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Thread: How many in MSTS community

  1. #1

    Default How many in MSTS community

    Hello folks: I am presenting my 'fallen-flag' route and activities to a Historical Society and wanted to give them some idea of the scope of the MSTS world-wide community. Anyone ever seen stats as to an estimate of the number of folks using the sim and/or the countries where it is used?

    Rich Brooks
    Simulating 'Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo RR - West Hamilton' in Southern Ontario, Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Huntsville, AL


    See "Community" in menu at top of this page with a pulldown next to it? Use the pulldown and select "Member List", Count the number of members listed on the first page, go to the last page and get the number of pages. Multiple the two numbers and you have the total forum membership.

    Or just go to the last page and find at the bottom "99121 to 99131 of 99131"
    Last edited by crstagg; 12-31-2012 at 01:29 PM.

  3. #3


    It has been reported to have sold over a million copies all over the world and is still selling more now by Amazon in various countries.

    As there have been many vendors of it there are no records of which country they were sold in or shipped to.

    Below are the countries which have accessed my web site to download MSTS content in December.

    O t t o

  4. #4


    I'd caution from using the total membership number Charles referred to above. That includes a lot of people who have long left the community as well as imported accounts from the previous iteration of the forum software.

    By putting some criteria into a member search, I came up with around 1,300 active members on the forums. That's only counting those who have more than 5 posts and have had activity since 1/1/2012. Let's assume that only 10% of those playing the game are active on this forum. That's a potential market of ~13,000.

    If you go a step further, and use the advanced search functions on the Community page, you can get some other statistics... 500+ new members in 2010, 151 new members in 2011, but only 103 new members in 2012. Not bad for a product that is only marketed by word of mouth these days, but certainly not something around the 1M mark.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Chippenham, Wiltshire, UK.


    Whilst looking at the membership of this site does give a very rough guide to numbers, it is by no means a world wide total figure. There are 206 sovereign states and there are 1 million copies of MSTS somewhere in the world. Assuming that most users by now have two copies, and allowing for some to have one and others three or four, that gives us a ballpark figure average of 2000 per country give or take a few. This gives a potential of 412000 users world wide.
    Beer is not a matter of life or death, it is much more serious than that.

  6. #6


    And on top of all of that...this is not the only trainsim forum or site. There are a handful of MSTS forums and websites around the world.

  7. #7


    Going by copies sold is still going to be a bit misleading. Some % got bought as gifts and were never installed. I'm sure that a large % were installed, played once or twice, and forgotten about within a year or two.

    That's why I prefer to look at the active folks here and do a multiplier. This is the largest site for North America.

    There are 10,000+ likes on the MSTS page for Facebook, and the MSTS Indian Routes have about 500 likes. Maybe my guess of 13,000 is low, but I don't think it's going to be anywhere above 100,000. I'd love to be proven wrong, because that means there's a lot more of a future for the sim than some have predicted.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Grain Valley, MO


    In 2002 when I purchased the sim I thought there wouldn't be a future as MS pretty much wrote it off from the get go. 10 years later its bigger then they could have hoped for. Think about all the people that have moved on to O.R., Trainz, railworks ect. ect. I would say the Train Sim community is huge. I came from mostly Flight Sim community and there is more people here doing community release products and free stuff than you'll ever find in FS.

    Because of the quality of knowledge and help being given on a regular basis MSTS is unlikely to ever die off.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    New England


    Using just US-based, or even just English-language sites as a gauge may be misleading. There's a significant number of foreign-language sites in western Europe that focus almost exclusively on their respective countries' rail systems, and few of their members are likely to be posting here. Then there's the interest in MSTS we've seen from folks posting from India, China, eastern Europe/former Soviet states, and Russia. We might see one or two members here who post, and there could be 50-100 more people they know through localized forums for each one of them.

    A very old thread here on TrainSim contained a sales estimate in the early 2000's of around 750,000 copies. Let's assume that's copies sold to retailers by 2004, the date of the thread, and cut off half -- that's still 375,000 copies possibly in consumers' hands in 2004. Then let the surplus be sold off in bargain bins and inventory buyouts/closeouts, up to 2010 or so when original Microsoft and Atari copies started to get scarce, and most of that figure at least got sold to someone. Let's still assume that at least 100,000 copies wound up on the shelf never used but once or chucked in the bin, and that still leaves a huge number of potential users. Now add in the more recent re-issue by Xplosiv outside the US that we probably don't have sales figures for... There's a significant worldwide interest, and it's hard to use just forum memberships as a yardstick. Forums are populated by people who are socially active with MSTS; there are bound to be far more folks who don't post, but just read, learn, and build up an MSTS hobby quietly (like I used to...) and even some who are content with the default routes.


    On hiatus and moving to a new host -- Probably in 2021
    (Because 2020 has turned out to be b0rked beyond belief...

  10. #10


    There is also the factor of copies of msts obtained via torrent or copied from friends . . . I have no idea how that could be estimated. And no idea how large that source is in countries like China and Russia and India . . .

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