A report by Screen Digest has found that massively multiplayer online games generated more than $1 billion in 2006 in the West (North America and Europe), notes the BBC. The report claims 87 percent of the revenue is from subscriptions, while virtual item sales and in-game advertising also brings in revenue. The NA subscription market was put at $576 million, while Europe was worth $299 million. It’s a pretty big figure, but if you note that World of Warcraft has 3 million subscribers in the west (out of 8 million globally) paying monthly subscription fees of $13-15, it becomes more believable. WoW accounted for 54 percent of the subscription market in 2006, pulling in $471 million in revenue. Screen Digest predicts that the MMOG subscription market will grow to over $1.5 billion by 2011, with Germany remaining the largest European market followed by the UK. France will see the most significant value growth of over 16% CAGR over the term, whilst Spain and Italy will both experience subscription value CAGR of more than 15%.
The Beeb quotes report author Piers Harding-Rolls listing the multiplayer categories:
–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