Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Digital Dozen: 20 March 2012

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 18 March 2012.  For more details about the methodology, click here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played
11World of Warcraft 55.5 84,001
22Star Wars: The Old Republic17.326,259
44Eve Online 3.14,736
55Lord of the Rings Online3.04,528
67Guild Wars2.43,695
76Metin 22.43,642
88Star Trek Online2.03,276
911APB: Reloaded1.92,822
1012Maple Story1.82,681
1210Need For Speed World1.62,479
Total MMORPG hours played Sunday: 206,390

I am not sure if something is wrong with Xfire's reporting or if people just stopped playing Mass Effect 3 and returned to their normal games.  Probably the latter.  Keeping in mind that overall the hours played MMORPGs increased 12% from last week, here is a look at some games.

Star Wars: The Old Republic: What happens if you hold a big event and no one came?  At least, that is what looks like what happened with Bioware's free weekend promotion this weekend.  I shouldn't actually say that.  While SWTOR's 10% hours played gain lagged behind the 12% increase for all MMOs, that is actually good news considering it breaks an 8 week slide that saw the number of hours played decrease by 66%.  And since we don't know the effect on casual gamers, this may count as a successful promotion for SWTOR.

Aion: Aion was the big mover last week with a rise of 55% in number of hours played.  The switch to free-to-play has been successful during the first month with the NCSoft game seeing an increase of 152%.

Maple Story: The latest patch appears to be helping Maple Story recover from its problems in January.  The Wiznet/Nexon game saw a jump of 32% in hours played last week as it moved up two places to the number 10 spot.

Eve Online:  Sunday should have been a good test of the reliability of the Xfire numbers, or at least the honesty of its community.  With the wave of people banned for 14 days for botting up last weekend, I expected to see a jump in the numbers for the sci-fi sandbox game.  But the game had problems with people unable to log in at a very busy time and the server eventually required a reboot.  So I will need to wait one more week to see the effect on the Xfire charts.  Assuming that head of security CCP Sreegs does not unleash a new wave of bot bannings to celebrate CCP's Fanfest, which I am currently attending.

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