The list of the 10 most played games of 2022 proves that some games have great longevity
In many ways, the video game industry is constantly on the move. There are massive AAA releases month to month, many with live service elements that can roll out new content for years after launch. Yet despite the steady stream of new content, a new report from the NDP shows that player attention does not necessarily change much with trends. In fact, half of the most played games at the start of 2022 haven’t even been released in the past few years.
The oldest game in the top 10 most played games of the first quarter of 2022, as measured by the NPD, is Minecraft. Minecraft was originally released in 2009, making it the only game on the list over a decade old. While Minecraft received routine updates year after year, it’s still amazing to see that it remains one of the most played games of the 2020s. Whether it’s the nature of the game that keeps it popular or if it still lives on thanks in large part to the size of its community, Minecraft not going anywhere anytime soon.
Other games released before 2020 include Among us, fortnite, The Sims 4and Auto grand theft 5. Two games are from long-running popular game franchises, while two are from burgeoning multiplayer genres. Among us is particularly interesting, as its popularity has only peaked in recent years. All four games have something in common though. They have all seen viral popularity through streaming services like Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube.
The remaining games that round out the top 10 most played games for the first quarter of 2022 are all from major gaming franchises. NBA 2K22, Call of Duty: Vanguardand Madden NFL 22 all released in 2021, with Call of Duty: Warzone launching in 2020. Perhaps the weirdest of the bunch is Animal Crossing: New Horizonswhich launched during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and remains incredibly popular today.
Adding some perspective to the top 10, it was also confirmed as the most successful new game release of early 2022, Ring of Eldenwas far from the top 10. Ring of Elden was ranked 20th in overall playtime, behind older live service games like rocket league and World of Warcraft. Same The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim ranked higher than Ring of Elden.
Clearly, with Ring of Elden having sold at least 13.4 million copies, recreation is not necessarily associated with success. As this list shows, hardly any game will ever reach the top 10. The competition from existing live service games is too much. Dozens, if not hundreds of games, will always be successful month after month every year. Breaking the top 10 is a rarity reserved for big game franchise releases and massive live-service titles, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
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