Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Digital Dozen: 18 March 2014

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 16 March 2014.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played +/- %
11World of Warcraft 43.0 10,099+6.1
22Guild Wars 213.73,219-8.0
33Star Wars: The Old Republic12.02,820+33.0
45Final Fantasy XIV5.61,314-1.0
54EVE Online5.01,164-15.5
6--Elder Scrolls Online (beta)4.1965--
1210Planetside 22.1501-2.3
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 23,476

After two weeks of sagging interest, the Xfire community perked up when the subject was MMORPGs.  On Sunday, Xfire members spent 5.1% more time playing their favorite MMORPGs than the week before.  The uptick was lead by Elder Scrolls Online beta (965 hours) while two games, Guild Wars 2 (-278 hours) and EVE Online (-213 hours) led all games seeing declines.  ESO's appearance on the list meant the end of Lord of the Rings Online's 39-week run that started on 16 June 2013.

A Weak Showing -While comparing hours between 2012 and 2014 is not really valid, comparing the Digital Dozen scores is.  That's because the DD score is a measure of the amount of time players spent playing a game compared to the other top games that weekend.  On that scale, Elder Scrolls Online had a much weaker performance than Guild Wars 2 did on its final public open beta.  On 22 July, GW2 scored an impressive 18.4 and second place in its final open beta.  In comparison, ESO managed just 4.1 and sixth place on the list on Sunday.  However, that could position ESO to rank as high as second place on the first full weekend after the official launch.

Rocketing To The Top - World of Warcraft had a strong showing Sunday, breaking 10,000 hours once again.  How did Blizzard manage to fend off the effects of the ESO beta?  By introducing a new service to the in-game store, a boost to level 90.  For $50 USD, a player can boost a character up to level 90, and if the character is already level 60 receive a level skill boost to their primary professions and level-appropriate gear.  Looks like the tactic worked for now, but will the players stream to ESO when that game launches live on the 4th?

Racing Ahead - Players took a more sedate route this paste weekend to getting players to max level in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Bioware counter-programmed the ESO beta by holding a double xp weekend from 14-17 March.  That paid off, at least with Xfire members, as the number of hours spent playing SWTOR jumped by 33%.

1 comment:

  1. Just to be clear, if you preordered the new WoW expansion for $50, you'd get a free level 90 boost with it. You could also buy just the level 90 boost for $60. I'm sure the boosts helped WoW's hours this week, but I imagine the amount of boosted 90s came primarily from preordering the expansion and not just buying the boost itself.