Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Digital Dozen: 13 March 2012

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 11 March 2012.  For more details about the methodology, click here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played
11World of Warcraft 58.0 81,067
22Star Wars: The Old Republic17.023,811
44Eve Online 3.24,516
56Lord of the Rings Online2.73,707
68Metin 22.63,575
75Guild Wars2.53,972
87Star Trek Online2.23,276
1011Need For Speed World1.82,524
1110APB: Reloaded1.72,410
12NRMaple Story1.42,019
Total MMORPG hours played Sunday: 183,825

Mass Effect - The release of Bioware's Mass Effect 3 on 6 March had the anticipated effect of bringing down the numbers for most games.  Last week's 4.9% decline in the number of hours Xfire members played MMORPGs would have been even greater if World of Warcraft had not seen a 6.7% increase over the previous week.

What is he smoking? - I have restrained myself over the two weeks from pointing out Star Wars: The Old Republic's continuous slipping numbers on Xfire.  Quite frankly, the story is getting boring.  But then Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitello made a statement that I find unbelievable.  He stated that SWTOR still has 1.7 million active subscribers, a number unchanged from a month ago.  I guess it is possible that a lot of people who never played an MMORPG before are buying the game, but if Xfire is any guide, experienced gamers have grown disenchanted.  In the eight weeks from 15 January to 11 March SWTOR saw a 66% drop in the number of hours played by the Xfire community.  Players have created a threadnaught on the official forums asking for server mergers because some servers have turned into ghost towns.

To put SWTOR's numbers in perspective, the indie title Minecraft has proved more popular than SWTOR over the past two weeks.  While Minecraft is a fine game, the extreme low cost of developing that game has to have EA investors scratching their heads over why their game fell so far so fast.  The game is still huge in the MMORPG marketplace, but considering speculation is that EA/Bioware needs 1 million subscribers to break even, odds are that the game is in trouble.

The Return of Maple Story - After a one week absence, Maple Story returns to the Digital Dozen, barely squeaking past Silkroad Online for the final position.  Maple Story was one of the few MMOs to buck the downward trend, gaining 2% last week.

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