ask. Alas, the forums didn’t allow me to send a direct message because, well, I haven’t actually posted anything. Can’t say that I blame them. I did manage to find a discord handle though, and since I spend a fair amount of time using it, this was a good alternative.
Now, for what it’s worth, Saberius was extremely open and helpful. As user experiences go, it was great. Alas, the answer is actually simple and not all that interesting.
See, Elite Dangerous has a 20k member limit on private groups. This isn’t normally an issue, but it turns out a lot of people want a PvE mode in Elite and Mobius filled that need. It is, by private group standards, extremely large. So large that they hit the limit a couple of years go.
Now, as I understand it, the original group was simply Mobius. When it got full, a second group was created, Mobius PvE, and they encouraged people to join one or the other based on region. Mobius was the Eurasian group and Mobius PvE was for the americas.
Eventually the original Mobius group became full, again, and an additional Mobius PvE Eurasia group was created so people would have somewhere to go. It looks like this happened somewhere around the middle of 2017.
Then, around the end of 2017 the Mobius PvE group for the Americas also reached a critical membership level and an additional Mobius PvE America(s) group was created to deal with that.
So one of the reasons for this disparity is that the Eurasia group has been around longer. Not the only one, but an important one.
Now, I could be wrong about this next bit, but here goes. I checked out the steamdb.info page for elite dangerous and was looking at the details of the last week. While I don’t have access to the data on how many people own it by region, I figured what time of day it hit peak users would give me an idea of which region has the greater number of players.
Now, I’m assuming that the times shown are UTC. Every time stamp on their page is explicitly listed as UTC. If that assumption is wrong, then so are my conclusions.
Peak players seems to be right around 6-8PM UTC. I know I’m either -4 or -5 UTC, depending on time of year, currently -4. This would put peak at 2-4PM ET or 11-1PM PT. I feel this reinforces the idea that there is a much larger European player base overall. This is further reinforced by the plateau on the back side of the peak in the 12-2AM UTC range, which would be closer to when I would expect the Americas user peak.
Of course I could be way off base and overlooking or missing important details. I totally didn’t try to account of the Asia part of Eurasia either. I feel that I have answered the question to my own satisfaction though, at least for now.
You are free to proceed commander, hopefully you’ll visit again soon.