The Demographics of Guilds

In this article, we'll take a look at different demographic aspects of being in a guild. What percentage of players have a strong affiliation with a guild? How did players come to join their guild? Did the guild migrate from a previous game? And much more.

Let's start with the basics. 89% of respondents said that at least one of their characters belonged to a guild. There were no age or gender differences in this percentage. 25% of these players belonged to more than one guild. Female players were more likely than male players to belong to more than one guild (32% vs. 22%). There was no age difference in this percentage. So the majority of players who belong to a guild only belong to one guild.

Thus, it's not surprising that the majority of respondents (87%) were able to identify one guild that they had a strong affiliation with. For the remaining data, respondents who could identify a strongly affiliated guild were asked to use that guild as the reference. For the respondents who could not, they were asked to use the most recent guild they joined as the reference.

Players were most likely (23%) to be in guilds that they themselves created (either alone or together with other players). Here are brief explanations of the different categories:

RL Friend: Someone the player knew in RL invited the player into their guild.
Asked to Join: The player saw an ad in general chat or an online forum and asked to join the guild.
Online Friend: Someone the player knew from online invited the player into their guild.
Invited after Interaction: The player was invited to join after grouping with, chatting with, or interacting with a member of the guild.
Random Invite: The player was asked to join the guild with no previous interactions with members of the guild.
Split / Merger: The player was in a previous guild that splintered into this current guild or was in an old guild that merged with another guild to create the current guild.


In terms of guild migration across games, 26% said that their guild existed (or currently exists) in a different game. Of these respondents, 56% had been part of the guild in a different game and migrated over, while the remaining 44% had joined only in the current game. The overall remaining players (74%) noted that their guild did not exist previously in any other game.

Most players have been in their guilds for 1 year or less (64%), although about a quarter of respondents have been in their guilds for more than 2 years.

When asked to estimate the number of active players in their guilds (excluding known alts), the average guild size was estimated to be 38.9. The median was 30. And about a quarter of players had 10 or fewer players in their guilds. This is significantly higher than the number we've seen in the PARC PlayOn data. It's not clear though how much this is due to selection bias and how much it is due to shifting guild composition.


The majority of players have someone in their guild that they know in RL, whether this is a friend, a colleague, a family member, or a romantic partner. The most common categories were friends (59%) and romantic partners (35%).

In fact, the majority of players (59%) joined guilds where there was someone they knew in RL (i.e., before they joined the guild). This also lends support to data we've seen elsewhere that MMOs play a role in maintaining RL social connections.


In terms of the general tone of their guilds, players tended to describe them as being more on the casual side. Overall 52% rated their guild as being casual, 6% as being serious, and 42% as being somewhere in-between. There was no gender difference, but older players were a little more likely to describe their guilds as being casual.

To get a sense of how raid-oriented their guilds were, I asked respondents to categorize their guilds in one of four tiers. About half of respondents were in guilds that are too casual to raid or just started to learn how to raid. The other half considered themselves to belong to mid-tier or high-end raiding guilds. There were no age or gender differences in this distribution.


And finally, I asked respondents how happy they were with their guilds. Unsurprisingly, most players were very happy or extremely happy with their guilds (which they had previously noted they had a strong affiliation with). Female players were much more likely to be extremely happy with their guild than male players. This is consistent with trends we've seen elsewhere where female players tend to be happier with the game in general and less likely to quit in the near term.