Age of Conan. On the surface, their monumental first month and record sales numbers give the appearance of a solid new contender in the MMO sphere. At the same time, the bug problems and vacuous end-game has reportedly left many players heading for greener pastures. Fanboys and detractors alike have been looking for some sort of indication of how the game is faring as it moves into its second month of operation. One metric that's been tossed about recently is the Age of Conan usage data for Xfire users over the past month.
On the surface, the numbers look less than optimistic. From a peak of about 80,000 player hours around the time of launch, the game is hovering around in the mid-30's this weekend. This data may be less than helpful for a number of reasons, however. For one, we don't have reliable trend data about how similar games like Lord of the Rings Online (which pulled in a quarter of the minutes played per day over the same period) have fared immediately post-launch, and we don't know how reliable a sample Xfire users actually are. Still, expect these numbers to continue to be bandied about as proof of one thing or another.