As of April 1, 2010, the Wii game that gets played the most by the people who have it is still Super Smash Bros. Brawl. 75 hours. 10 minutes. Since the day they got it. But a new contender is rising.
(Click the chart to enlarge)
Every month Kotaku updates a list of the so-called "measure of pleasure" that Wii games are providing. This is not a top 10 list of the best-selling Wii games. It is a list of the games that get played the most by the people who have them — the games that are not collecting dust and have not been sold back to a game shop.
Brawl's New Challenger
Super Smash Bros. Brawl continues to reign. But last month's new entry, Harvest Moon: Animal Parade has climbed two more spots to the eighth position, its 47 hours and 51 minutes surpassing the 47 hours and one minute of the Wii's Zelda launch game and the 46 hours, 27 minutes of Rock Band 2.
Farming + Romance
Animal Parade's rise clumps three very similar games together. The two Harvest Moons and Rune Factory are all farming games with complex dating and marriage systems in them as well. That's the kind of thing some gamers can be obsessed with.
Call of Duty Sinking And Rising
The quirk in this list is the rise of Fire Emblem, as it managed to exceed the play time of the declining Call of Duty: World at War by a single minute. Fire Emblem is at 50 hours, 26 minutes. CoD is at 50:25. Don't be surprised if CoD's successor shows up on this list soon. It's rocketing up, having raised its per-player playing time from 32 1/2 hours as of March 1 to just over 37 hours as of April 1. At the rate it is going, it could chart in the top 10 as soon as June. Wii gamers, like so many other gamers, it seems, love their online multiplayer.
These are the numbers for what more than three million Wii owners have been playing since launch up until this month... which games have you spent the most time with?
Where's all this from? (AKA an explanation of the above chart for stat junkies only): In a move somewhat surprising for the generally secretive company, Nintendo makes all of this data public. Any Wii owner can download the Nintendo Channel to their Wii and begin browsing for games. Any game that has been played enough times has usage stats listed for it, contributed by anyone who chose to share their data with the channel. The sample size that the channel tracks is pretty good, though it is obviously biased toward users who hook up a Wii to the Internet. We calculate that sample size by looking at Wii Sports usage numbers, which show that more than 101 million sessions of that game have been played by Nintendo Channel users as of March 1 (up 3 million in the last month), for an average of 29.81 sessions per player. That divides to more than 3.4 million Wii Sports users whose gaming has been tracked by the channel. Since almost all Wii Sports owners in North America would be Wii users, we will venture that as many as 3.4 million people have contributed stats. That is up from the 3.3 million people when these numbers were run for March 1. (Please not that in the chart atop this post October 09 data is not included due to a problem with Nintendo's data reporting during that period.)