Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Is Final Fantasy XIV Really More Popular Than World Of Warcraft?

I watch a lot of videos about video games and I get the feeling a lot of players are disgruntled about the state of Retail World of Warcraft. From what I gather, Patch 9.1 won't go live until July, or even August. That's a content drought of 8 months. Additionally, I hear a lot of discontent around Torghast. I don't really understand why, but I get the feeling "conduits" is a dirty word. I first became aware of the discontent after an interview WoW's lead game designer Ion Hazzikostas did with Preach Gaming. Watching the usually reserved Bellular go off on the game woke me up.

With a lot of WoW content creators trying out Final Fantasy XIV I thought we were just seeing a short-term fad that would end with the next patch. Then I watched a video that claimed that FFXIV is now more popular than WoW. I had to track down the claim.

MMO Populations Most Played MMOs - as seen on 9 Jun 21

The site is MMO Populations. I had to search the site, but I found a comment on how they arrived at their lists.

By combining online social activity, sentiment tracking, public statistics, rankings and more MMO Populations estimates the total subscribers, players and active daily players for the top MMOs.

But for what it's worth, FFXIV comes in with 2.48 million active players in May compared to Retail WoW's 2.19 million active players. But WoW Classic also had 1.7 million active players. The WoW Classic number will morph into TBC Classic next month as players were able to start playing the classic version of WoW's first expansion on 1 June. 

Of interest to me when checking the numbers was the number of active players in EVE Online. The 324 thousand listed seems a bit high to me. Then again, the bigger games like WoW and Final Fantasy XIV probably have more data to work with.

If FFXIV truly is the top MMORPG, I don't expect the status to last. Not only is WoW's patch 9.1 due out soon, but Endwalker doesn't come out until November. The population inevitably will decrease until then. But if some players get a kick out of the thought that WoW is no longer the top dog, I won't kick too much sand on their dreams.

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