Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Digital Dozen: 12 February 2012

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 12 February 2012.  For more details about the methodology, click here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played
11World of Warcraft 52.7 92,988
22Star Wars: The Old Republic23.841,991
34Star Trek Online3.25,679
46Eve Online3.05,322
68Lord of the Rings Online 2.64,642
73Guild Wars2.23,923
811Metin 2 2.23,814
99Need For Speed World2.03,609
107Maple Story1.83,213
1110APB: Reloaded1.83,173

Internet Spaceships Is Serious Business!  For the first time I can remember, the top 3 games not named World of Warcraft are all science-fiction MMORPGs.  Star Wars: The Old Republic is still riding high in the #2 spot based on its very successful launch, Star Trek Online gained new life and soared to #3 after its move to free-to-play on 17 January, and Eve Online is recovering from last year's debacle called Incarna.  If Star Trek Online can maintain its popularity and Eve regains the steady growth it had been famous for over its first 8 years, perhaps we will see more sci-fi MMORPGs in the near future.

Is LucasArts screwing over another MMO?  While listening to The Instance #263 Sunday Turpster pointed out that the EA marketing team is strangely quiet lately.  Has anyone else noticed all the advertising for the 3D version of The Phantom Menace?  Turpster has and thinks that LucasArts had a hand in EA's inactivity.  Looking for evidence, I looked at the script from the EA Q3 Conference Call and noticed that EA planned on increasing their advertising buys during Q4 (p7).  But if they plan on spending more, where is the spending?  I would have thought that the Super Bowl would have been the perfect opportunity to publicize the game, but the only thing Star Wars I saw were adds for The Phantom Menace.

According to the numbers from Xfire, the number of hours played has decreased 40% since 15 January, the last Sunday before the first players who bought the game at launch needed to choose to pay money to subscribe.  This trend is making SW:TOR look bad.  Would the decline be less if EA was more active with its marketing efforts?  Or, for conspiracy theorists, would the decline be less if LucasArts hadn't muzzled EA?  Hey, a lot of people remember Star Wars: Galaxies and the NGE.  LucasArts didn't cover itself in glory back then.  Is history repeating itself?

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