A report from Strategy Analytics states MMO revenues will continue to climb, eventually reaching $8 billion worldwide.
As of 2009, it already exceeded $5 billion.
According to the firm, the annual growth rate of MMO is at 17 percent, which can partially be attributed to the upward momentum of Asian online game companies, and forecasts global MMO revenues will hit the $8 billion sweet-spot in 2014.
Titled “The World of MMORPG: A Tale of Two Regions”, the Strategy Analytics report states Blizzard “dominates the slowly growing US and European markets” while Shanda, Netease, Nexon and NCsoft “made Asia the major region for MMORPG market growth”.
“Faced with fierce competition from social games and console video games, MMORPG in the Western market has already shown signs of a slowdown,” said the firm’s director, Martin Olausson.
“The traditional subscription model that most Western MMORPGs adopt has lost traction and growth momentum.”
“Contrary to the flattening Western market, the Asian MMORPG market has grown immensely since 2007, due to the successful virtual items-based revenue model,” added the firm’s analyst and author of the report, Jia Wu.
“As more Asian online game companies target US and European markets, they will become a formidable force in the global gaming industry.”
With more MMOs going the free-to-play route, or including some form of microtransactions, the US and European regions may start to catch up soon. Hopefully.
If you are interested in reading the full report, click here and write SA a check for $1,999.