By Alec Meer on December 31st, 2008 at 3:25 pm.
Stats about games about stats: what finer way to ring in the new year? GamerDNA and Massively have shoved up some end-of-year research detailing the trending and state of play of the major MMOs, as documented by monitoring X-Fire. Not a perfect sample perhaps, but certainly a reputable one. More importantly, they have graphs! I love a graph, me. Well worth a nose at their detailed and engaging analysis, but some of the more interesting trends are summarised inexpertly below…
– Rather a lot of people are still playing World of Warcraft – and its audience continues to grow. Eve’s also still embiggening.
– WAR’s definitely seeing a slump, but it’s not a disastrous one yet. Its launch impacted a few second-tier fantasy MMOs, i.e. LOTRO & Conan, but they appear to have bounced back since. Fascinatingly, it didn’t seem to leave a noticeable dent in WOW’s userbase.
– LOTRO remains the quiet prince of MMOdom, doing ever so well in spite of the worrying entropy so many of its peers are suffering. The Mines of Moria expansion was a major shot in the arm for it, too. I find LOTRO fascinating, because it almost exists in a separate state to the others – rarely commented upon outside of its own audience.
– Tabula Rasa’s decline isn’t as apocalyptic as one might have expected from an MMO that’s about to be axed by its publishers. An odd one – there’s every chance it wasn’t beyond saving after all.
– Poor, poor Conan. Funcom really should just put the invalid thing out of its misery.