MMOs reach new heights in Western market

Its popularity in the Asian market is already well known, but MMO gaming is having an increasingly significant impact in the Western markets, a new report from analyst Screen Digest states.

Next Generation reports that for the first time ever revenue from MMO gaming topped USD1bn in the Western market in 2006, driven in the main by Blizzard’s phenomenally successful World of Warcraft.

It adds that North American MMO subscriptions grossed USD576 million last year, whilst the European market was worth $299 million. It also estimates that over 10 million subscription accounts will generate $1.5 billion in consumer spending by 2011.

Screen Digest cited World of Warcraft as being “by far the most popular subscription game,” accounting for 54 per cent of the subscription market in 2006.

"During the past few years the Western landscape for massively multiplayer online games has become increasingly fragmented following the introduction of new genres of games including social networking, virtual pet rearing and virtual world building titles,” report author Piers Harding Rolls stated.

"These new games and platforms have brought with them many new gamers and also new business models that are generating revenue that is largely incremental to the incumbent subscription business."

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Tags: mmo , blizzard , world of warcraft , screen digest , mmorpg

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