Guild Wars 2 has definitely seen better days. The numbers show that for consecutive five weeks, the number of hours the Xfire Community has played on the game has decreased by a whopping 68%. This prompts the most obvious question: Why?
While the XFire community doesn’t speak for the entire gaming world, Guild Wars 2’s apparent fall from grace is worth looking into. It should be noted, however, that there’s a difference between the number of people who are playing the game and the number of hours they spend with a controller in their hands. There’s usually a bigger tendency for gamers to spend more time on a game that’s new to them, before cutting back their hours to make room for other games or the demands of real life.
One factor that could be attributed to the game’s decline is the lack of strategic pressure that most games put on their patrons. World of Warcraft, for example, makes use of subscription invites, guild raids, and special events to encourage users to log in some game hours. Because Guild Wars 2 mostly leaves you to your own devices, this pressure doesn’t apply to its gamers.
Another theory is that Guild Wars 2 doesn’t have much to offer in terms of new gameplay, especially when lots of massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) take on the same kind of general format. With several games sporting the same essential game mechanics, it’s going to take a lot more to draw players in for the long haul. Plus, there’s really no point in spending a near endless number of hours on a game that you’ve probably done a thousand times before.
Some might say that Guild Wars 2 isn’t going through an untimely demise, but rather experiencing the end of a normal life-cycle that most games go through. Even ArenaNet isn’t worried about the number of hours people spend playing (and ultimately logging out), but they are spending more time focusing on the game’s next expansion pack.