The 10 Most Played MMORPGs in 2019 - What MMOs Should You be Playing?
Doesn’t it suck finding an MMO to play and then realizing that it’s no longer populated?
Maybe it’s just me but honestly, scouring the internet for an MMO – especially this year has been a chore.
More MMOs have shut down this year than I recall in the last several – and that’s partly a result of the shift in market.
So when what’s left of the playerbase is no longer as distributed between a variety of MMOs as it once was, we’re left with a mere handful of games to play.
That’s what this video is aimed at: Letting everyone know where everyone else is and what everyone else is playing.
I’m aware that the games currently active haven’t really changed much over the course of the year so do be aware of that.
Before we get into this video though, I’m going to be doing a large giveaway lasting until Christmas.
I’ll be giving away copies of Final Fantasy XIV, Elder Scrolls Online, ArcheAge: Unchained, the new Guild Wars 2 expansion, and even a copy of World of Warcraft as thanks for being part of our community.
To participate all you need to do is navigate on over to the giveaway page using this link.
Elder Scrolls Online
I’m gonna go ahead and start this off with The Elder Scrolls Online.
2019 was a big year for MMO expansions. More specifically, back in June ESO released their brand new Elsweyr expansion, taking us to the home of the Khajiit.
I’ve been a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls games since Morrowind. That to date is still one of my favorite games. Oblivion and Skyrim are amazing games in their own right but nothing has captivated me like Morrowind did.
Speaking specifically of player population, Pre-Elsweyr expansion, ESO had a total playerbase of around 11 million players.
This doesn’t equate to total concurrent players, or players actively playing per month, but just that there are overall, 11 million registered accounts.
Post-Elsweyr expansion numbers were sitting at over 13.5 million total players registered. That’s a whopping 2 and a half million new players this year alone. This doesn’t account for new trials – only players who have purchased the game.
So while we don’t have any exact, concrete numbers, it’s safe to say that The Elder Scrolls Online’s population numbers are very high right now.
That isn’t to say they’ve held that high or that next year they’ll retain nearly as high numbers but at least right now they’re holding well.
According to reports, The Elder Scrolls Online has approximately 85,000 daily active players.
I’m well aware that both RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape are very different beasts with very different playerbases, but this will be totaling the two variants together.
While RuneScape is no doubt a very old MMO, the fact remains that it is not only the most populated old-school MMO ever released, but it also has absolutely no competition from fans of the genre interested in a classic MMO experience.
Exact numbers for RuneScape are known because they’re made public, and the numbers might surprise you a little.
Not only does the game have over 100,000 players playing concurrently – at a given time, but over 80,000 of those players are playing Old School RuneScape as opposed to the more updated, overhauled RuneScape 3.
Over 100,000 players. For a game that is almost 2 decades old. That is the kind of community RuneScape has amassed over the years.
While the game may not necessarily be your kinda game visually, while the gameplay may not be up to your standards in 2019, there’s no denying the appeal it has to the masses.
According to reports, RuneScape has approximately 350,000 daily active players.
Final Fantasy XIV
Admittedly Final Fantasy XIV is actually one of my favorite MMOs of all time – with the game specifically being the MMO I’ve mained since December 2018.
I’m a huge Final Fantasy fan, I’ve been playing Final Fantasy games since I was a kid. I’ve played almost every single Final Fantasy game ever released, as I’m sure a lot of Final Fantasy XIV players likely have as well.
Now at the beginning of 2019, Square had openly revealed that there were 14 million registered accounts in-game. Don’t be confused, however: That doesn’t mean there are 14 million active players as some of you believe.
That means that there were 14 million people that registered accounts and logged in with a character.
Although I’m sure some of you are going to fight this opinion, Square themselves have commented that that is exactly what those numbers mean so please don’t confuse the statistics.
According to Square, prior to Shadowbringers’ release, there were over 16 million registered users and we know that millions of copies of Shadowbringers were sold.
While they’ve yet to confirm that there are over 17 million registered players by this point, it’s highly likely that over the few months of Shadowbringers’ existance there have been quite a few additional purchases.
According to reports, Final Fantasy XIV has approximately 400,000 daily active players.
Black Desert Online
I’m well aware that some of you would classify Black Desert as more of an.. MMO simulator, for lack of a better word, because a lot of players AFK farm.
But even so, there’s quite a significant playerbase present and they enjoy the game for what it is.
The game has now launched on, or is at least planning a launch on every single major platform. With these combined numbers, they have compiled one of the largest communities present in an MMO.
Back in 2017, Black Desert Online had 3 million players. As of 2019, due to the success of the game on Xbox and PS4, the game is sitting at almost 7 million total players.
While that isn’t indicative of total concurrent players, it’s quite the number for a game as ridiculed and hated on as BDO.
According to reports, Black Desert Online has approximately 150,000 daily active players.
Dungeon Fighter Online
Dungeon Fighter Online’s a little different. See, in North America, the game is generally considered a low-population MMO.
It has thousands of players playing, but when you compare a few thousand active players per day to other much larger MMOs that have hundreds of thousands.. you can see how people would label it as such.
However, North America isn’t where the game is neither popular nor successful. See, DFO has a playerbase of over 600 million worldwide, grossing over $12 billion dollars thus far over the course of its life.
According to Nexon, DFO had upwards of 3 million concurrent players in China alone, and over 25 million active monthly players a few years ago.
Considering earnings and playerbase numbers have continued to scale upwards, it’s likely that in South Korea and China, there are so many players playing that the game would make our English-speaking communities seem insignificant comparatively.
According to reports, Dungeon Fighter Online has approximately several million daily active players.
I’m going to be listing both ArcheAge and ArcheAge: Unchained as one single unit here as I did with RuneScape.
Although this will still be quite different to the aforementioned games purely because we don’t have solid numbers, but instead have only speculation to base this off of.
ArcheAge itself – to this day – has thousands of active players per month. Not tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands, but thousands.
This is due to the heavy pay to win present in-game that Gamigo, the current publisher aims to eliminate by launching ArcheAge: Unchained as a buy to play alternative to ArcheAge.
There are a significant portion of players that aim to come back once the game launches in October with plenty of new players interested as well.
The Subreddit has lit up in activity, increasing 10-20 times in activity. Although numbers are currently impossible to estimate, you can guarantee that tens of thousands of players will be playing once the game comes out.
Even if only temporarily.
Phantasy Star Online 2
Like Dungeon Fighter Online, Phantasy Star Online 2 has somewhat of a different audience.
Right now the game is currently played by a significant majority of Japanese players. The game is available in Japan after all so that’s a given.
However, with Microsoft’s announcement that they would be releasing PSO2 in North America next year, interest in the game has gone up quite drastically.
While yes, there are quite a few North American and European players present in-game, they’re still a minority. There are currently hundreds of shards and tons of servers, all packed with people concurrently playing.
Exactly how many is impossible to discern however as Sony has never publicly addressed the population of the game.
Back in 2015 they mentioned that the game had over 3.5 million registered users but that was it.
Since that is unquestionably lower than ESO, Final Fantasy XIV and other games that have in the tens of millions.. it’s safe to assume the population is also marginally lower.
Therefore we’re likely looking at around 30,000 to 50,000 daily active players.
EVE Online targets a very niche audience: People interested in scifi MMOs.
While all of the aforementioned MMOs in this list are MMOs that target the general audience as a whole, EVE, Star Wars the Old Republic and Star Trek Online are all very niche specific, therefore don’t garner the same audience.
But that’s more than fine since those of us that do enjoy scifi MMOs all flock to the few that are dominating the niche. At its peak, EVE was sitting at over 500,000 daily players.
Last year the game transitioned over to a free to play model that saw a large influx of new players flock to the game. Sources were recording upwards of 150,000 players being active per day at the time.
The last 24 hours has seen approximately 30,000 players log in and play, but according to reports the game averages 35,000 daily active players.
Astellia just launched after having their headstart available for the past week.
From my impressions, the game is a beautiful, but ultimately very generic MMO that probably won’t last more than a few months.
Nevertheless, as of this list going live, Astellia has sold tens of thousands of copies of the game – with tens of thousands of active players playing this very moment.
That makes for quite a large concurrent player count. Moreso than a lot of other MMOs on the market right now.
And while, again, the population may drop by a large number over the coming months, with people hitting endgame – especially if updates aren’t rolled out fast enough, the fact remains that the game will still be populated enough to enjoy right now.
World of Warcraft
You all knew WoW was going to be here. With the release of Classic WoW, subscription numbers have soared for Blizz.
Therefore since it’s impossible to individually give numbers on either variant of the game, we’ll just group the two together – because honestly, they’re both using the same subscription.
Battle for Azeroth sold more than 3.4 million copies on its first day. For comparison, Wrath of the Lich King sold 2.8 million and Burning Crusade sold 2.4 million within their first 24hour launches respectively.
Clearly, anticipation for Battle for Azeroth was almost uncontainable.
At the launch of the expansion, Battle for Azeroth had a total of over 10 million players playing as confirmed by Blizzard themselves, with Wowhead stating that there were over 11 million the last time they reported on it.
That dipped down to approximately 3-4 million over the course of its run, but then Blizz released WoW Classic and that saw a resurgence of popularity.
According to statistics from Wowhead, there were over 2 and a half million players playing WoW Classic at launch, bringing the grand total playerbase of both games up to anywhere between 5 to 6 million total monthly players.
While it’s likely a stretch to assume there are millions of players logging in daily, we can safely assume that there are millions logging in at the very least weekly, meaning WoW is still the most actively played MMORPG in 2019.
Like the results or hate them, you can’t deny that WoW and WoW Classic’s combined population numbers have allowed them to remain the most played MMO this year.
If you’re looking for an MMO to play, then this list will no doubt give you the information you need to decide which MMO to download based off of population numbers.
However, please be aware that just because a game is played by a large number of people doesn’t mean it’ll appeal to you.