Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Digital Dozen - 9 July 2013

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 7 July 2013.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played +/- %
11World of Warcraft 40.3 17,738-1.7
22Guild Wars 215.76,910-2.0
33Star Wars: The Old Republic11.55,046-6.9
54EVE Online5.02,211-12.0
99Planetside 23.31,432+14.7
1012Maple Story2.61,132+20.0
1110Lord of the Rings Online2.2971-20.3
1211Star Trek Online2.2959-2.1
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 44,029
While this week saw another small drop in the amount of time the Xfire community spent playing the most popular MMORPGs Sunday, individual games saw greater volatility in popularity.  The overall 2% week-to-week decline was led in percentage terms by Aion (-22.5%), Lord of the Rings Online (-20.3%) and EVE Online (-12%).  Partially offsetting the decline was increased interest in Tera (+26.1%), Maple Story (+20%) and Planetside 2 (+14.7%).

Three's Enough - While SOE is famous for its U.S. holiday specials (see Planetside 2's 14.7% increase) EA/Bioware tried to take it to another level with three consecutive double XP weekends for Star Wars: The Old Republic.  The gimmick grew old and the last of the 3 weekends saw playtime in the Xfire community decline by 6.9%.  Overall the promotion was a success, with the amount of hours spent playing 12% higher than on 16 June, the last normal weekend.  To put SWTOR's success in perspective, over the same period the time spent playing games listed on The Digital Dozen decline by 2.9%.  The question is whether the players will continue playing during the summer months.

Double Your Fun - Tera provided a twist on the double XP weekend theme Sunday with a double-drop weekend.  That's right, all dungeons saw the drop rates double, except on the Tempest Reach and Mount Tyrannas shards, which won a participation contest and had all the drop rates triple.  As with SWTOR I'm interested to see the Xfire numbers next Sunday.

No Deals, No Love?  Aion, Lord of the Rings Online, and EVE Online had two things in common this weekend.  First, they didn't offer specials over the U.S. holiday weekend.  Second, they all experienced double-digit declines in playtime Sunday.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Of the three games, the studio I expect is most concerned is NCSoft.  Aion 4.0 was released on 26 June and such a big drop less than two weeks after the launch of the expansion usually is not a good sign.  Aion is probably the one game to watch next week to see if the Xfire community returns.

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