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Report: The most-played games of 2012

Game networking service Raptr released its annual Raptr Report detailing the most played games of 2012, and it carries a few surprises about how gamers spent their time in the last 12 months. The data is based on Raptr’s gameplay tracking feature and a user base in the 15 million range. Games on the Wii U and PlayStation 3 didn’t factor into these numbers due to data-capture restrictions.

The overall most played new intellectual property? That goes to Dishonored. Developer Arkane Studios’ stealthy, steampunk actioner narrowly edged out Sleeping Dogs’ kung-fu treachery by a slender 6 percent. But split the numbers out to total playtime per player, and massively multiplayer games still led the charge. Korean heroic fantasy The Exiled Realm of Arborea (aka TERA) commanded a strong 14 percent lead over its nearest competitor, Dragon’s Dogma, with the average player logging 40 hours in the first month alone.

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Meanwhile, Xbox Live Arcade’s biggest hit turned out to be a PC game. Minecraft drew 350 percent more playtime than the second-place finisher, Trials: Evolution. According to Raptr, XBLA games tend to max out at roughly 10 hours of use in the first month. Minecraft players averaged just over 20 hours.

Raptr also notes that 27 percent of Minecraft players have tried to ride a flying pig.

The most played game of 2012, however, won’t come as any shock. It’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II with a comfortable 11-point margin, followed by Borderlands 2, Halo 4, and Minecraft.

But it turns out gamers are far more devoted to something other than Black Ops II.

Breaking the data into individual playtimes handily negates Black Ops II’s vast sales advantage. More people bought the latest Call of Duty, but on a person-by-person basis, gamers spent far more time trolling through Borderlands 2′s Wasteland. A lot more.

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The average player spent 49 hours in the Wasteland … nearly 50 more than the average Black Ops II player in their respective opening months.

Possibly, the 11 percent of players who completed every side quest added to those numbers. Raptr also reports that players spent an average 80 hours to reach the level 50 cap. Borderlands 2 also topped the list of nonannualized game sequels with double the overall time that was spent on Diablo III. In that same category, Guild Wars 2 took honors for the most individual playtime.

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On the MMO front, switching to a free-to-play model worked out well for a pair of high-profile titles. Star Wars: The Old Republic saw a 136 percent increase in overall playtime in just two weeks while Star Trek Online bumped its population a whopping 266 percent in playtime per day.

And the numbers clearly solve the age-old argument between those hardcore followings. Star Wars beats out Star Trek’s playtime numbers by 168 percent. The top three The Old Republic players have shown serious devotion, each logging over 250 hours in the game.

But for Raptr’s coveted No Bathroom Break award, which honors the longest average play sessions, a few new fighters entered the ring. Mass Effect 3 just barely missed toppling Borderlands 2, with XCOM: Enemy Unknown following not far behind. Halo 4, Black Ops II, and Dragon’s Dogma rounded out the list.

Raptr’s methodology  uses a proprietary formula based on key statistics that include total hours, average session length, and average playtime per person. To create equal footing for comparison, all games are compared based on the same time frames, typically defined as the first month after release.


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