Raptr Report pits Skyrim against MW3 for players' love

Ever-ready to cut through critical bias and drummed-up presale data, Raptr has released its Raptr Report for 2011, with data on which games commanded the most player attention. The report breaks the year's releases down into categories, calculating total playtime by Raptr's 10+ million users over launch month, per-player launch-week playtime and launch-month session length. There's a few surprises in there, but the list's two standouts are both November releases.

Modern Warfare 3 comes in with a healthy lead over fellow shooting-man threequels Battlefield 3 and Gears 3 – though the latter manages to just pip Activision's juggernaut for average session length, a category in which MW3 took an excruciatingly-close third place.

Skyrim commanded more total playtime than all its closest RPG competitors, combined, twice over. Dragon Age 2 and Two Worlds 2 managed to come closer to Bethesda's champion in average session length, with the Dark Souls hardcore displaying the least amount of single-session staying power.

Raptr calls the Open-World category “the toughest battle in 2011,” not least due to the genre encompassing plenty of shooters and RPGs as well. Arkham City manages to distinguish itself here, with Dead Island, LA Noire and Saints Row: The Third putting in a respectable showing. Volition's cracked-out brawler took the top spot in session length: turns out bashing people in the face with a giant purple johnson is addictive. And people like to do this in videogames as well, heyo.

FIFA 12 is the Skyrim of games without dragons in them, commanding a healthy lead over all the other sports titles combined. Average session length is an excruciatingly close matchup, almost suggesting that this is a category where the length of a single game tends to be mandated by some sort of in-game timer.

The Sims Social is the big success story of the Social category, managing to command more playtime than any offerings from genre titan Zynga. Then again, three of the game's four closest competitors are Zynga apps, all of which commanded longer session lengths than EA's new entrant.

Plenty of new IPs made their presence known in 2011, with LA Noire the unsurprising (and deserving) standout. Atlus' Catherine managed to best Rockstar's thriller in session length, vindicating the company's active campaign on behalf of the unconventional puzzler.

The overall battle for Raptr's Game of the Year slot comes down to a close fight between Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim. Far be it from us to pick favorites between titles whose fanbases display considerable acumen in firearms and the dark arts, so let's just say it's nice to see three other standouts from the years' releases holding their own.


Bonus numbers! Data on free-play titles compares online games' average daily playtime before and immediately after going F2P. As you can see, this category breaks down into two categories: the “DC Universe Online” bracket and the “everything else in the world” slot.

You can download the report at Raptr's page and conduct your own measured analysis. What do you think of the data?


  • talleyXIV - December 11, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    Very in depth. Don't really see how these statistics were gathered as I was never asked how long I played on average!
  • TURbo - December 9, 2011 6:42 a.m.

  • TURbo - December 8, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    All I'm seeing from this article is numbers and lines. Raptr gives GOTY by hours
  • Weirdjedi - December 8, 2011 9:03 p.m.

    I always have to take graphs like these with a grain of salt. Sort of reminds me of FOX where low rating shows get kicked: Firefly, and high ratings get spinoffs: American Idol. Sure a lot of people may play these games extensively with no end in sight, but how does the game fair? I will admit I chuckled when I saw Skyrim being compared to other RPGs.
  • Sinosaur - December 8, 2011 7:13 p.m.

    And, of course, this mostly has things to say about how long a game is and how many people bought it, rather than anything about actual quality. Of the five games on the Top Played games list, Arkham City is by far my favorite, and the only other game I'd put in my personal GotY contention is Portal 2, yet I know I've played a ton more of BF3 and Saints Row 3 just because of the fact that those are games that are designed to last longer.
  • TheZigMan - December 8, 2011 6:26 p.m.

    So its saying more people bought mw3...but more people enjoyed Skyrim. I'm wondering how this is news.
  • TURbo - December 9, 2011 6:43 a.m.

    It just says the average person played Skyrim longer than the average person that bought MW3. Nothing more.
  • TheZigMan - December 9, 2011 10:53 p.m.

    Pretty sure if you didnt like a wouldnt play it for long

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