Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Five & Dime 2008: Decay Rates

I did this last year for the first time... it yielded some intriguing information. I'm not sure my work here is statistically sound but it's interesting. (That's your cue to smile & grin knowingly.)

Anyway, what I did was to take the top 350 (352 due to a tie for the last spot) games (percentage of plays-wise) from the last eleven years - the cut-off number ended up being an average of 2.08% or better over time. For comparison, last year the average was 2.00%. (You'll see this subset of games for the next 2 or 3 Five & Dime reports. It allows me to work with games that really registered statistically and lessens the workload at the same time.)

For this particular exercise in determining decay rates of games, I then set aside games with 4 or less years on the list... leaving me with 239 games. (Again, for comparison, there were 230 games in 2007.) To do the decay calculation, I:
  1. Took the largest percentage played number from each game.
  2. Compared it to the current (2008) percentage played number for each game.
  3. Divided that amount by the number of years since it had first appeared on the Five & Dime Lists.

Only two games showed no rate of decay whatsoever - they have appeared on the list for 5+ years and their highest percentage played is in 2008:

  • Tichu
  • Chicken Cha Cha Cha

There were three games last year: Downfall of Pompeii, Hive & Uno. Here's the chart with the rest of the top 20 games... that is, the games that showed the least decay over 5+ years time. (There's actually 21 games on this chart, as the final 2 games were very close in percentage.)

Game years on list percentage decay 2007?
Tichu 9 0.00% no
Chicken Cha Cha Cha 10 0.00% no
Time's Up/Celebrities 11 -0.01% 19th
Connect 4 10 -0.17% no
Uno 7 -0.21% 1st
Fairy Tale 5 -0.21% no
Midnight Party 8 -0.22% 9th
Set 9 -0.24% 11th
Cloud 9 9 -0.27% 4th
Wizard 11 -0.32% 7th
Hive 7 -0.32% 1st
Dancing Dice 5 -0.33% no
Hamsterrolle 8 -0.34% 5th
Rummikub 9 -0.34% 12th
Gulo Gulo 6 -0.38% no
Gang of Four 8 -0.38% 6th
Mole in the Hole 11 -0.40% no
Pit 10 -0.44% no
Tumblin' Dice 5 -0.47% no
Familiebande 5 -0.48% no
Quarto 7 -0.48% no

And here's a chart with the 20 games who've shown the highest rates of decay. (Note - to show a high rate of decay, you have to start from a high position.)

Gameyears on listpercentage decay2007?
Ticket to Ride5-10.12%no
St Petersburg5-9.72%no
Puerto Rico7-9.48%1st
San Juan5-9.33%no
Euphrat & Tigris11-5.57%3rd
Mamma Mia!/Sole Mio10-5.52%7th
Lost Cities10-5.44%9th
Balloon Cup6-5.08%4th
Through the Desert11-4.94%14th
King's Breakfast6-4.82%8th
Settlers of Catan11-4.67%11th
Battle Cry (AH)9-4.63%10th
Wyatt Earpt8-4.38%12th
Hey! That's My Fish/6-4.24%no

I'm not sure I'm really qualified to comment beyond the statistics... you need to know that the average decay rate of these games was 16.51% over their lifespan (1.98% per year) and that the average lifespan was just over 8 & a half years. Make of that what you will.

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