Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Digital Dozen: 16 July 2013

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 14 July 2013.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played +/- %
11World of Warcraft 40.1 16,225-8.4
22Guild Wars 218.67,533+9.0
33Star Wars: The Old Republic9.73,950-21.7
45EVE Online6.02,416+9.3
54Neverwinter4.21,715-25.9
68Aion3.91,566+1.2
79Planetside 23.81,523+6.4
86Tera3.51,428-27.3
97RIFT3.31,339-25.7
10--Firefall2.61,069N/A
1111Lord of the Rings Online2.4972+0.1
1210Maple Story1.9780-31.1
 
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 40,546

Summer's here and the Xfire community apparently found sunshine more enticing than playing MMORPGs with Sunday seeing a 7.9% decline in the time spent playing the most popular games in the genre as compared to the Sunday before.  Six games, including Star Trek Online which fell off the list, saw declines of over 20% in playtime.  Two games, EVE Online (+9.3%) and Guild Wars 2 (+9%) did manage to bounce back strong after the holiday weekend in the U.S.

Steamed? - One contributing factor to the decline in play was possibly the Steam Summer Getaway Sale that began on 11 July.  I say possibly because of the drop in activity I witnessed on EVE Online's main server Tranquility along with Twitter traffic.  However, the Xfire community bucked that trend and playtime in EVE increased 9.3%.  So take that for what it's worth.

Open Beta Begins - Red 5 Studio launched the open beta for its new MMOFPS Firefall on 9 July.  The game appears to be a sandbox PvP game that will also be eSports-friendly.  The developers do warn that this is a true open beta.  In an interview with Massively.com, Red 5 stated that...
"We don't believe that Firefall's open beta is comparable to any other MMO on the market today. We're not rolling out a near-final product; Firefall will have a multi-staged open beta where we plan to make massive changes and improvements. This will be a true beta test; players testing the game will see their feedback implemented throughout each open beta stage. We expect bugs and exploits because that's common in a true beta. As long as players understand where we're at in development, we can overcome those issues."
Breaking A Trend - Usually SOE games will see a decrease in play time after a holiday weekend.  This Sunday Planetside 2 broke that trend, seeing a 6.4% increase in play time.  Whatever changes were recently made are popular, with the game seeing a 21.9% gain in play time over the past two weeks.

3 comments:

  1. We need take note percentiles can be misleading if we don't compare the absolute numbers. The -8 % loss that WoW had is a lot bigger than all other games together. And while EVE and GW2 have the same 9% gain, GW2 have a greater base upon that 9% is calculated and so it is a lot more players gain than EVE.

    I had the strange impression that the living world idea is starting to work in favor of GW2.

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    1. Actually, when I look at percentages I usually compare the percentage of a loss/gain for a game compared to the loss/gain of the whole. This partially takes into account seasonal events like holidays or special events like the Steam sale. For example, if you look at the percentage gains, your point about the bi-weekly updates of the Living Story in GW2 gains added weight because while the average loss in time this week was 7.9%, GW2 saw a 9% increase in time people played.

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  2. I'm curious how Firefall ends up long-term. I played it in the closed beta a few months ago and did not enjoy it at all. I've considered going back, since I assume they've made lots of changes, but the freemium model still doesn't sit well with me, especially when they push the exp boosts and the 'limited time only' products so much.

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