A Screen Digest report, quoted by the BBC, says that the "market for massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) in the West is now worth more than $1bn (£511m)".
"Revenues from subscriptions to MMOGs will hit $1.5bn by 2011, he said." although limited compared to "developing markets such as video on demand, which is expected to be worth $11.4bn from revenues in four years' time."
"Subscription MMOGs still dominate the market, accounting for 87% of all revenues, said the report, which examines the market only for North America and Europe."
TOP FIVE MMOGs*
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft (above)
Final Fantasy Online
City of Heroes/Villains
*determined by subscription revenue
Source: Screen Digest
The report says a number of new MMOG genres were emerging, including:
# Virtual world building games, such as Second Life
# Virtual pet rearing games, such as Neo pets
# More casual MMO puzzle games
# Sports games in which you have to buy items and build up your character
"The inherent social and community-building aspects of MMOGs are widening the sector's influence on other social networking sectors and online games markets"
Earlier this month at the Game Developer's Conference, in San Francisco, the developers of MMOGs predicted that big media companies would be moving into the market.
The Screen Digest report agreed, predicting that "traditional media companies are seeking to bring their non-gaming brands into the 3D online environment.
"These companies aim to build online communities, increase brand awareness and gain access to key consumers that can be monetised to offset falling offline advertising revenue."
"More than 10 million people will subscribe to MMOGs by 2011 [Note: WoW already has 8m so with Runescape and Habbo and SL we must already be past this surely], and many millions more will play online games driven by other payment schemes, such as advertising and virtual purchases, the report predicted."
***Imported from old blog***