Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Digital Dozen: 20 May 2014

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 18 May 2014.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played +/- %
11World of Warcraft 37.0 6,587-10.7
22Guild Wars 215.82,820-2.7
33Star Wars: The Old Republic10.31,832-9.6
44Elder Scrolls Online6.11,084-30.2
55EVE Online5.71,017-1.2
66Final Fantasy XIV5.6989+1.8
12--Metin 22.1378+15.2
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 17,795

As the number of players in the Xfire community playing MMORPGs continues to decline, the percentage declines in the time spent playing the most popular games continues to grow.  On Sunday, the Xfire community spent 11% fewer hours playing those games than the week before. Topping the list was World of Warcraft which witnessed a decline of 788 hours played compared to the Sunday before.  The one game that saw a triple-digit increase was Neverwinter (+155 hours), which jumped back into the Digital Dozen after a one week absence.

A New Module - Neverwinter vaulted back into the Digital Dozen following the release of Module 3: Curse of Icewind Dale.  The module introduced new PvE and PvP content for players as well as the expected new cash store items.  Cryptic is trying to build on the increased traffic and announced that the next module, Tyranny of Dragons, will launch on 14 August.

The Drop-Off Begins - Usually new subscription games will experience a decline in play sometime around 30 days after launch due to players not liking a game enough to pay for a second month.  Elder Scrolls Online could turn into a textbook example of such a game.  With the array of problems faced by players during the first month, the Xfire community started to abandon the game early.  The granting of 5 extra days brought interest back, but Sunday saw a 30.2% decrease in the amount of time Xfire members spent in ESO.  I'm not sure if anything big is coming in the near future to keep more people from abandoning the game.  We'll find out soon enough.

The End of Beta - Wildstar ended its 10-day open beta with a bit of a thud, with Xfire members spending only half the time playing the game as they did the week before.  The game begins early access on 31 May, with the full launch on 3 June.  I think the game has the potential to beat Elder Scrolls Online in popularity after the first month as I hear the Carbine's product is more polished than the Zenimax game.

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