Top 10 Most Played MMORPGs in 2016
Have you ever found yourself searching for the perfect MMORPG? Now tell me, would you want it to have an active population?
Sure you would! I don’t know how many times myself or someone I know has searched for an MMORPG only to find it a barren wasteland upon installing it.
That’s not only a huge turn-off, but also a gigantic waste of time and effort. So let us save you some of the trouble and list off 10 of the most populated MMORPGs still around.
Granted ArcheAge’s population normally isn’t anything to write home about, the fact remains that it was popular when it launched, and had a lot of players dying to return to it.
However, coming back to be greeted by people that can kill you in 2 seconds? Yeah, not most peoples idea of fun.
As of December 2016, Trion launched their large 3.0 update, and with it, multiple new servers labeled “fresh start servers”, allowing players to experience the 3.0 update
and everything it has to offer on a new server, giving you the ability to finally progress alongside everyone else.
Black Desert Online
Although Black Desert Online’s population is in a slow decline, it’s still fairly far from being in danger of dying.
Black Desert recently underwent huge server merges, effectively merging all their servers into one mega-server.
While people claim it wasn’t due to population issues, and instead citing PvP concerns as the cause – the fact is nobody knows, and as the team behind Black Desert refuse to comment on the merge or release statistics on server populations, all that’s left is for people to merely speculate.
TERA is another MMORPG in a slow decline. Although incredibly popular in Korea, TERA never really reached the level of popularity many people thought it would.
Still, after years of being released, and their change to a free to play model, TERA still pulls in an estimated average of 100,000+ active players spread across all its servers.
While clearly not as impressive as some others in this list, it’s still fairly impressive given the fact that it’s been out for years, and is also completely free to play.
Blade and Soul
Blade and Soul is a little harder to accurately guage in terms of population, as NCsoft doesn’t release official population numbers.
They did at one point earlier this year claim that there were over 2 million registered Blade and Soul accounts, however as this is a free to play game, many people likely tried the game out when it launched.
Now, since we’re unable to give specifics in terms of numbers, we have to go off of what is available online: Guesstimating.
There are certain servers with healthy populations still, but like ArcheAge, Black Desert and TERA, the game is still in a decline that doesn’t show signs of stopping.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
So browsing around all we see are topics and threads stating that most of the Star Wars: The Old Republic servers are dead, or dying (with the exception of a few).
Now, BioWare announced earlier this year that there were over a million players that log in each month, however, based off of what the servers look like, and general player feedback, it’s likely much smaller than that.
Given that the games population has declined over the course of the year, it’s safe to assume that it will likely continue to do so.
However, BioWare do have a new expansion slated for release in the near future that looks like it will breathe new life into the game – even if only temporarily.
EVE Online recently laid out a free to play plan that gives players the ability to play the game for the first time without a subscription.
Given that EVE Online averaged anywhere from 150,000 to 300,000 active players per month – this is likely to give them a fairly decent boost.
I don’t have any numbers, personally, for EVE Online after their switch to a free to play model, but time will tell if it ended up working out for them.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Now we’re getting into the big boys. The Elder Scrolls Online game, according to their last statement, had sold over 7 million copies.
Earlier in the year, The Elder Scrolls Online was touted as holding an active player count of almost 800,000.
Although it’s not possible to accurately tell what it’s at currently – the fact is that the One Tamriel update recently came out,
and the current deals due to Christmas likely bumped it over a million, if not more. Please note that this is just a personal guess though and not based off of proven data.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 initially launched under a buy to play model, and after a period of time opted to change to the more common free to play model like many games before it.
This didn’t hurt Guild Wars 2, however, instead providing tons of new players the opportunity to play the entire base game for free, minus expansions, which remain purchase-only.
Due to all of this, Guild Wars 2 managed to pass 7 million players, though the exact percentage of active players from that 7 million player pool is unknown.
Although not the most populated MMORPG in the list, Guild Wars 2 has some of the most populated zones I’ve ever seen – featuring players of all levels engaging in content all around the world.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Square Enix’s last update in the middle of 2015 had Final Fantasy XIV at over 5 million registered accounts.
Over the last year, with their Heavensward expansion, and port to consoles, you can no doubt estimate that that number has grown by quite a margin.
Official subscription numbers have never been given out though, leaving the community to guesstimate exactly how active the game currently is.
Estimates vary – some putting it at around 400,000-600,000 active players, to some claiming over a million.
Regardless, the fact that Final Fantasy XIV has updates every few months, an expansion due next year, and it’s Christmas – you can no doubt expect that number to, like The Elder Scrolls Online, go even higher.
World of Warcraft
Back in 2010, World of Warcraft held over 12 million active subscribers. That was, and still is an absolutely insane number.
Now, since 2010, World of Warcraft continued to decline, with it hitting its worst during the expansion Warlords of Draenor, at only 5.5 million active players.
That’s a huge hit – sure – but they kept going.
In 2016, with the release of their Legion expansion, World of Warcraft managed to sell millions of copies – claiming it was one of their best selling expansions for the entire franchise, and raising overall player concurrency to its highest since 2010.
Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft have since decided to no longer release subscribption numbers to the public – so it’s unclear exactly how Legion is holding up going into 2017, however, from what we can tell playing and browsing around, the playerbase is still quite large, due to the overall positive reception of the expansion.