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I see common beliefs on MMORPG.com about what is a failure and what is a success. I see games such as WoW and Guild Wars considered successes, well that is fair enough. Then we look at games like Aion and people seem to think it was a flop, even more so than AoC and WAR.
I like to go over to XFire and see what games are most popular among users of XFire. I realize this isn't a really fair sample pool but it does give an idea and most people will agree on that. Now on their MMO ranking charts World of Warcraft is massive, actually people play WoW 13 TIMES more than the 2nd most popular MMO (Guild Wars) by 130,000 hours this week compared to Guild Wars at 10,500. Ok so World of Warcraft is a success, but we can see that everything in comparison is a failure.
Now Aion is 3rd with roughly 8,700 hours this week and is the 2nd highest played subscription based game on XFire which isn't saying much considering it's 20x less played than the number one. Yet people say it's a failure and that it did things wrong in the western market even though nothing but WoW tops it.
4, 5, 6 (SRO, LOTRO, Cabal) are all F2P MMO's and #7 is Eve Online, which is compared to World of Warcraft. The comparison here is 33 people play WoW for every Eve player. People say the game is a success, and it is. Then results start getting miniscule as you have a few more F2P MMO's and then you come across FFXIV which has a third of even EVE's population when looking at XFire statistics.
So what is considered a success? Is WoW the only successful MMO? If Aion isn't a success in the west, what else is?