What Other Games Are People Playing?

It’s a time of rapid change in the MMO world – but who’s playing what? Do the numbers really mean what they seem to mean? And will we still be playing the same games in a month?

Today’s blog posts attempt to answer all that and more:

  • Tobold looks at the gameplay statistics posted by XFire, used by many bloggers, and asks how accurate they really are“I think XFire exaggerates trends, as it is mainly installed by people who switch a lot between games. If you’d only play one game, what need would you have for software which tells you what game you played how long?”
  • Keen reports back on in-game experiences in a project I’m particularly interested by – SWGEmu, the unofficial server emulator for Star Wars Galaxies” SWGEmu is a SWG emulator recreating the game at the point it was at before the infamous combat update. Since the real SWG was shut down, just about everyone who still wants to play the game is playing on SWGEmu — about 3,000 people online at any given time.”
  • Syncaine looks at player numbers for every MMO but WoW, and asks why people call EVE Online a “niche” title“So I ask, what ‘mass-market’ MMO are people talking about when stating EVE’s 400k subs is ‘niche’?”
  • Ardwulf, meanwhile, is returning to EVE, his first MMO, and contrasts its play offerings with that of WoW amongst other games“in a sense EVE drops you into its endgame almost immediately, at least upon completion of the (now significantly expanded but still ultimately optional) tutorials. You have to be setting goals for yourself right away instead of getting many dozens of hours to explore the game.”
  • And Ocho asks whether the honeymoon’s already over for Guild Wars 2 – building on the “social or not” debate to ask whether the Guild Wars community has already soured“This was met with a resounding “lol whatever noob. dear diary, nobody cares.” and led into flames of how I was apparently playing the game wrong.”

I must admit, having spend some time in the Guild Wars 2 subreddit recently, I’m a bit concerned about how the community’s developing too – but I’m hoping it’s just growing pains.

What are you playing? What do you think other people are playing?