The Beeb runs a story on a new report by research consultants Screen Digest on the Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming (MMOG) market. The big headline in the report is that the MMOG market has now passed the $1 billion USD revenue mark from subscriptions worldwide. While big revenue is to be expected from the North American and Asian markets, I was surprised to learn that the European subscription revenue goes up to $299 million USD (€224 million EUR, or $309 million Panamanian Balboas).
I was also surprised by the top five earners list. While World of Warcraft still sits at the top ($471 million USD), its next competitor was a little Java-based game called Runescape. The top five list is:
- World of Warcraft
- Final Fantasy Online
- City of Heroes/Villains
This is quite an interesting phenomenon. Gamers seem to prefer virtual worlds that are well designed and offer variability and game-play, instead of wanting to play licensed content. There may be a lesson to be learned here, but my caffeine-stripped mind cannot make it out this early.