How are people STILL confused by what Xfire represents? It’s not that hard, yet time and time again people get it so wrong it makes my head spin. So consider this the second blogging service post of the week. You’re welcome.
Xfire does not represent everyone. No shit. But Xfire does represent A LOT of people (LoL alone has 30k+ people reporting stats), at least compared to your choice of metrics (feel free to provide a link, thanks!). Not only that, but the top games on Xfire over the years have been the top games based on sales, so that large group of people who do use Xfire also seem to trend right along with other, more official metrics when we get them. Head-in-the-sand aside, how anyone can argue at this point that Xfire only represents some small special interest group is beyond me.
Furthermore, when people glace at Xfire numbers (sorting the list by ranking), you are looking at hours played, not number of people playing. Why is this significant? Because people play a fresh release a lot more than they do an older game. Even if the actual number of players stays the same, your Xfire ranking is going to decrease after the first month of release as people get over the “omg new game must play 24/7” feeling and go back to normal mode. This is especially true for MMOs, and doubly so for MMOs that flame out after a very short time (GW2).
Finally, I’ve yet to see an example where a game’s statistics on Xfire have been proven wrong in terms of trending by a different, official source. When WAR was dropping on Xfire, it was also dying overall. When SW:TOR fell like a brick after the first month on Xfire, we now know that it was falling like a brick overall. When LoL was climbing up the Xfire rankings, it coincided with Riot hitting the big time and LoL becoming the most popular game out. I could go on, but the point is that at least in the top 50 or so games, what Xfire has shown in terms of trending has lined up with exactly what is actually happening.
To keep writing the numbers off as inaccurate or only representing a unique subset of the gamers in the NA/EU at this point is, IMO, simply ignorant.
Also it might be racist. Because, um, racism.