Fizzer made Warzone Idle because he likes idle games and wanted to make his own.
There's also a revenue component (as stated on stream) that motivated its creation. Idle is quite obviously also there to make money and remove coins from the market; it's a pay-to-progress game (pay-to-win when it comes to Idle Battles) and has one of the 2 WZ purchases that can't be made with coins (Super Army Camp, Name Change).
Phakh is making his case that this revenue component outweighs the motivation that you described. Simply pointing out that there's another stated motivation doesn't really respond to his point, because he's clearly aware of that if he's arguing that revenue is the real
over 100,000 people play this game
Peak MAUs were 80k (see: Warlight's response to Activision's motion to dismiss Warlight's countersuit). Current MAUs are probably around 60k (see: Semice's datadump). Note: the charts below are from Semice's datadump, not from official sources, and I make no guarantee of their correctness.
But in terms of the activity, a massive share (probably the majority) comes from the visible highly-active players: 40% of accounts (pre-Idle, probably higher now) quit before Level 2, 50% before their 4th multi-player game (again, pre-Idle).
This is what the activity distribution looked like (again, pre-Idle):
So really, 60k is a wildly inflated number if you want to estimate how many people actually
play this game vs. people who check it out for a bit and then leave.
That 60-80k includes new joins. Going by pre-Idle rates, there were about 280 new accounts/day, so that's 8k new joins per month. Here's what happened to the new accounts that were created in a recent pre-COVID cohort:
The MAU number then also includes ~8k new accounts, of which ~5k join and permanently quit within the month (if this pre-COVID cohort is representative).
I think if you look at where the activity comes from, there's not as many "hidden" players out there as your figure implies. Given the activity distribution, I suspect that an average member of the visible and active community has pretty good visibility into the the part of the playerbase that regularly plays. Personally, I'd even make the claim that the community has by far the best
visibility into what the active playerbase wants, albeit w.r.t. player quality-of-life improvements and not in terms of what would translate into revenue or activity.
Edited 9/18/2021 18:45:01