Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Digital Dozen: 1 April 2014

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 30 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 39.5 8,108-15.3
22Guild Wars 215.03,074+2.5
33Star Wars: The Old Republic9.11,861-13.1
4--Elder Scrolls Online8.51,752--
55Final Fantasy XIV7.41,524+37.9
64EVE Online4.4911-25.6
1111Planetside 22.3463-1.3
12--APB: Reloaded2.0413+2.5
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 20,534

The downward slide of the Xfire community's interest in MMORPGs continued Sunday as the time members spent playing the twelve most popular games in the genre fell by 3.7%.  The games suffering the biggest declines in playtime were World of Warcraft (-1467 hours) and Eve Online (-313 hours) while the game seeing the biggest gain apart from the early launch of Elder Scrolls Online was Final Fantasy XIV (+419 hours).  APB: Reloaded joined ESO as the newcomers to the list while RIFT and Lord of the Rings Online dropped off.  APB: Reloaded is making its first appearance in 18 weeks while RIFT ends a run of 27 weeks on The Digital Dozen. 

Reaper of Hours:  A big factor in the overall drop in playtime this week was probably the launch of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on 25 March.   The time Xfire members spent playing the game jumped from 13,559 hours on 23 March to 22,617 hours Sunday.  I would not find it surprising if the Blizzard game drew players away World of Warcraft, causing a large drop for that game.

Early Success:  Elder Scrolls Online began its early access period on Sunday.  From what I've heard the game not only had a smooth launch, but did quite well in The Digital Dozen rankings.  The fourth place showing will undoubtedly result in at least a third place showing next Sunday, with a remote possibility of second.  Not as good as Guild Wars 2's debut, but still a very solid start.

Successful Counter-programming:  While Blizzard is famous for throwing out something new whenever a competitor launches a new product (see the release of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls), the WoW developers are not the only ones.  Square Enix came out with Final Fantasy XIV: Through the Maelstrom (aka Patch 2.2) on 27 March.  Square Enix added dungeons, new hard mode dungeons, and a new maximum difficulty dungeon.  The additions worked as FFXIV saw an increase in playtime Sunday of 37.9%.


  1. Are you saying that Blizzard planned their whole release date in the 8 day gap between the TESO and RoS announcements? That seems like a Dinsdale level of assertion, especially when Blizz announced the auction house removal date, which was a key sign of the expansion release date, almost three months before the TESO release date was announced.

    Everybody loves the big, bad Blizzard release date conspiracy theories, but there are only 52 weeks in a year. Their launches will always coincide with something.

    1. BTW, that is totally going to be my April Fools post next year, documenting the Blizzard release conspiracy through the years, pointing out all the games they have stomped on with their choice of ship dates.

    2. while we are at conspiracies, isn't it somehow interesting to see the WoW expansion being called WoD? Obviously they are trying to brand that 3 letters before ccps WoD reaches the daylight.

      ok ok, CCPs WoD may take another 2 years until then the WoW expansion will be 2 to 4 releases over WoW:WoD. Just let my self getting confused by reading gaming news about "WoD reveals release details" and had hoped for CCPs version.

  2. Whoah, did I read that right? D3 had more hours played than all of the top MMOs combined?