Report – 39 million MMO gamers in the US play SciFi, 68% prefer F2P

Tuesday, 6th December 2011 17:20 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Newzoo has found that 36% or 14 million of 39 million active MMO gamers in the US play games that have a SciFi or Space theme, while in European and emerging markets, SciFi is less popular with 27% (9.5 million) and 26% (11.5 million) of all MMO gamers playing the genre.

According to its 2011 MMO Games Market Report, the firm also found that MMOs, compared to 16% who prefer pay-to-play. The remaining 16% play both, but the number of SCiFi MMO gamers spending money in F2P MMO games outnumbers the 4.5 million P2P gamers.

With SciFi MMOs, 38% or 41 million players in China and South Korea play the space genre, and 53% of those choose the P2P versions. However, they also play F2P MMOs, illustrating the rise of the business model in Asia.

In emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico and Russia, 80% of all SciFi MMO gamers only play F2P, while in Europe, the UK is the largest SciFi MMO market with 2.7 million, with Germany alone claiming 1.7 million SciFi gamers.

“You will not catch me making any predictions about StarWars: the Old Republic,” said Newzoo CEO Peter Warman. “But I am very curious to see how much F2P SciFi gamers EA will be able to convert to P2P gamers and what part will come from outside the current pool of SciFi gamers, being complete newcomers as well as the subscribers to EveOnline, WoW, Rift or any other triple A P2P MMO game.

“With big F2P SciFi titles also scheduled to launch pretty soon, I expect to see significant differences in uptake of the various SciFi titles in US, Europe and Emerging markets.”

Two other SciFi MMOs coming to market, include the F2P Transformers Universe and Stellar Dawn.



  1. Se_7_eN

    NO WAY!? Stephany, are you telling me that people prefer F2P games!? That is amazing, I never could have guessed…

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Stephany Nunneley

    @1 Smartass. :p

    #2 3 years ago
  3. OlderGamer

    Complete BS. People play F2P MMOs. More F2P MMos are scifi themed, guess were the numbers are going to be? Eve says hello. Plus in the MMO world, there needs to be a seperation between commited players and some fools that jump from one to another F2P game because – after all, it is free right?

    BTW, I freaken hate HATE most Sci Fi themed MMOs. Not that anyone could have guessed. That doesn’t make Fantasy settings better, just my two cents. Some SciFi settings I really enjoy. Give me a massive SW Battlefront game, and I would be all over that. But I really don’t want to play a Jedi cut out or a Clone Tropper in a grind for exp/lvls WoW type situation.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Talkar

    Correct me if i’m wrong. But Eve Online isn’t P2P, completely. You can, if you are persistent play it for free.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Unknown_Gamer

    Free to play .. for THE WIN !

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    Coincidentally roughly 30 million Americans are unemployed. They probably can’t afford a subscription.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. freedoms_stain

    Still never played an MMO, not even an F2P.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. blackdreamhunk

    that is why guild wars is such great model.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. GwynbleiddiuM

    Actually, how many P2P Scifi games are out there? I know only EVE Online and some old titles like StarWars Galaxy but that’s it. This does not sound like something EA would pull around the release window of their SWTOR game at all, or is it now?

    #9 3 years ago
  10. revolting

    @Stephany Something significant appears to be missing from this sentence: “According to its 2011 MMO Games Market Report, the firm also found that MMOs, compared to 16% who prefer pay-to-play.”

    @9 I can think of a few, at least, but there certainly aren’t many that spring to mind. In addition to EVE and SWG, there’s Anarchy Online, the recently departed Matrix Online, Star Trek Online (which is still going strong dispite the rough launch), Perpetuum (EVE with mechs), Star Legends, Battlestar Galactica Online, and the upcoming Warhammer 40k Dark Millenium. And SWTOR obviously. I’m sure there must be some more obscure ones floating about too.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    Good point from DSB. Hard to pony up a sub when your trying to scrape enough just to put food on the table. And I have nothing against the F2P model. Also where do you put Super Hero MMOs? I label them Sci Fi as well, not sure if I should or not. But DCUO feels Sci Fi in a way to me. It has some element of Science Fiction, lest more of that then it does Fantasy. Plus there is Champions Online.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. revolting

    “Superhero” is an MMO setting unto itself, and all of them (City of Heroes/Villains, Champions Online and DCUO) tend to dip their fingers into all the other settings and more. DCUO perhaps has more of a sci-fi leaning than the others, but Champions in particular has both sci-fi and fantasy fully covered, and everything in between, with entire sections devoted to aliens, the wild west, vampires and cowboys, robots and demons, ninjas and pirates. For whatever reason, superhero MMOs pretty much seem to try to dip their finger into every pie imaginable, and that goes for the players as much as the developers; in Champions you’ll see people rolling up dressed as everything from bulky space marines to anime school girls, from elven assassins to randy robots, from businessmen in suits and bowlerhats to vampire crocodile angel breakdancers. It’s a crazy side effect of the open-ness of the character generator, allowing people to be pretty much anything from any genre. I’ve seen many people in Champions state that the reason they play it is not because it’s a superhero mmo, but because it’s an mmo that allows you to be anything that other mmos don’t cover. You’ll never be able to a robot cowboy in WoW, or an elven princess in EVE, or a zombie air hostess in LotRO, but Champions provides a place to do all those things. You see less of that in DCUO, with it’s much less open themes, and more importantly, character customisation, so consequently it’s a much more “traditional” superhero universe. In Champions you hardly ever see an actual super hero character.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Innebula

    Great to hear the news about scifi gaming popularity! We have been working on an MMO strategy space game that is F2P called I am very curious to see how our market will evolve. Thanks for sharing!

    #13 3 years ago

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