Looking Back on Gaming — 2022 Edition

2022 hasn’t been my favourite year of all time. Truth be told, it was a bit of a tough one. If I had been left to guess — I would have supposed that I’d spent far, far, less time gaming than in the preceding few years. As it turns out though, after looking at the data, that isn’t true.

What that perception failed to take into account was that Lost Ark gave me several months of very high hours early in the year before things started coming off the rails. Then, most recently, Dragonflight has been doing the same. Albeit at the expense of doing much else with my free time — including writing here!

2022 certainly had some of my lowest hour gaming months since I started tracking the data in March 2019 — but these were offset by the extensive hours sunk into the likes of Monster Hunter Rise in January, Lost Ark in Feb, Lost Ark and Elden Ring both in March, and finally WoW Dragonflight in November and December.

Outside of the spike you can see for Shadowlands at the tail end of 2020 into the beginning of 2021, my hours tend to fall within a much narrower band each month.

Top 10 2022 Games — By Months and Hours Played

Sorted by months played
Sorted by hours played

My 2022 Prediction: I think Monster Hunter Rise and Elden Ring will both hit at least the bottom of the ‘hours played’ view, and Lost Ark (with 4 months and 62 hours behind it already from playing in other regions and the beta) will probably crack into the by months played ranking as well.

Lost Ark

While I had no idea how the year was going to turn out when it started — I suppose some things were nearly always going to be true. And the ‘predictions’ there certainly count. Although I will say, despite the moderate language I used, I expected Lost Ark to carry on longer.

I dropped it around the time of needing to start caring for my mother, but I’m not entirely sold on the idea I can lay the complete drop of the game at the feet of this new demand on my life.

Elden Ring

I’d certainly started to feel the grind without the payoff before I pulled the plug on it. Having said that- I was done with the launch content by then, and the grind was for its own sake. Since then? Boat loads of new stuff has been added… So… You know… *twiddles fingers* …Maybe it will see a return.

Playing eight months of Elden Ring in a single year set a new record though for most months in a year. Seven months consecutive puts it as first equal on that measure too since I’ve been tracking.

In any case, I’ll likely have a whole separate post for predictions and the like a bit later. Because I’m also pretty sure I made a separate gaming predictions post last year… And also because I don’t really know what I would even put forward as expected top titles for 2023 yet!

Top 10 Games Overall — By Months and Hours Played

Sorted by months played. Clickable for clearer detail.
Sorted by hours played. Clickable for clearer detail.

Not quite sure what I’m going to do for these images next year. Five column blocks for the years they represent might start getting a little wide! Maybe just hiding the subtotal columns for each year might be enough to push back that problem to the year following though… :)

In any event!

I think the continuing trend in the data is that I don’t really have any ‘forever’ games that I’ll continually revisit month on month no matter what. There are still a good number of titles in these lists that I played previously, but haven’t touched at all this year… Or the one before that. It has been almost three whole years since I touched Warframe, but it’s still stubbornly hanging onto its top 10 spot for month’s played.

The Division 2

Seeing The Division 2 up here makes me sad, too. Not because of how high it is, but rather how long it has been since there was a reason to revisit it. I recall being really quite irritated by how quickly after The Division 1 it was that The Division 2 was announced. I felt there were still many things to be done to improve upon the first game and make it something that could survive long into the future.

Needless to say, I came around though. But now we have neither new content or patches for Div 2 nor any kind of announcement of a The Division 3. Although with the trouble Ubisoft finds itself in of late… Oof. Who knows whether we’ll ever see it.

The ‘Complete’ List

Spoiler: This isn’t a complete list at all. Not by a long shot. There are 200 games listed in the spreadsheet (up 34 from last year) from over the (almost) four years I’ve been capturing this data. This is just the top 63 (i.e., the number I could fit on screen without zooming out further). Last year, cutting it off here only excluded games with below 7 hours played. This time, the cut off occurs for games at around 12 hours of play.

Sorted by hours played. Clickable for clearer detail.

If you would like to look at the actual complete list — you can view the data set here.

Wrapping Up

It feels a bit strange heading into 2023 without even the slightest inkling of what might feature on the gaming horizon this year. I’m far less in touch with what is coming out than I might normally be.

I *am* excited for Remnant 2, but I’m going to be beyond surprised if it doesn’t get pushed back into 2024. Having said that, I have nil basis for that assertion beyond ‘it just seems to be what happens these days’ when it comes to initially provided release dates.

I’m well past due for a return to FFXIV to tackle the next expansion, too. I departed somewhere in the midst of the Heavensward -> Stormblood patch content. But… I also dipped my toes into BDO again last month. So far? It hasn’t turned into anything more than that. A casual dip to test the water.

But… Maybe it will.

WoW: Dragonflight

My time with WoW Dragonflight has certainly been positive, but I’ve already achieved Keystone Master for Season 1, and have little reason to continue logging in outside of raid. Now- don’t get me wrong. This is *not* a negative. In fact, being able to simply raid-log if that’s what I wanted was one of my biggest requests (from a game perspective, at least) to even go back — and it has seemingly been delivered on.

I’ve been working on alts, even. Alts! Me! I never do alts! (Well, almost never.)

All I’m saying is — there could well be room in my life for another MMO asides from WoW. And soon. I still expect to continue through to Ahead of the Curve (Heroic end-raid boss kill) for this tier though regardless. After that… We’ll see.


Inform: (As this post mentions or talks about an Activision Blizzard product, or the company)

While I have chosen to break my self-imposed exile from Activision-Blizzard titles, I still feel it important to acknowledge the troubled status of the company, so you can make your own decision.

Activision Blizzard has become subject to multiple sexual-harassment lawsuits. Of note, in particular, is that it has been alleged that Bobby Kotick (current CEO) has not only been aware of, but also attempted to suppress word of, such incidents — even going so far as to intervene to keep a perpetrator hired with the company.

Even so, support for a long-term boycott was never clear cut, even amongst those affected.

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

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