A new game is taking North American broadband networks by storm – before it even launches. Guild Wars 2, a MMO that wants to take on World of Warcraft and other popular MMOs on the PC, officially ships today for PC players everywhere. However, it is already having an effect on broadband networks in North America. The game has been in beta for some time, and over the past two weeks, has steadily climbed the traffic charts to be one of the top domains across North America in terms of overall traffic – passing even YouTube.com and Facebook.com on some days.
The chart above shows the growth of traffic to the arenanetworks.com domain over the past three weeks. As you can see, there are spikes on the weekends, but the traffic over the past week has really jumped as players start to take full advantage of the game. With the full launch being today, we expect the traffic volumes to go up even higher, maybe even touching a few % of overall traffic (right now the level is less than 1%, but on some networks it is threatening to reach 1%). It has even exceeded on many of these networks the volume of traffic destined to playstation.net, which is always an active gaming destination.
Who said PC gaming was dead?