Loyal fans are keeping pay to play MMOs going despite an overall decline in the market.
A report from SuperData detailing MMOs that require you to play a subscription shows that despite the cut throat competition from free to play massively multiplayer online games the joint revenues from the top ten games total billions.
Here is the top ten list below.
Unsurprisingly World of Warcraft still dominates the field with a sizeable market share advantage over its competitors. The top ten also shows a big interest in MMO games in Asian territories with Lineage (a game originally released in 1998) having a large enough following in Korea to put it at the number 2 slot ahead of the more recent Lineage 2 title.
Recent highly anticipated MMO newcomers The Elder Scrolls online and Wildstar are mentioned in the report.. ESO is in a healthy position with 772,000 subscribers but the game will need to grow for it to still be around in a few years time.
The report notes that Wildstar is, “is a strong contender in the current market.” given that sci-fi based MMOs traditionally generate three times as much monthly revenues compared to fantasy titles. News from Wildstar devs Carbine is so far encouraging with “four to five times” as many users than were on the game’s beta.
SuperData also mentions that the free-to-play MMO is now reaching saturation point and that as a result subscription-paid MMOs will stabilize rather than continuing to decline. As shown below the revenues from in-game microtransactions continues to rise as subscription steams fall.
This could lead to more and more MMOs taking a dual-pronged approach increasing the amount of available one-off purchases in-game while keeping a subscription model in place.
What do you make of all this? Do you think allowing for both the more dedicated subscription paying gamers and passing casual interest ultimately leads to an unbalanced game?