Friday, January 21, 2011


Thanks to the fact that Square Enix knows it hit a faux pas in the road with Final Fantasy XIV, the company is making every effort to rectify the issues within the game. Due to this effort, a poll was conducted to help Squeenix understand what happened, and what the players may be looking for.

For myself, this became a new data point to study.

Part of the poll consisted of what games the players of FFXIV had played before. This has proven to be interesting as it covers several regions. Not just that, but in the fact we get a glimpse of what type of MMO's are enjoyed by a person who has played or is playing FFXIV.

You can review this rather large image of the chart HERE.

What I would like to do with the chart is use it just like our X-Fire and Raptr data points and compare how games I am tracking are ranking per the poll. I am also going to separate the game ranks per region.
Replacing FFXIV will be FFXI, as it seems to be the counterpoint to the other games listed (seeing it was a Squeenix poll for FFXIV players, this is logical).
As a final note, one game is missing; Star Trek Online. Either they were not part of the chart or did not warrant enough votes to chart. I will assume they fall into the OTHER categories listed.

Lets start with...
These first results include several major anomalies right off the bat. Several games listed are ones that I have never heard of or are unique to the region (i.e: Cannot find out due to not being able to decipher the Japanese alphabet).
Another data point (even though I do not track it) is the fact that World of Warcraft is ranked EXTREMELY low. Odd.
In addition several PvP games are ranked lower compared to the darling of JP...Lineage 2. This is definitely based on region.
Finally, DDO, AOC, CO and WAR did NOT chart in JP. Not available is most likely the case, or they are considered OTHERS.

But, lets move on to the list, in the order the game is ranked and percentage played.
  1. Final Fantasy XI - 20.4%
  2. Aion - 4.5% (Called The Tower of Aion)
  3. Lord of the Rings Online - 1.1%
  4. EvE Online - 0.5%
  5. Age of Conan - NO RANK
  6. Warhammer Online - NO RANK
  7. Dungeons & Dragons Online - NO RANK 
  8. Champions Online - NO RANK
Several more notes: Everquest 2 actually ranks higher than LOTRO at 2.6% and Ultima Online had a WHOPPING 4.3%; another anomaly to say the least.
Finally, the "OTHER" games with subs or microtransactions ranked pretty high here...actually more than Aion or even Lineage 2.

All I can say is Japan is an odd beast compared to the Western countries. Sure was a great way to start our review of the poll.

North America (NA)
North America brings some normalcy back to the charts. Behind FFXI is World of Warcraft, which fits perfectly with NA audiences (12.1%). FFXI should be on top anyways, since this IS a poll of Squeenix customers.
Of note, 5.2% have played EQ / EQ2. I wonder why these two were lumped together on this poll, but not JP.
Guild Wars shows up on this list at a VERY nice 6.6%.

On to the numbers.
  1. Final Fantasy XI - 15.5%
  2. Aion - 5.9%
  3. Lord of the Rings Online - 5.0%
  4. Dungeons & Dragons Online - 4.0% 
  5. EvE Online - 3.3% 
  6. Warhammer Online - 3.7%
  7. Age of Conan - 3.1%
  8. Champions Online - 1.8%
NA has a large audience for Aion and then LOTRO. Their rankings on this poll is in line with what we see on X-Fire and Raptr, as being two top games that are still being played or have been played heavily.  
EvE not so much. I would assume the PvP and Sci-Fi aspect are not what a Final Fantasy audience craves.
Champions graces the bottom of the list along with AoC and WAR again, as we have seen corroborated by our two other sources.

Great Britain (GB)
I assume this covers the various isles of Europe like Ireland, Scotland, England, etc. (SOURCE
Getting initial notes out of the way, WoW again ranks 2nd behind FFXI, but barely.
Guild Wars cracks a whopping 7.0% in GB. The EQ's fall to 3.6%.
  1. Final Fantasy XI - 13.7%
  2. Aion - 7.3%
  3. Lord of the Rings Online - 5.4%
  4. Warhammer Online - 4.6%
  5. EvE Online - 4.2% 
  6. Age of Conan - 4.1%
  7. Dungeons & Dragons Online - 3.1% 
  8. Champions Online - 1.6%
Notes: DDO takes a bit of a dive overseas. Aion though, holds a top spot. I feel Aion's similarities to Final Fantasy's visuals helps sell that game to the FFXIV audience. 
WAR is well liked in GB...I wonder WHY (have anything to do with the fact Warhammer is a British product?). 
Champions of course holds the bottom up as usual.

France (FR)
Wee Wee Monsieur. Next up are the French to show us what they like in MMO land.
  1. Final Fantasy XI - 14.5%
  2. Aion - 10.3%
  3. Lord of the Rings Online - 4.1%
  4. Warhammer Online - 4.0%
  5. Age of Conan - 3.8%
  6. EvE Online - 2.1% 
  7. Dungeons & Dragons Online - 1.3% 
  8. Champions Online - 1.3%
The pattern continues, but with a unique twist. The FR REALLY liked Aion, and it ranks very close to WoW on the chart. WAR and AoC are back together again. 
DDO still ranks lowly for overseas. This continues to fascinate me. Is D&D truly such a North American phenomenon that it hardly holds any sway in Europe? Or is it that the game itself is just not good to them?
Guild Wars proves to be a driver here, with it's highest rating of all countries...8%.

Lets close then

Germany (DE)
Lets start with some notes.
Both FFXI AND WoW are right next to each other, with WoW ranking a 12.7%. Guild Wars racks up a 7.5%. The EQ's at 3.7%. And a new high ranker, Ragnarok Online at 5.5% (again, a region based experience).
  1. Final Fantasy XI - 12.9%
  2. Aion - 8.6%
  3. Lord of the Rings Online - 6.5%
  4. Age of Conan - 4.8%
  5. Warhammer Online - 4.5%
  6. EvE Online - 3.2% 
  7. Dungeons & Dragons Online - 1.8% 
  8. Champions Online - 0.8%
Of note: LOTRO and Age of Conan seem to rank considerably higher in Germany than other countries. As well, WAR does great, but flip-flops with AoC for ranking. Champions presents with the lowest score of the bunch. Lets take into account, City of Heroes also rates very low in Germany. Guess they do not like Superheroes very much?

This was fascinating. It helped me see some commonalities across data points and some regional specifics as well when it comes to MMO gaming.

Aion and Lord of the Rings Online continued to dominate the charts here, just like they do on X-Fire and Raptr. 
To those who scream Aion was a failure, I continue to see the proof time and again that does NOT corroborate this. Mind you, this is a list of "have played" and may not 100% match what is happening now. But, the fact remains that when a poll like this is done, we can see some favorites being played.

The most noticeable fact is how an Asian based game like Aion could dominate this list, as favoritism of Final Fantasy is noted, skewing the poll.
But, when we moved to the European based countries like GB, FR and DE, we see an upswing of Nordic or Germanic based games dominating (WAR and AoC) along with more of a basis in Renaissance feeling (like LOTRO) holding the top of the charts.
There is also no doubt about LOTRO being a hit. It may not be the "million subs" base that games like WoW hold, but it continually ranked as a game that people have or are playing.

Finally, there is a simple conclusion I can make immediately.

I REALLY think Guild Wars 2 shall sell MASSIVE amounts of copies, as a pre-made audience seems to exist based on ALL my data points.

Hope you enjoyed this bit of fun. 

BTW; TLDR - Yes, a lot of data exists that corroborates my XFire game...thought you should know.


Anonymous said...

I'm a little surprised Champions is ranked over City of Heroes/Villains/Antiheroes/Whatever.  Maybe I just haven't been paying attention well enough; I thought CoX was still running ahead of CO. I'm also curious what the F2P conversion of CO will do. I'll admit, it has me interested in the game.

I'd also be interested in the "why" of these datapoints. As in, why did players migrate to FFXIV from the other games... and did they play them concurrently?

Mind you, I'm not complaining. This is some good data crunching, and the regional quirks are valuable information. Thanks for the writeup!

Elementalistly said...

I also have questions as well. Age ranges would have been cool, but was NOT the reason for the poll.
And yes, a poll of "Do you still play another MMO" would have ROCKED.
But, the fact we got such good data to begin with, and allowed me to manipulate it to see how it fleshed out was a boon.

Digging that data, man!

Bhagpuss said...

Not sure how useful this data is for assessing what people are playing now. The question related to what MMOs you had ever played at any time in the past, or that's how I read it when I took the poll. That might explain the showing of U.O. that you mentioned.

Elementalistly said...

Actually, I think it shows a lot. The propensity for a player to enter a similar style game says a lot about these players.
The continually high rankings of LOTRO, Aion and in the European countries for AoC and WAR actually speaks tons.

If games continue to feel like THOSE games, they may also sell well...i.e: Rift will most likely be a hit actually.

Letrange said...

Ah, Re your EVE-FFxxx confusion. That I think I can shed some light on. The link is both systems allow a single avatar access to all "classes" unlike WoW and most other MMOs. I'm currently playing FFXIV while on a break from EVE and although I have tried out a lot of other systems, the emphasis on alt-itis other systems engender annoys the heck out of me.