Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Virtual worlds are 'worth $1bn'

Revenues from subscriptions to MMOGs will hit $1.5bn by 2011, said [Mr Harding-Rolls].

But the growth in MMOGs remains 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.

World of Warcraft, which has eight million subscribers, has more than a 50% share of that particular market.

More than 10 million people will subscribe to MMOGs by 2011, and many millions more will play online games driven by other payment schemes, such as advertising and virtual purchases, the research report by analysts Screen Digest predicted.

Games such as World of Warcraft and worlds like Habbo Hotel are fast becoming "significant platforms" in the converged media world, the report said.

Mr Harding-Rolls said 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
Article Link (BBC)

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