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Xfire: Online hours continue to fall

According to the latest statistics released by online community and data aggregation tool Xfire, the number of hours spent playing online PC games by its community of over 8 million players fell further in October.

According to the latest statistics released by online community and data aggregation tool Xfire, the number of hours spent playing online PC games by its community of over 8 million players fell further in October.

This follows a decline between August and September, which was expected as schools and colleges opened following the summer break, but goes against last year's trend, which saw figures pick up for October.

In total, until October, playing hours for the three most-played games (World of Warcraft, Call of Duty 2 Multiplayer and Counter Strike Source) had grown year on year for most months - August was up 25 per cent year on year, September 19 per cent, but October actually fell by 2 per cent.

Possible reasons for this fall may be down to the release of marketing phenomenon Halo 3 for the Xbox 360, according to Xfire's senior director of marketing, Frederic Descamps.

"We think that the most reasonable explanation is the release of major console titles - Halo 3 came out September 25th - which shows that a lot of Xfire users are console gamers too.

"However with the release of the widely anticipated titles Hellgate: London (October 31) and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (November 5), we have seen a 10 per cent increase in daily gameplay for November as compared to October.

"Call of Duty 4 is already the top first-person shooter, and second game overall on Xfire."

World of Warcraft continued to dominate the total numbers of hours played, with 332,139, followed by Call of Duty 2 Multiplayer on 143,143 and Counter-Strike Source on 109,978.

Eve Online was the second most popular subscription MMO after World of Warcraft, followed by Lord of the Rings Online, Lineage II and Star Wars Galaxies.

The top three most played titles by hours, aggregated for the past three months of 2007, and the same period last year, are as follows:

August 2006: 618,587
September 2006: 546,601
October 2006: 598,441

August 2007: 775,368
September 2007: 648,715
October 2007: 585,260

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