Online Subscriptions Equal More Than $1 Billion a Year
Those who make the claim that PC gaming is dying or already dead might want to take a look at some new numbers that the NPD Group have released. The value of online subscriptions in the US from games like World of Warcraft exceed even Dr. Evil’s fantasies, to the tune of more than $1 billion a year. This number is based on data gathered from October 2007 to March 2008, which also reveals that 11 million people subscribe to online games every month.
“Now that NPD can estimate the value of the subscription market, it’s clear that there is a sizable chunk of revenue being generated by PC gaming beyond what is reflected in retail sales,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. Certainly, this bodes well for the PC gaming community and developers who remain interested in the platform. But, success doesn’t come easy; looking at the top PC MMOs in terms of subscribers in Q1 2008 show that there’s some extremely stiff competition at the top.
- World of Warcraft
- Lord of the Rings Online
- Final Fantasy XI
- City of Heroes
Demographics were another area that was looked at by NPD, which show that MMO players are primarily males under the age of 35, while the majority of those on gaming websites like Pogo are females over the age of 35.
The problem with tapping this market, of course, is the significant investment it takes to even attempt to become a successful MMO. Coupled with the high risk of failure, it’s not likely that you’ll see every developer around trying to tap this market — at least not at this point.