Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Digital Dozen: 22 April 2014

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 20 April 2014.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played +/- %
11World of Warcraft 36.6 7,116+48.9
22Guild Wars 218.53,593+82.7
33Star Wars: The Old Republic10.01,946+17.9
45Final Fantasy XIV6.31,231+52.0
54Elder Scrolls Online4.9951+2.4
76EVE Online4.2817+27.3
911Planetside 23.0581+83.9
11--Lord Of The Rings Online2.8542+114.2
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 19,439

On Sunday, Xfire recovered from the previous week's technical difficulties, recording a 48.6% gain in hours played compared to the week before.  But the long term trend of declining hours continued as Sunday's total was 5.1% less than the 20,483 hours played by the Xfire community on 6 April.  Runescape fell off the list for the first time since mid-February, replaced by Lord of the Rings Online.

Rollback fears - One game taking a huge tumble over the past two weeks is Elder Scrolls Online.  The 46.6% reduction in time spent by the Xfire community playing the ZeniMax offering was probably fueled by bugs, including one that became known on Friday concerning a duplication exploit concerning the guild bank.  Many players are probably waiting out the rocky start before buying the game.  Others apparently may have feared rollbacks, so didn't log in at all.

Improvements - One the other side of the spectrum is ArenaNet, who launched Guild Wars 2's April 2014 Feature Pack last Tuesday.  The 9.5% in hours played over the past two weeks is spurred by a patch bringing in brand-new systems, improvements to existing features, balance updates, and the megaserver system.  So far, so good for ArenaNet, at least if Xfire is any judge.

More Updates - Lord of the Rings Online vaulted back into The Digital Dozen Sunday after a 4-week absence on the strength of Update 13: The Breaking of Isengard.  I think that some players became discouraged when they heard the news of no expansion this year.  With the 15th marking the seventh anniversary of the launch of LotRO, a lot of players came back to check up on the game.


  1. One data point stands out as a good example of why the Xfire numbers are not to be trusted too much. The table says EVE was up 27.3 percent over the previous week, and yet EVE's PCU on Sunday didn't even reach 40,000. That's EVE's worst showing on a Sunday all year. Yet here we have Xfire's numbers showing a significant increase over the week before. I can only conclude that Xfire is not a good representative number to use when evaluating player trends.

    1. Actually, what that points out is that Xfire had technical difficulties last week and those numbers weren't to be trusted. Also, Xfire numbers should only be used to judge trends, not to show an accurate depiction of changes in the number of people playing.