What do players think about having pets in the game? We'll take a look at the general appeal of pets and whether there is a preference for certain types of pets. The overall appeal of pets falls into a normal distribution. Most players find them somewhat appealing with a smaller number of players on both sides of the middle-point. There is a gender difference where women find pets more appealing than men.

When different types of pets were presented to players, the predominant preference appeared to be for animals. And we can also see that male players typically don't have a preference for pet type whereas female players typically prefer animal pets


In many games, pets can serve as combat companions or decorative non-combat pets. Here, players of both genders preferred combat-based pets, with only 6% of players of both genders preferring non-combat pets.

Another variation in pets is whether they grow over time (i.e., baby to adult) or whether they are static (i.e., come as adult). Here again, we see a fairly strong preference. Players prefer pets that grow over time even if this means that their pets are weak at first. Only about 8% of players preferred static pets.


And finally, as a measure of customization, players were asked how important it was to them to be able to be able to name their pet. Overall, players rated this to be fairly important. The majority of players said that this was very important or extremely important. We also see that female players rated this ability as being more important than male players.

It is unclear, of course, whether the preferences we're seeing here are driven by a player base more familiar with games like EverQuest and World of Warcraft. Unfortunately, there were not enough players in the sample from non-Tolkien games to really see whether preferences of players from other games differed. On the other hand, given that most MMO players are playing fantasy games with strong Tolkien elements, these preferences probably do capture the overall preferences of the MMO player base.