Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Digital Dozen: 21 January 2014

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 19 January 2014.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played +/- %
11World of Warcraft 45.4 13,566-6.9
22Guild Wars 212.13,622-5.3
33Star Wars: The Old Republic10.43,098+13.1
44Final Fantasy XIV6.21,857-16.6
65EVE Online4.11,229+5.3
810Planetside 23.3977+32.7
118Lord of the Rings Online3.0891-8.3
12--Need For Speed World1.5456+1.5
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 29,853

I'm running out of ways to state that the Xfire community spent less time playing MMORPGs on Sunday than it did the week before.  Sunday's decline of 2.5% was led in absolute terms by World of Warcraft, which witnessed a decline of 1002 hours.  The games experiencing the biggest gains were Star Wars: The Old Republic (+358 hours) and Planetside 2 (+241 hours).  Runescape fell off the list after a two week run and was supplanted by Need For Speed World.

Galactic Starfighter, Phase 2Star Wars: The Old Republic experienced a 13.1% increase in time spent in the Star Wars universe following the release of patch 2.5.2.  This is the patch that granted Preferred players access to the Galactic Starfighter content as well as introduced new ships and the return of Bounty Contract Week, which ends today.  However, Galactic Starfighter has not proven to be the EVE killer, as EVE Online experienced a 5.3% increase in play time on Sunday.  Perhaps when the feature is made available to F2P players on 4 February.

A Reasonable Explanation, But... - Final Fantasy XIV saw a 16.6% decline in the number of hours the Xfire community spent playing the Square Enix product.  While tempting to blame the expiration of a one-week offer to inactive players to try the game again, that's not the whole reason.  In the week before that, Xfire activity in the game decreased by 8%.

Another Way Of Looking At The Numbers - The Digital Dozen looks at the number of hours the Xfire community spends playing games, not at the number of people actually playing.  But what would I find if I had the time to manually go through the games (and Xfire remained reliable enough) and also record the number of players?  I didn't go through all of the games, just the ones on this week's list, and found that ranking by players would make the list look a bit different.

GameDD RankPlayersAvg Hours Played
World of Warcraft126635.1
Guild Wars 229713.7
Star Wars: The Old Republic36264.9
Planetside 283352.9
EVE Online63064.0
Final Fantasy XIV42856.5
Need For Speed World122651.7
Lord of the Rings Online112204.0

The Digital Dozen is purposefully designed to weight a player's activity based on the hours spent in game.  If I just counted whether a person logged into a game on Sunday, then the EVE Online player who just logged in for 2 minutes to update his skill queue would count the same as the World of Warcraft player who spent 6 hours raiding. 


  1. ... which would be offset by the WoW player who logs in to relist some auctions while the EvE player sat in a CTA fleet for 8 hours. With Soul Crushing Lag.

  2. Huh, that second one is interesting: Planetside 2 jumps from being in the low half, ever in fear of being dumped, to being one of the big ones. I wonder how much of this low playtime is due to it being, rather fundamentally, another beast than other MMO's? After all, there's no achievements to hunt, no crafting to do or minerals to farm. There is only Fighting. I imagine that that might result in lots of people logging in for a short stint every now and then, as opposed to the longer sessions of more "traditional" mmo's.

    All in all, quite interesting.

    (Another reason COULD be the fact that PS2's version of the "rested" bonus is frontloaded, only requiring you to login, while most other require at least some playtime, be it Dailies or just Rested XP)

  3. On the other hand, logging into a subscription game for 2 minutes still counts as maintaining an active subscription :)