Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Digital Dozen: 25 December 2012

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 23 December 2012.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played +/- %
11World of Warcraft 37.5 28,926-9.7
22Guild Wars 219.515,072-17.3
33Star Wars: The Old Republic10.98,389-0.3
44Planetside 25.44,201-3.7
65Eve Online4.33,282-14.3
77The War Z 4.13,127+14.1
88Lord of the Rings Online3.82,913+21.2
99Maple Story2.82,158-2.2
1010Metin 22.72,069+11.0
1211APB: Reloaded2.31,773+1.1
Total MMORPG hours played Sunday: 100,787
After a large increase the week before, Sunday saw the Xfire community spend 4.6% less time playing MMORPGs than the week before.   The games leading the decline were Guild Wars 2 (-17.3%), Eve Online (-14.3%) and World of Warcraft (-9.7%) while the leading games fighting the trend were Vindictus (+29%) and Lord of the Rings Online (+21.2%).

The Reason For A Score - One of the reasons for creating a score for each game is to keep track of the percentage of time spent playing the most popular MMORPGs in the Xfire community.  I've always felt that just looking at the raw numbers is to evaluate how a game is faring was inadequate, especially if the size of the Xfire community significantly increases or decreases.  I think that at the very least the MMORPG portion of the Xfire community has shrunk drastically over the course of the year.  Since mid-February when I first started tracking the total time spent playing MMORPGs the number of hours played has decreased by 52.9%.

Most of that decrease can be attributed to two games: World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Those two games have seen a decrease of 72.4% in the number of hours played compared to a decrease of 19.6% in all other MMORPGs listed on Xfire combined.  So can the decrease in MMORPG play the result of the bleeding away of the community or due to players of WoW and SW:TOR not being fans of the genre, just those games?
I'm not going to claim that the Digital Dozen score is more accurate in determining actual numbers because it isn't.  For example, take Eve Online.  The actual increase in the number of average concurrent users from the first week in February until the period from 14-20 December was 2.7%.  The change in the number of hours played decreased 647 hours or 14.3%.  The DD score increased from 2.7 to 4.3, or an increase of 59.2%.  Neither one is accurate for determining actual numbers.  But I do think the DD score is a good, or at least better, way to compare games with each other over periods of time.

No Press Is Bad Press?  Hammerpoint Interactive is pressing the point over the past week.  First the game was offered on Steam and then taken down within a day.  Now the game may need to change titles as its trademark was suspended for the name being too similar to an upcoming Brad Pitt film, World War Z.  In other news War Z experienced 14% more play from the Xfire community on Sunday.

Merry Christmas!  I wish everyone a merry, joyous holiday season.

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