Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Digital Dozen: 17 June 2014

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 15 June 2014.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

Rank Prev Week Game ScoreHours Played +/- %
11World of Warcraft 36.0 6,567+9.7
33Guild Wars 212.22,223-0.9
44Star Wars: The Old Republic8.11,486-1.4
55EVE Online5.81,051-1.2
6T6Final Fantasy XIV5.61,013+10.5
99Elder Scrolls Online2.9532-22.2
1212Maple Story2.0364-6.9
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 18,243

The Xfire community's shrinkage continued on Sunday, with members spending 4.1% less time playing MMORPGs than the Sunday before.  I'll break off from the usual format, as I have something to say about that later in the post.

Technical Difficulties - While Wildstar is enjoying a great start, the game is experiencing some technical difficulties that sometimes keeps players from logging in.  That could account for some of the decline in Wildstar's numbers this week.  But the trend is a bit disturbing for launching less than two weeks ago.

E3 Excitement - Did Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida make a big splash at E3 this year?  Not only did he announce a new Ninja class coming in the 3.0 expansion, but patch 2.3 is due to launch on 8 July.  I get the feeling that E3 introduced some excitement to the game's fans and they displayed it on Sunday.

Why Not Raptr?  Regular readers of this weekly column know that Xfire is rapidly dying.  Don't believe me?  On 12 February 2012, the date I published the first column, Xfire members spent 176,521 hours playing the twelve most popular MMORPGs on 10 Feburary 2012.  Twenty-eight months later, that number had declined 89.6% down to 18,243 hours.  To give another example of how the Xfire community has shrunk, the only game this week that exceeded the 12th place game in the first list was World of Warcraft.  In fact, five times more time was spent playing WoW on 10 February 2012 than was spent playing the top 12 MMORPGs on Sunday combined.

I started using Xfire over Raptr over 2 years ago because I didn't need an Xfire account in order to access the data.  The data is freely available.  Not so for Raptr.  To obtain the Raptr data I have, I signed up for a Raptr account and downloaded an app.  As such, I had to agree to abide by Raptr's Terms of Service, which includes this section:
"Copyright. The Site, the AMD App, Raptr App and the Service are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Except for your use as authorized above, you may not modify, reproduce or distribute the content, design or layout of the Site, the Raptr App and the Service, or individual sections of the content, design or layout of the Site without Raptr’s express prior written permission."
I am reading that as including making a column based on Raptr data obtained from the site.  As Raptr actually makes money from selling the data it collects from players, they probably would look unfavorably on me distributing that information freely.  So, no Raptr data here.

Is my use of Xfire data treading a fine line?  Possibly, but I think I'm on the right side of it.  But at this point I doubt I'd get sued because Xfire needs all the publicity it can get.


  1. You might try sending Raptr's PR or marketing Dept a link to The Digital Dozen and ask them if they'd authorize you to do something similar using their data. I can't imagine the level of detail or the news reporting format you use would impinge in any way on whatever commercial use they make of the data they gather. Chances are they'd either not care or be quite happy to have some free publicity, especially if it came at the expense of a competitor.

  2. Used to use xfire years ago as a lightweight, game-friendly IM client. Then it got increasingly bloated and, with the coming of steam, became entirely redundant.

    1. Exact same situation here. Me and a dozen of my friends started off using Xfire for text and Ventrilo for voice in 2004. But once Steam launched its friends app, all of them slowly moved over to it. Then came Skype, making dedicated Vent servers mostly redundant. I now only run Xfire myself to keep track of how many hours of games I've played over the years.

  3. LOL.. Compared to maple story, Elsword free action mmorpg is far better...
    This will be the actual one - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMf8SmWG3rQ