Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Digital Dozen: 15 July 2014

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 13 July 2014.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

RankPrev WeekGameScoreHours Played+/- %
11World of Warcraft41.56,475-6.0
22Guild Wars 213.12,049+0.8
33Star Wars: The Old Republic8.81,371-25.5
45Final Fantasy XIV6.81,065+2.6
66EVE Online5.4838+0.5
911Elder Scrolls Online2.8437+41.0
12--Lord of the Rings Online1.9296+24.9
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 15,600

The final match of the World Cup saw the Xfire community turn to their television screens one last time until 2018.  On Sunday, its members spent 6.4% fewer hours playing MMORPGs than the week before.  Star Wars: The Old Republic witnessed the biggest decline (-469 hours) while Elder Scrolls Online witnessed a resurgence, leading all games with increased playtime with 127 hours.  Vindictus ended its two-week run in the Digital Dozen, replaced by Lord of the Rings Online.

TOR Is Not Dying - Despite leading all games on the list with a 469 hour drop in time played by Xfire members, a 25.5% decline is not a sign that Star Wars: The Old Republic fans are finally turning away from the game.  A decline like Sunday's is natural following a double XP event like the one Bioware held from 1-7 July.  The next expansion, Galactic Strongholds, is expected to launch this October, with subscriber early access beginning on 19 August.

Wildstar Is Not Dying - Despite the number of hours Xfire members spend playing Wildstar declining every week since launch, Wildstar is not dying.  Other sites like Raptr are not showing this behavior.  However, the decline is another example that MMORPGs have difficulty maintaining their initial audience.  The question now remains whether Carbine's planned monthly content patches will eventually stop the decline while the game is still on the list.

ESO Is Not Dying - Despite the huge percentage gain this week, the raw number of hour increase in the Xfire community's play time (+127 hours) wasn't that big this week.  But an increase in time 3 months after launch with no obvious cause is possibly a good sign.  Has Elder Scrolls Online finally reached its base number of players?

1 comment:

  1. There IS a reason for the ESO played time increase: the hated and reviled Veteran Rank (VR) difficulty was finally nerfed, so that it was finally possible to comfortably solo through the VR zones.

    My ESO guild is full of players who've abandoned the game at low VR (and in ESO, you join guilds by account, not by alt: so I know they've left the game) because it morphs from enjoyable, play as you want with a good story (1-50 zones) to slow, unrewarding, unenjoyable and with only 1 viable build for all classes (VR zones). Nerfing the difficulty does nothing to fix the slow and unrewarding parts, but at least now people can play their classes again and level through the VR zones.

    (and one final note: the ESO Quakecon day, tomorrow, is expected to see an announcement removing the entire VR system from the game. it's that awful).

    So, there's a reason for the uptick in ESO playtime this last week: still not certain if it's a sign of a long-term increase or a dead-cat bounce, however.