The MMO genre is constantly pouring out giant batches of pea-soup-thick data on subscriber counts, upkeep costs, and microtransactions. To sort it all out, the number artists at Newzoo have gathered the most worthwhile info into a friendly infographic, creating a snapshot of the state of the MMO market.
Of the 400 million MMO players across the globe, 220 million chose free-to-play models. The remaining 180 million constitute “paying” players, though Newzoo didn’t elaborate on whether that meant keeping an active subscription, paying once, or purchasing an item through an in-game store.
The region specific player trends show some especially interesting statistics. MMO related spending in The European Union jumped nearly 30 percent from last year. Elsewhere, women represent 30 percent of Australia’s paying customer base, and over 50 percent of Poland’s total players age below 30. Overall, a whopping $6.5 billion was spent on MMOs this year, with the divide between free-to-play and pay-to-play nearly neck-and-neck—the former holds a 53 percent chunk versus the latter’s 47 percent.
In an interesting interview by AListDaily, Newzoo CEO Peter Warman cited a stronger preference for PC gaming in Europe versus the US as the reason for speedy growth there. He also thought successful MMOs had an “of factor” in their titles, saying, “‘The Battle of Butterflies’ would, for instance, appeal to everyone who (slightly) likes butterflies, and it would be the only game out there with that theme. Of course, I realize this is never as important as the game itself, but the impact of targeting a niche and having a brand is underestimated enormously.” Why do I suddenly feel majestically flying over a field of lilacs would be the best thing in the world?