Daily Archives: December 14, 2007

The X-Fire October Bonus Stat

I like to look at the X-Fire statistics that they publish every month showing, by game, the average number of hours played daily by X-Fire subscribers.

Of course, there are problems with the numbers they publish in that they represent a self-selecting group of gamers that probably do not reflect the gaming community as a whole. Generally, if you are using something like X-Fire, you probably trend more to the hard core end of the gamer spectrum.

Still, the X-Fire statistics are interesting and telling in their own way. They just tend to be a little bit light. There are a few regular categories that lump games together and an overall category. Every month you see:

Top 20 Games
Top 10 MMOs
Top 10 FPS
Top 10 Strats
Top 10 Other

With only four sub categories, games tend to get grouped in odd ways. Hellgate:London is on the MMO list while Diablo II, Hellgate’s literal and spiritual ancestor, ends up on the Other list with solitaire, Garry’s Mod for Half-Life 2, and PokerStars.com.

The MMO list itself includes non-MMOs (in my opinion at least) such as Hellgate and GuildWars along side the monthly subscription MMOs and the free to play variety. So if your interest is only one of those sub-groups, you see three or four titles at most in the Top 10.

X-Fire also puts up a bonus Top 10 list each month as well. This can be just about any category they choose to throw out on a given month.

Much of the time the bonus stat is something in which I have little or no interest. Things like, “Top Ten ‘Call of Duty’ Titles on X-Fire” do not mean much to me.

But back in October, they had a good one. It was the “Top Ten Subscription MMOs, Excluding World of Warcraft.” You can find it off of the October stats page here.

The Top 10 games, based on average hours played daily over the course of the month, were:

  1. EVE Online
  2. Lord of the Rings Online
  3. Lineage II
  4. Star Wars Galaxies
  5. Final Fantasy XI Online
  6. EverQuest II
  7. City of Heroes
  8. Dark Age of Camelot
  9. Ultima Online
  10. EverQuest

Certainly the first title on that list reinforces my opinion that X-Fire represents a more hard core gaming population. EVE Online is about as hard core as it gets.

LOTRO confused me a bit, not striking me as hard core. But then again, it might just be popular. After all, that is why World of Warcraft is the #1 game on the full list every month.

Lineage II is also hard core and popular.

Star Wars Galaxies… I wouldn’t have called it either hard core or popular, but what do I know.

And so on down the line.

It is also interesting to compare these relative positions in the X-Fire hierarchy with what the site VOIG puts down as their current active subscription numbers. The data on the site suggests that the subscription number hierarchy would be:

  1. Lineage II
  2. Final Fantasy XI Online
  3. Lord of the Rings Online
  4. EVE Online
  5. EverQuest II
  6. City of Heroes
  7. EverQuest
  8. Ultima Online
  9. Dark Age of Camelot
  10. Star Wars Galaxies

The list gets rearranged some, with Star Wars Galaxies being the big loser, dropping from 4th to 10th place. The overall ratio of the measurement between 1st and 10th place rises a some as well. On the X-Fire list, 1st place has about 13 times as many daily hours as 10th place. The ratio between 1st and 10th on the VOIG subscriber list is about 18x.

In the end though, while the data is interesting, I am not sure there is any dramatic conclusion to be drawn from the comparison. Star Wars Galaxies players appear to be more likely to run X-Fire than EverQuest players perhaps?

But I am one of those people who like data such as this, even if it has no immediate purpose.

Do the number suggest anything to you?