|Rank||Prev Week||Game||Score||Hours Played||+/- %|
|1||1||World of Warcraft||39.5||8,108||-15.3|
|2||2||Guild Wars 2||15.0||3,074||+2.5|
|3||3||Star Wars: The Old Republic||9.1||1,861||-13.1|
|4||--||Elder Scrolls Online||8.5||1,752||--|
|5||5||Final Fantasy XIV||7.4||1,524||+37.9|
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 20,534
The downward slide of the Xfire community's interest in MMORPGs continued Sunday as the time members spent playing the twelve most popular games in the genre fell by 3.7%. The games suffering the biggest declines in playtime were World of Warcraft (-1467 hours) and Eve Online (-313 hours) while the game seeing the biggest gain apart from the early launch of Elder Scrolls Online was Final Fantasy XIV (+419 hours). APB: Reloaded joined ESO as the newcomers to the list while RIFT and Lord of the Rings Online dropped off. APB: Reloaded is making its first appearance in 18 weeks while RIFT ends a run of 27 weeks on The Digital Dozen.
Reaper of Hours: A big factor in the overall drop in playtime this week was probably the launch of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on 25 March. The time Xfire members spent playing the game jumped from 13,559 hours on 23 March to 22,617 hours Sunday. I would not find it surprising if the Blizzard game drew players away World of Warcraft, causing a large drop for that game.
Early Success: Elder Scrolls Online began its early access period on Sunday. From what I've heard the game not only had a smooth launch, but did quite well in The Digital Dozen rankings. The fourth place showing will undoubtedly result in at least a third place showing next Sunday, with a remote possibility of second. Not as good as Guild Wars 2's debut, but still a very solid start.
Successful Counter-programming: While Blizzard is famous for throwing out something new whenever a competitor launches a new product (see the release of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls), the WoW developers are not the only ones. Square Enix came out with Final Fantasy XIV: Through the Maelstrom (aka Patch 2.2) on 27 March. Square Enix added dungeons, new hard mode dungeons, and a new maximum difficulty dungeon. The additions worked as FFXIV saw an increase in playtime Sunday of 37.9%.