Xfire: Free-to-play titles "continue to gain rapid user adoption and retention"
Posted: 14.05.2013 13:48 by Simon Priest Comments: 2
Free-to-play games aren't some fad, they're getting bigger and now starting to nip at the heels. Xfire has stated, in a recent report, that F2P with micro-transactions are becoming mainstream among gamers.

Xfire runs a free chat and server browser client and has seen their World of Warcraft numbers tumble, while League of Legends rockets upward. The "rapid ascension" of F2P took them by surprise.

The group uses the measure of daily active unique (DAU) users accessing their services, and WoW has seen a 14% decrease of traffic over the past three months.

In September 2009 there were around 60k daily DAU users for Blizzard's MMO, but now its half that. Riot Games' League of Legends meanwhile has risen 70% in the past three months, increasing by around 34k daily DAU users.

"Our 19 million users have avidly played World of Warcraft for the past seven years; we knew it would eventually be overtaken but what really surprised us was the rapid ascension of League of Legends and Free2Play games in general,” said Xfire's Mark Donovan.

“The Free2Play model is becoming much more prolific in the gaming industry, and one major trend we’re seeing is that there are a vast number of games initially developed as subscription titles that failed to gain critical mass, then re-launched with a Free2Play model with great success. Results from many Free2Play games, including GamersFirst’s All Points Bulletin: Reloaded and Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online have been extremely positive.”

BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic also made the switch to free-to-play after subscription numbers just weren't 'WoW'ing' the accounts department. Even World of Warcraft has adopted a degree of F2P. Recent figures from Activision Blizzard show WoW's subscription levels are back down in the 8 million range, as they shed 1.3m in Q1 this fiscal.

Xfire has released an infographic to illustrate some of the numbers.

Source: GamesRadar
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By Voqar (SI Core Veteran) on May 14, 2013
I wouldn't call Xfire authoritative since I would never install it and the only way the more clueless gamers know install it is by accident when it's bundled with something else and they don't know any better.

This may shock some people, but WoW isn't the only MMO, nor the only game with subs, and even if they lose some subs they still have a ridiculous number of subs and have had so for years and years.

LoL is hardly a substitute for WoW since it's not even the same kind of game. Sure it's popular but it's also a very shallow game compared to an MMO. So I don't really get the comparison. How about comparing WoW to a F2P MMO, of which zero approach their numbers - not even close, and compare LoL to other MOBAs, of which zero have a premium sub because it doesn't fit the genre. Nobody would pay 15/mo for that simple of a game.
By danfreeman (SI Elite) on May 15, 2013
F2p may be getting bigger and bigger but we must ask ourselves,is it really a good thing? Many f2p mmo`s have some very bad business practices where you end up spending more money than you would have if you bought it and paid subscription,i like the fact that i can play these without having to pay but if it limits my experience then i`d rather just pay from the beggining.

Voqar,trust me when i say that a LOT of people would pay 15/mo for DOTA 2,LOL and the such,they are insane about this genre of games.