|Rank||Prev Week||Game||Score||Hours Played|
|1||1||World of Warcraft||54.7||51,754|
|2||2||Star Wars: The Old Republic||9.4||8,692|
|5||9||The Secret World||4.3||3,955|
|8||5||Lord of the Rings Online||3.4||3,120|
|12||10||Need For Speed World||2.2||2,070|
The Xfire community saw another increase in the number of hours spent playing MMORPGs last week. Although only 1%, this increase breaks against the popular belief that the amount of game play always decreases during the summer. The increase was driven by the pre-launch of The Secret World (+64.8%), Guild Wars (+90.5%) and Maple Story (+38.7%). The big losers for the week were Lord of the Rings Online (-14.7%), Need For Speed World (-10.5%) and Aion (-10%).
Coming Out Of The Cold: While this week is the third week The Secret World is on the list, this is the first week out of beta. With the early bird weekend putting the Funcom product in the number 5 position, expect TSW to at least move into the number 3 slot next week. If TSW manages to post the same numbers as Tera did in its first Sunday after full launch, we could see a new #2 game on the list.
Why Not Raptr? I've received some comments asking about Raptr. I've chosen to not look at Raptr stats for a couple of reasons. I first heard about Xfire by reading a blog that was doing something similar to The Digital Dozen. He also tried looking at Raptr but gave up as he didn't consider Raptr as being a reliable source to judge the popularity of MMORPGs. I guess I'm influenced a lot by that.
A second reason for not using Raptr is accessiblity to the data. Xfire makes its statistics open to the public and I link to the Xfire website every week so people can take a look for themselves. Raptr, as far as I can tell, requires a membership to get the same information. I'm not thrilled with using a source that is kept behind any type of firewall like that. Also, I read the terms of service and I am not convinced that publishing the Raptr numbers, especially in a weekly column like The Digital Dozen, would not be a TOS violation. I really don't want to have to deal with a possible legal situation.
The final reason is time. I designed The Digital Dozen as a project that would not take a lot of time to write. Adding a second source would not only add to my bookkeeping time but require a lot more analysis. But if someone else wants to write a blog based on the Raptr numbers, I would definitely read it.