Popular game-tracking service Raptr has revealed their metrics for some this year’s most played games and have crowned a winner. While much of the Game of the Year talk will be focused on a dozen different games — from The Walking Dead to Halo 4 — the focus in terms of sheer gameplay hours (for a new 2012 game) has been trained solely on Borderlands 2.
Obviously, as this is a service that tracks gameplay hours, it stands to reason that a game like Borderlands 2 — one that encourages players to not just play for hours upon end, but to start up new characters and start the journey all over again — would take the top honors.
However, the fact that a September release, and not an early 2012 release like Mass Effect 3, won, suggests Gearbox Software has a pretty large fan base. For those wondering, BioWare‘s epic conclusion to the Commander Shepard trilogy did come close, but Borderlands 2 swept all three of the categories that factor into the distinction — those being total playtime, average playtime per person, and average session length.
Raptr also gave the award for most played new IP of 2012 to Dragon’s Dogma, which narrowly beat out Dishonored for the title. Though Dishonored beat out Capcom‘s open-world adventure title in terms of total playtime, and the MMO TERA won out in the average playtime per person category, Dragon’s Dogma ended up with the award because of its high averages across all three metrics.
The fact that Dishonored could even be a contender in a category with an open world title and an MMO, though, is pretty astounding, and speaks volumes about the game’s unique replayability. On average, players can complete the game in about 8 hours, but they are encouraged to go back again and again and find not just new ways of completing missions but entirely different endings and world states. Our hat’s off to Arkane Studios for creating a game that, of the new IPs, got the most people playing.
On the downloadable front neither Rock Band Blitz nor The Walking Dead could hold a candle to Minecraft, which dominated its competition in all three categories. It seems obvious considering the amount of time players can spend simply chopping down trees, but the overwhelming victory is nonetheless very impressive.
Raptr’s game tracking was also able to provide some interesting insight into the world of free-to-play games and user-generated content by charting which games saw a resurgence after a major event. Star Wars: The Old Republic, for example, saw a major spike in hours after going free-to-play, nearly tripling its hours logged.
On the user-generated side of things Raptr noted that Portal 2 saw a major increase in playtime after the release of its mod tools. Other titles to rank on that list included Dungeon Defenders and Arma 2 (likely for its Day Z mod).
And finally, the real award — the most played game of 2012 — went to Modern Warfare 3, which won both the total playtime and average playtime per person categories. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim did beat MW3 in the average play session category, but it clearly was no match for a massive install base and a beloved multiplayer.
So there you have it, Raptr’s awards for most played games of 2012. What do you think? Are you surprised Borderlands 2 won? What do you think will be next year’s most played game?