Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Digital Dozen: 27 March 2012

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 25 March 2012.  For more details about the methodology, click here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played
11World of Warcraft 57.4 82,619
22Star Wars: The Old Republic17.323,330
44Eve Online 3.44,828
55Lord of the Rings Online2.73,839
67Metin 22.43,390
76Guild Wars2.23,216
98Star Trek Online2.02,856
1112Need For Speed World1.62,357
1210Maple Story1.52,175
Total MMORPG hours played Sunday: 191,247
Note: SW:TOR numbers updated on 2 April

Overall, the amount of hours spent playing MMORPGs by the Xfire community decreased by 7.3% from the previous week but was still up 4% from 11 March.

SWTOR's Second Free Trial - Last weekend Bioware launched a second free trial weekend for brand new players in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  This indicates that the first weekend was so good that they could maintain the momentum.  The numbers show that the second weekend did not do so well, at least among the less-casual gamers who use Xfire.  In a week that saw a 7.3% overall decline in overall MMORPG play, SWTOR saw its numbers drop 11.2%.  A more troubling indicator for Bioware is that despite two free trials, the number of hours played actually slipped 2% from 11 March to 25 March while the Xfire number of hours played actually increased by 4%.

Expanding the bot rule - When making this week's list, I had to exclude three games, Supreme Destiny (15 hours), Atlantica Online (10 hours) and Silkroad Online (9 hours) from consideration due to the unbelievable number of hours played by the average gamer.

Eve Online and bots - Speaking of bots, CCP has put into place rules that could smooth out the changes in the number of hours played in Eve Online.  At last week's Fanfest, CCP's internet security chief CCP Sreegs announced that botters would be banned on a daily basis.  No more group bannings as occurred at the end of February.

Speaking of the effects of bots, as I pointed out last week I could not gauge the effect of the bots due to the servers not allowing players to log in for a significant amount of time.  Having the servers work all day was a contributing factor in Eve being one of two games in The Digital Dozen (Star Trek Online the other) to see the numbers played increase.  But going back to 11 March, Eve has seen an increase of 6.9% in hours played vs the general increase of 4%.  However, I can't really tell if the increase is due to botters returning or the excitement generated by Fanfest.

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