U.S. Gamers Spent $3.8 Billion on MMOs in 2009
Any World of Warcraft fan knows about the big money Acti-Blizzard rakes in, but the MMO business goes far beyond that as seen in a recent U.S. study. A report on Gamasutra shows that U.S. gamers have spent almost 15 times more than other substantial MMO markets in Europe.
The report showed that over 46 million people play MMO’s in the U.S. 46 percent (21 million) of which paid to play online games; the rest, around 25 million gamers, play MMOs without spending any money. The average paying MMO player spent around $15.10 per month on their games.
Now we know Acti-Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is number one in the U.S. MMO market, but some of the names in the top five might surprise you including NeoPets, Club Penguin, Disney’s ToonTown and RuneScape. Keep in mind this ranking is for MMO’s across the board not just MMORPG’s.
Let’s look at the numbers, out of the $3.8 billion total spend on MMO’s in 2009 here is how the money breaks down:
- 47% ($1.8 billion) was spent on monthly subscriptions
- 19 % ($740 million) on virtual currency
- 15% ($580 million) on annual subscriptions
- 11% ($400 million) on the initial boxed product or client download
- 8 % ($280 million) on direct micro transactions
With those numbers it is no surprise many companies are launching their own MMO’s, it is a booming business that does not look to be slowing. However, saturating the market with a flood of MMO’s isn’t good for the consumer in my opinion. It is one thing to purchase a number of gamers per year with some you end up not liking, but to have to purchase and pay a monthly fee is another thing all together. Then again you can always hit cancel if you don’t like the game.
The study also showed growth outside the U.S. with counties like the U.K., Germany and France coming in behind the U.S. in how much their gamers shell out for MMO’s. Finally the report indicates that that it expects growth in MMO revenues from countries such as Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey, Poland and Sweden in the coming years.
You can find the original article here.