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The Shift: April 2021

Historical trends show that April tends to be the month with the highest growth in the total World Assembly population. The past month, however, has delivered a nominal change of -1.0%, and a real change of -5.3% when accounting for expectations. This represents a third successive underperforming month in what could be the troubling beginnings of something like last year’s seven-month streak of real falls.

What do these terms mean?

Overall, feeders fared the worst of any region type, averaging at -2.1% for change in their World Assembly populations, followed by User Created Regions (UCRs) at -1.1%. Sinkers were lifted by the strong performance of The Rejected Realms to finish at a +2.4% monthly change.

The Rejected Realms (+16.9%) was one of three regions that stood out for their especially high growth, being slightly outpaced by United Kingdom (+17.8%) and Anteria (+17.4%). At the opposite end, New Western Empire (-12.5%) suffered the greatest fall, being closely followed by Thaecia (-11.0%) and the Confederation of Corrupt Dictators (-8.8%).

Feeders have now reached their lowest proportion of the World Assembly population in six months, falling to 21.8%, while sinkers made up the lost ground to grow to 7.1%, and UCRs remained steady at 71.1%.

This month also marks the first anniversary of the initial wave of the ‘Drewpocalypse’, which was an unprecedented spike in NationStates activity after popular YouTuber Drew Durnil posted a video about the game. That event led to a record-breaking monthly growth of +21.8% in the total World Assembly population within just a few days.

As a result, compared to twelve months ago, the total World Assembly population is 23.2% smaller. Even extending that comparison to two years ago, the population is still notably smaller, with a 12.7% reduction. In fact, this month’s value is the smallest population in April since 2014. This statistic should elicit some concerns about the long-term growth trends within the game.