Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Digital Dozen: 15 October 2013

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 13 September 2013.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played +/- %
11World of Warcraft 43.1 14,727-5.2
22Guild Wars 215.75,376-10.5
33Final Fantasy XIV11.33,871-13.1
44Star Wars: The Old Republic9.83,338+4.2
55EVE Online4.61,586+1.1
78Lord of the Rings Online2.5854+1.2
99Planetside 22.0681+6.4
12--Metin 21.5502+24.0
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 34,144

Sunday saw a fourth consecutive week in interest by the Xfire community in playing MMORPGs.  The 5.4% decline in time spent playing the most popular games in the genre was lead by players turning away from the most popular games, World of Warcraft (-827 hours), Guild Wars 2 (-629 hours) and Final Fantasy XIV (-584 hours).  The last 9 games did manage to cushion the decline as they saw their playtime increase by a total of 3%.

A Last Hurrah? - While almost all the games appear to have suffered in popularity due to the launch of Grand Theft Auto V/Grand Theft Auto Online, Planetside 2 bounced back nicely Sunday, experiencing a 6.4% increase in playtime from the Xfire community.  But is this just a last hurrah before the launch of Battlefield 4 on 29 October?  I figure that all games will receive a hit, but PS2 is extremely susceptible as it is the only FPS listed in the Digital Dozen.  Watching the performance of PS2 over the coming weeks could give an indication of the effect on all the games in a few weeks time.

Space! - EA/Bioware announced last week that its upcoming expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic is free.  Sure, free-to-play players will get access to the expansion up to 2 months after subscribers, but could the excitement over a vastly improved space combat system help drive interest even higher?  We'll see.

Time For An Expansion? - For a time ArenaNet's frenetic two-week delivery cycle of new content for Guild Wars 2 managed to keep interest high.  But is the recent decline a sign that the Living Story is not enough to maintain player interest through a cycle of new games like GTA 5?  Does GW2 need an expansion or is the nature of the game such that GW2 players are the new WoW tourist?

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