Via GigaOM, DFC Intelligence’s top 10 global list of MMOs – by income generated.
1: OMGCHINA. It’s not broken down in the figures, but my suspicion is China is a pretty hefty portion of World of Warcraft’s revenue stream as well, despite the revenue per user being significantly lower. The Chinese MMO market dwarfs the Western market, both in subscriber numbers, and more importantly in revenue. China’s the new Korea. It’s tempting to say that “someplace else will soon be the new China”, but it’s difficult to imagine unless all of Europe becomes obsessed with Diablo 3 or something. It also means that the Chinese market is very vulnerable to collapse if that audience moves to something else (again, see Korea, where many users have moved on to FPS games).
2: Installable client is still the king in terms of revenue, which is somewhat surprising – and promising, it means that much of this market is still being driven by the “hard core” willing to download gigabytes of data to try out a game. As web installs catch up this could open the market still further.
3: This may be an artifact of DFC tossing up their hands and going “I dunno” at trying to guesstimate income figures, but recent high profiles have all interestingly fallen into the same “tier” of $50-150m annual income. LOTRO = AoC = WAR = Runescape. Note: one of these had a somewhat lower budget than the others…