Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Digital Dozen: 23 December 2014

The rankings of the top twelve MMORPGs as determined by the players of the Xfire community from play on Sunday, 21 December 2014.  For more details about the methodology, click here.  Historical data can be found here.

RankPrev WeekGameScoreHours Played+/- %
11World of Warcraft60.712,557-1.2
23Guild Wars 27.81,604+22.3
32Star Wars: The Old Republic7.41,537+2.2
46Final Fantasy XIV4.8984+60.0
65EVE Online3.3683-4.6
1110Lord of the Rings Online1.4299-11.3
12--Maple Story1.3267+103.8
Total Digital Dozen Hours: 20,684

Sunday saw the Xfire community spend a little extra time playing its favorite MMORPGs compared to the week before.  The 3.6% increase in time logged into the games was lead by Final Fantasy XIV (+369 hours) while the gain was partially offset by World of Warcraft (-158 hours).  Metin 2 fell back off the list after a one week stay, replaced by Maple Story.

Next week is the end.  Today's post is the 151st edition of the Digital Dozen.  Next week's year end review will be the final post.  At the beginning of the year, I decided that if the lowest ranked game on the list didn't have 500 hours played at the end of the year, that I would end the column.  Well, often times the 12th place game didn't even attract 200 hours of playtime.  This week, only 7 of the 12 games exceeded 500 hours, and this week is a good week. With Xfire moving to concentrate on eSports, I don't have any expectation that the numbers will improve in 2015.  Currently, the data provided by Xfire is somewhat useful.  I am not convinced that will continue to hold true until the end of 2015.

The first list.   Just to provide an example of how far the popularity of Xfire has fallen over the past 3 years, here is the first Digital Dozen list:

RankGameScoreHours Played
1World of Warcraft49.888,221
2Star Wars: The Old Republic25.244,717
3Guild Wars4.07,078
Star Trek Online
6Eve Online2.74,771
7Maple Story2.64,540
8Lord of the Rings Online2.54,465
9Need For Speed World2.03,559
10APB: Reloaded1.72,995
11Metin 21.72,955

Total Digital Dozen Hours: 177,242

The number of hours recorded by the Xfire community playing the top 12 MMORPGs has declined by 88.3%.  Of the games on the latest list, only World of Warcraft would have enough hours played to qualify for placement on the first list.  Back in 2012, even the lowest ranked game on the list would have at least 600 people logging in on a Sunday.  Now?  Sometimes games on the list don't even have 50. 

The most popular games.  Looking back to the first post on 7 February 2012, only three games on that first list appeared in all 151 posts: World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and EVE Online.  Expanding on the concept, the Guild Wars franchise (Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2) also appeared in all 151 posts.  Aion came close to matching the achievement, appearing 150 out of 151 weeks.  As an honorable mention, Final Fantasy XIV appeared for all 69 weeks since early access opened at the end of August 2013.  Unless a company is hit with a DDoS attack, all these games will appear on the final list next week.


  1. Yeah, as I may have noted in the past, Xfire itself has gone in a different direction, branding itself as a gaming tournament platform that will keep stats and scores and what not for you. The "social client" is somewhere in the back room. You can still get it, but they are clearly not pushing it any more, so the population of players using it is slowly ebbing away.

    I grabbed the client earlier in the year just to try it again. My friends list was mostly people I played with in 2003 or so, back when the client had real utility value, as if would launch your game and log you into the server a friend was playing on. Now it is just another IM client in a veritable sea of such clients.

  2. I'm sorry to see this end. It's still a tremendously useful index.

  3. Heya, just wanted to drop a comment to say how interesting I have found these numbers, and to thank you for taking the time and putting in the effort to publish them for us each week!

    Have a great Christmas and New Year!

  4. Thanks for all your efforts. The end is sad but very understandable.

  5. I can see why you're stopping it, but still sad to see it go. Was one of the only ways to (kinda, sorta) track the popularity of MMO's week to week.