Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Digital Dozen: 8 May 2012

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 6 May 2012.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played
11World of Warcraft 52.6 63,959
22Star Wars: The Old Republic12.815,519
55Eve Online3.94,728
610Guild Wars3.44,172
76Lord Of The Rings Online2.93,539
87Metin 22.83,418
98APB: Reloaded2.63,197
1011Need For Speed World2.02,379
1112Star Trek Online1.41,729
Total MMORPG hours played Sunday:160,298
MMOPRGs saw a decrease of 10.4% in the number of hours played by the Xfire community over the previous week.  

Tera Launches:  Tera's full launch was 1 May and the game quickly rose to the #3 spot on The Digital Dozen.  The biggest losers seem to be World of Warcraft as WoW tourists visited a new game and RIFT, which dropped off the list two weeks ago and will struggle to regain a spot.

EA announces new SW:TOR subscription number:  On the EA Q4 2012 earnings call yesterday the game publisher announced that subscriptions for Star Wars: The Old Republic had fallen to 1.3 million at the end of April from 1.7 million at the end of January.

SW:TOR lost 23% of its subscribers during this time
While the number of subscriptions declined by approximately 23%, the hours played by Xfire members declined by 61% over the same period.  As I speculated 3 weeks ago, I think part of the discrepancy between the two figures is that EA was doing things like giving out 30 days of free game time to people likely to unsubscribe at the end of April in order to keep the subscription numbers as high as possible.

For last week, SW:TOR saw the number of hours play decline another 10.7% over the previous week.

The Hulkageddon Effect:  This week is the first week I have both the Xfire data and Eve Offline data for the Eve Online player-run event Hulkageddon V.  During this event players try to destroy as many mining ships as possible.  Of course, the players who fly those mining ships don't like that.  One theory is that miners will sit out the event and not even log into the game.  In that case we should see a big decrease in both the number of hours played by Xfire members and the actual average number of players logged into Eve as posted on Eve Offline.  I now have numbers for 29 April, the first day of Hulkageddon V.  Now begins the test.  How well does Xfire reflect concurrency trends in Eve Online?

Xfire vs Reality
The graph shows the available data from 1 April to 6 May.  At the beginning of April the Xfire numbers to not track well with the actual average number of players online because of the technical glitch that added 1 hour to every player on 8 April.  But by the end of the month the Xfire numbers started tracking closer to reality.  In fact, for the first day of Hulkageddon V, the numbers tracked a lot closer than I thought they would.  Comparing 22 April to 29 April, the number of hours played by Xfire members declined 3.9% while the average number of players actually logged into Eve declined by 3.3%.  If the trend continues, the average number of players online on Sunday should have stayed steady or increased slightly as the Xfire numbers increase by almost 1% this past week.

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