German players love MMORPGs like GW2 and ESO, but don’t like Final Fantasy that much – why is that?

MMORPGs worldwide Google Trends

We at MeinMMO are often asked why we don’t accompany Final Fantasy XIV more with articles. After all, the MMORPG is at least in the top 3 in the world and is fighting for the crown, especially with WoW. But if you only look at Germany, then Final Fantasy is in a very close fight with ESO, GW2 and Lost Ark and is being pushed to 3rd or even 4th place.

How is the interest in the MMORPGs? It’s always a bit difficult to say, because almost no company shares concrete player numbers. However, certain trends can be seen:

If you look at Google Trends, the elements mentioned are reflected in them. Google Trends evaluates the search behavior, then puts this in the context of other data and estimates an overall interest.

In a worldwide comparison it is clear: WoW and Final Fantasy XIV are fighting for the top, the hype about Lost Ark is slowly fading away and Guild Wars 2 (blue bar) in particular hardly plays a role.

A comparison of worldwide interest in the five MMORPGs mentioned over the last 12 months (via Google Trends).

German players love ESO and Guild Wars 2

What are the figures for Germany? WoW dominates in Germany. The other MMORPGs have fallen behind. But apart from number 1, the ranking is really exciting. In the last 12 months, place 2 clearly goes to Lost Ark. In the first picture, we have also hidden the Lost Ark bar because it interferes with the exciting three-way battle behind it.

Final Fantasy XIV came in third, ESO in fourth place and Guild Wars 2 in fifth place. But you can see some special features:

  • When the End of Dragons expansion was released, Guild Wars 2 was number 1 of the three games mentioned for almost 30 days. Globally, it didn’t even get past ESO.
  • If you look at the last 30 days, ESO deserves first place in this three-way battle. The reason for this is the release of the latest expansion, High Isle, in early June.
  • Even Lost Ark has been tightly woven into a four-way battle for the past 30 days.
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Also curious: Guild Wars 2 has the greatest interest in Slovenia, followed by Germany. So the Germans play GW2 much better than the Americans or the British. This was also confirmed to us by an employee from the developer ArenaNet, whom we met at gamescom 2018. Germany and France in particular are important for the MMORPG, together even more important than the USA, it said.

How reliable is Google Trends? Trends draws its values ​​from the search queries on Google and of course does not show any player numbers. Nevertheless, the tool is useful for our work, to look up interest in games.

So far, the numbers of the tool have always matched our experience.

Classic fantasy beats JRPG in Germany

How does the difference in popularity come about? Final Fantasy XIV is a board in Japan. No other MMORPG comes close to those numbers. In the USA too, Final Fantasy is now slightly more popular than WoW.

But especially in Germany, the game from Japan is not so well received. Possible explanations are:

  • Games like ESO and Guild Wars 2 are still quite closely based on our world, even if you encounter magic, dragons and monsters. Both also offer a mode in which you besiege and conquer castles.
  • German players, on the other hand, have a fable for medieval games in particular. It is not without reason that titles such as Gothic, Skyrim or strategy games such as The Settlers are so popular here.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, on the other hand, things are more colorful and wacky. Sometimes rabbits take over a Twitter account, you meet cat girls or players develop an unhealthy relationship with “Mami”. The overall structure of the world and the type of storytelling differ greatly from the other two titles.
  • For some German players that goes too far. They like it more dignified. Again and again we read in the comments that our readers try to like FFXIV, but the game world just doesn’t fit what they expect.
These are currently the 7 most popular MMORPGs in 2022

We see that Germans prefer classic MMORPGs again and again in discussions about gender lock and races or classes that are seen as too childish. While the new classes Painter and Aeromancer are being celebrated in the Korean Lost Ark community, we keep reading comments like Aldalindo:

This gender lock is simply outdated and now even the lolly rail, really? Well, Koreans love it…but for me, the game is going in the wrong direction.

Pretty much every MMORPG that has come to us from Asia has had this criticism, most recently Astellia and Elyon. This type of game does have fans in this country, but not in large numbers like in Japan or Korea.

The Magician and his Astel
The Astells, trimmed to look childish and sweet, were not so well received.

What is your attitude towards MMORPGs? Do you prefer playing Guild Wars 2 or ESO or are you Team Final Fantasy XIV? Does the game world have to be more classic for you or can it also be a little more unusual? Feel free to write it in the comments.

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