Monday, January 31, 2011

The X-Fire Game: Champions Online Edition

This past week marks the launch of Champions Online's Free To Play model. We will look at marks across both X-Fire and Raptr to see what kind of numbers we are talking about when a game switches to this format.

As I noted before, with the new F2P option for CO, be prepared to see some huge spikes. I did a preliminary post last week showing just that. Jumps of 4 to 5 times the number of players was delivered just from one day at F2P. Todays numbers should give us a better indicator of how CO is doing once players settled in.

Lets get started.
  1. Lord of the Rings Online - 2524 (2901 ↓ ) players
  2. EvE Online - 2415 (2420 ↓ )
  3. Aion - 2131 (1959   )
  4. Champions Online - 1458 (New this week)
  5. Dungeons & Dragons Online - 421 (492 ↓ )
  6. Star Trek Online - 385 ( 385 )
  7. Age of Conan - 290 (321 ↓ )
  8. Warhammer Online - 240 (248 ↓ )
  9. Final Fantasy XIV - 130 (134 ↓ )
  10. DC Universe - NOT RANKING (but has been added)
Aion is up this week. A new patch hit with changes to crafting which seems to have brought back a few players. We will see if Raptr corroborates this.
STO is steady this week. Not many games I see do that. 
CO is new this week (previous weeks had no tracking due to the client changes). It jumps in to take 4th place with some great numbers. This still continues to prove that if a game is falling over, almost dead, the F2P option is like a resurrection. I know a few other games that need that kind of help.
DC Universe is now ready to track, but is buggy. According to XFire forums, it is not tracking any hours or screenshots. Hopefully we will see them next week.
Otherwise, ass we continue to see, WAR, AoC and FFXIV continue their slow bleed of players, and hold the bottom rungs of the charts.

Now, this week we will have previous week comparisons for Raptr. Lets see how games are holding up from week to week.
  1. DC Universe - 1256 (1396 ↓ ) players
  2. Champions Online - 1231 (161    )
  3. Lord of the Rings Online - 799 (1059 ↓ )
  4. EvE Online - 1151 (1028    ) 
  5. Aion - 554 (486    )
  6. Dungeons & Dragons Online - 241 (390 ↓ )
  7. Final Fantasy XIV - 216 (215    )
  8. Star Trek Online - 121 (111    )
  9. Age of Conan - 119 (117    )
  10. Warhammer Online - 94 (101 ↓ )
Not a lot of titles fell this week. So, lets look at those first.

DC Universe, as to be expected, will fluctuate for now, mostly downward until it finds it's niche spot on the charts. 30 days until we know for sure where DCUO will end up.
Turbine titles take a hit on both charts. But, the biggest hit was felt by LOTRO. Seems some server issues caused a few outages in LOTRO this weekend, making time tracking take its toll. We will see if they come back next week or if the 6th Rift beta has a little fun with the player counts. And, as predicted earlier last week, WAR is getting it's butt whooped. As my earlier "spectator" post indicated, disgruntled players and Rift are both taking their hits on WAR.

Up indicators though show some great news for a few games. As noted on X-Fire, Aion saw an increase in players in Raptr. Champions Online, of course, shows the MASSIVE jump I spoke of. EvE Online also has its regular upswing on Raptr.

Overall, some interesting changes to the charts this week. Champions Online of course was the winner of this weeks post. Pulling in a hefty number of players (spectators) who want to see how much fun they can have in a free to play game. I expect fluctuations there for a while until the dust settles.
When your game gets patched, and it is a popular game, like Aion, expect upswings in players. Of course, when your game is down due to server issues (LOTRO), people may actually enter the place where the Orange Ball of Cancerous Death reigns (i.: Outside)...then you just have to hope you can appease the players gods of choice: i.e: get those servers back FAST.

What about WAR? As noted in a previous post I did, they are feeling the pinch. Thanks to this past weeks newsletter with the ominous words...
"Carrie is still working on WAR, but is looking at a different aspect of the game. "
I smell a free to play coming their way (especially if they wish to survive) with numbers like these. Imagine what will happen to WAR after Rift launch (unless they pull a rabbit out and get a F2P model in there by March 1).

Ok, this weeks no-charted game is brought to you AGAIN by SOE: Everquest II.

EQ2 is hard to look at on both services. First, X-Fire has been know to have issues with the EQ2 client, and may not track fully. Raptr has ...for some reason...all of the expansions listed as separate games, thus I am not sure if THEIR basic EQ2 numbers are right.

But, lets go ahead and show what we got.

Xfire ranks EQ2 at #135 with 133 players. Not too bad actually.

Switching to Raptr, EQ2 has 118 players. Very close.

Just for the fun of it, Raptr also has EQ2X (extended Free to Play) listed as a separate title. When I look there we see 127 players.

So, my question is...why does it track these separately. May one clients numbers be included in another? And even if we combine those numbers, EQ2 certainly did NOT get a lot of players switching to Free to Play. Guess, it just goes to show that when your F2P model is too greedy, it displays this in the playerbase as well.

Alright, that is this weeks numbers. Now, next week, it is my understanding that Rift will have a FULL beta weekend, so Raptr should be fun to do for Sunday numbers.

Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Grimnir said...

Another game that might be worth tracking, Global Agenda.

It's so close to trying to be a fully fledged MMO, and really kind of resembles WAR in the samey end-game kinda of way. It's not tracking much lower, yet isn't considered a complete failure either... Also, F2P, since people apparently like that kind of thing.