It’s been a long time since first person shooter really held my attention, but Borderlands 2 broke the drought. Key things that make the game great are a hysterical villain and a design that chooses “fun” over “realism” every chance it gets. It wasn’t until my fourth play-through of the campaign that my enthusiasm finally petered out, so it’s no surprise to me that the game won the “Most Played New Game Award” from Raptr. I’m clearly not alone.
Note that award is just for new games; Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 was the most played game of 2012, although Borderlands 2 did log in most play time per player (so folks that did play, it played alot, even if more people dabbled in Modern Warfare). The main issue with Borderlands 2 is the weak multiplayer, which is where Modern Warfare 3 excels–probably why only 57% of players have even completed the single player campaign of Modern Warfare 3 (unlike, well, everyone for Borderlands 2, which takes about 80 hours). I am part of the elite 11% of players that finished all the side quests of Borderlands 2, at least.
Borderlands 2 also managed to win the “No Bathroom Break” award (longest playtime in one sitting on opening day), narrowly beating out Mass Effect 3. I don’t know about this award; if the game has a pause button, I think it’s a safe bet people are taking bathroom breaks, if they are only playing “one sitting.” Considering most Borderlands 2 players also play Mass Effect 3, there may be a bit of bias here. I’ve had more than a few friends log in half a dozen or more hours in one sitting of a MMO without a “bio break,” so I guess this was just a slow year for MMOs, even if Star Wars: The Old Republic dominated the “Most Successful Transition to Free to Play” category.
Raptr’s report (which only includes data from Raptr players, some 15 million of them) is loaded with fun facts, and well worth a read as it has all sorts of data about the most popular games played today.