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× Updated to 20.0 136

SirBruce writes " has been updated to Version 20.0! This is a major update, with updated numbers for many games, most notably World of Warcraft, Eve Online, RuneScape, and most of NCSoft's titles. I've also added three new MMOGs to the tracking data: Tibia, The Matrix Online, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. I've also removed the old subscriber data for Ragnarok Online in Japan, and unified the various total subscriptions charts. Also new to this update is preliminary market data for Asian MMOGs (including Ragnarok Online) that are commonly reported in terms of Peak Concurrent Users and Average Concurrent Users. Given the differences in pricing models, many of these games are not subscription-based, so a direct comparison with subscription MMOGs cannot be made. My thanks to everyone who helped with this update, and thanks to those of you who waited patiently for this update!"
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  • Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

    It's pretty amazing that WOW has 50% of the total MMOG market share. Blizzard must be rolling in cash.
    • Re:Wow (Score:2, Funny)

      by EnderGT ( 916132 )
      And yet they still can't keep their servers up...
  • It's interesting to note that Toontown is doing better than D&D Online. That's a pretty bad sign for Atari, whose finances aren't doing particularly well these days.
    • DDO is pretty new, it needs time to get its subscription base up. Its a fun game, although it does have content issues. My only fear is that at the moment its a biut shitzoid- it seems there's an MMO camp and a D&D camp among its devs. THe MMO camp adds things like raid dungeons where only 2 people get loot per raid (with a randomized loot algorithm, so you may pick your two people and they still get shit loot) with a 3 day wait before you can re-enter. Hopefully that bullshit will be killed in the
    • Maybe next time, Atari and the game creators will listen to the beta testers, who blasted DDO for lack of content and the dreaded "lack of solo content". (Though you don't play Dungeons & Dragons solo, so why should the MMO have it in it????)

      I was in the beta for a long time, and I knew every dungeon by heart. So did everyone else that played it for a while. It's hard to find a game riveting when you know where all the traps are, what all the encounters look like, and which ones were more worth repea
  • What about the funniest dang MMORPG out there!!?
  • by flooey ( 695860 )
    I don't see any numbers for Progress Quest []! That game is awesome!
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is no browser-based MMORPGs on MMOG chart, as you should see a mention of for example Urban Dead which count enough players to be in. So what's wrong with BBMMORPGS? Do they not appear on this site because they are browser based or because they are free?
    • Runescape is on there, and that's java based, or were you talking more along the likes of starkingdoms?
    • Re:BBMMORPGs (Score:2, Interesting)

      It's because they're free. From the FAQ -

      1. Why isn't listed?

      There are four main reasons why a particular game isn't listed in the charts:

      a) The game in question isn't really a MMOG, at least by my reckoning. Games like Diablo II and Phantasy Star Online fall into this category. Guild Wars developers say in their own FAQ that they do not consider their game a MMOG; in addition, it doesn't charge a monthly fee (see below). Please don't email me trying to insist otherwise; I'm not likely to be convinc
  • No way there is 190K left.

    But the chart does show SWG in freefall since they released the CU, and that the NGE was downright catastrophic.

    Should have listened to we who didn't want them to do away with the original game to begin with....
    • Re:SWG number bogus (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Quarters ( 18322 )
      The first big slide for SWG players on that chart is Aug-Sept 2004, which predates the release of the CU by seven or eight months. The second dive (after the short level period) is pretty close to the time the CU got released. The downward slope doesn't really change much after that, so it could be said the NGE had no effect on subscriber numbers, either positively or negatively. The game was already into its death spiral.
      • " pretty close to the time the NGE got released."

        Sorry for the typo.

      • And it looks like an awful lot of them are playing EVE now. Their sub numbers started slowly curving up around the time of that first dip and really took off after the second one. I guess all the Han Solo wannabes decided a rich space environment was better than a rapidly depopulating planetary environment.

    • SWG is actually rated as a C on his numbers page for accuracy, some "inside source" told him they had 120k subscribers without station access or time cards, and he just artificially bumped it up. Truth be told I know a lot of station access people including myself who don't actually even log into SWG and I don't imagine they have time cards flying off the shelves. That 120k might either be a lie or a lot of accounts that simply haven't expired yet. I know more people in SWG that multiboxed than in any other
    • Sony has this funny little thing called Station Access, which gives you access to pretty much all SOE games. If you want to play two SOE games (e.g., EQ2 and Planetside), you're marginally cheaper off buying a Station Access. If just want the extras in one game (e.g., extra character slots and some other advantages in EQ2), they're often _only_ available as Station Access.

      Once a game has been activated under Station Access, there's no way to say "nope, I don't want to play this one any more" as long as you
  • by MalusCaelestis ( 172079 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @06:58PM (#15431767) Homepage
    The chart looked about as I expected: World of Warcraft towers above the rest while several other MMOs lose ground. But what I didn't expect to see is that WoW's gains are significantly higher than its competitors' losses. World of Warcraft is doing more than dominating the market--it's increasing the size of the market.

    I'm interested to see whether those gamers will move to other MMO games after World of Warcraft or if they're only in it for WoW.
    • Bingo.

      First, look at the "Total Active Subscribers" chart, the one that does not divide things out by MMORPG. It's a relatively smooth curve. If you didn't know when WoW was released, you wouldn't be able to tell by this chart.

      Now look at the "Total Active Subscribers - Absolute Contribution" chart. You'll see that the total non-WoW market had about 6.5 million subscribers at the WoW release date, and since then has only dropped by 250,000.

      The market has doubled since WoW was released, and shows no signs
    • Blizzard would have got a lot of people (like me) from their other RTS games. Also for mac users (like me) the games market is much more limited, and we're happy that Blizzard have always supported macs.
      • and we're happy that Blizzard have always supported macs

        I remember playing Warcraft II on a Mac 7168 (or something like that). What a blessing that was. My dad had picked up a game pack that had a few (pretty bad) games. But the fact that I could play Warcraft I & II was awesome. Both were great games.

        Blizzard would have got a lot of people (like me) from their other RTS games

        Now if only we could play some sort of 'cross-genre' Starcraft game. Like, what if you were a Ghost and...
        Seriously, thou

    • Some of the non-WoW are actually doing rather well. RuneScape, for example, a MMPORPG that people thought was dead and buried, is actually on the upswing. Final Fantasy XI was going up as of July 05. Heck, Final Fantasy is now bigger than Everquest. Everquest one and two basically leveled off and stayed there, instead of dropping into nothing. Eve Online, another "dead 'n buried" one is on the upswing and headed towards OK. Asheron's Call 1's numbers are much lower than I had expected, but Turbine mus
  • How does this account for people who play more than one game. This isn't exactly a good representation of the market as a whole because you don't know what kind of overlap exists.
    • It can't account for people with more than one subscription. The game companies themselves can't account for it, either, since you could have a completely different name and credit card associated with the account. Still, you're paying twice, so you're essentially two customers any way you look at it, and deserve to be counted twice.

      • Do you? I don't know if this is a fair look at the market place though. It inflates the actual number of users. If WoW has over 50% of the "marketshare" theoretically that amount of people COULD be the market place if everyone who played every other MMORPG also played WoW.

        I don't think this chart really tells us anything other than WoW is popular, other games are less popular, which unless you live under a rock, you already know.
        • It gives you and idea how many SUBSCRIPTIONS are out there. It makes little difference to your business plan if it's 2 people subscribing once or one person subscribing twice; you still get the same amount of money. If you want an idea of revenue potential, you can find that in other financial reports.

          It also gives you an idea of relative popularity. You may already know that WoW is more popular than anything else, but did you know it's approximately half the market? Did you know RuneScape is more popul
          • Actually it makes a huge difference whether its two people subscribing to two mmorgps or one person subscribing to two. In the first scenario you're looking at two distinct incomes, in the second you're looking at a single income.

            If for example the average MMORPG player was found to subscribe to 2 MMORPGs, you have a much different marketing job if you're trying to pull 1 person away from 1 MMORPG to subscribe to yours or whether your just have to appeal to those two individuals and get them to pick up a se
  • They should either rename this site to as all games are fighting/rpg based games. Otherwise games like (820k users) and (120k users) should also be included.
    • They should either rename this site to as all games are fighting/rpg based games. Otherwise games like (820k users) and (120k users) should also be included.

      Neither of those appears to charge a monthly fee, so they aren't games that MMOGchart would track. Check out the FAQ [] for the types of games that aren't tracked.
  • ...then by the year 2057, the earth will be consumed by a mass of WOW subscribers expanding at the speed of light.
  • by Sage Gaspar ( 688563 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2006 @08:38PM (#15432257)
    One very important thing to note is that the last data point for a ton of the games on his list is June 2005 -- one example being Everquest 2.

    The other thing to note is tabulating subscribers. In some of the Asian markets (can't tell you which ones in specific as I just looked this up myself) the Internet Game Rooms are very popular. You go in and buy an account that you then add points to on an hourly basis. Anyone who logs into one of those is counted for seven full days afterward by Blizzard as a paying subscriber. I'm sure there's lots of people who don't spend $15 American monthly on World of Warcraft but are counted as equal subscribers among their monthly-account-paying European and American brethren. Just as a reference it's about $3.73 to buy an account that you can spend points on and it costs a nickel an hour after that for gametime in WoW China, as per a Blizzard press release and Google's money translation calculator.

    It's interesting to see what the Asian market means in terms of body count, but it makes me wonder what the relative revenue situations are like.
    • If you had read the official Blizzard press released, then you'd know they only count active Internet Game Room accounts which have been active in the last 7 days. So yes, their figures can be taken at face value.

      From []

      World of Warcraft's Customer Definition

      World of Warcraft customers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or purchased a prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the installation box bundled with on
      • No shit, sherlock, if you read my post I specifically mentioned that. Would you consider someone who paid under $4.00 for their account and drops a nickel an hour on it the equivalent of someone who paid $50 for the box and spends $15 a month? Let alone someone who may have *only* played the account for an hour and is then counted for the next seven days.

        It's like counting every single person who dropped a dollar on an arcade game as being part of its loyal fanbase. It just ain't so.

        That was some good det
        • Well, the fact that they're only counted as subscribers for merely 7 days indicates that only very few of those "unloyal" customers people who've only played for, say, an hour get counted as subscribers. 7 days is a very short period of time for an MMO subscription length - that's the key here. Those Internet Game Room account owners who play very irregularly, or only only used it once to get a taste for what WoW's like, should have a negligible impact on the statistics. In order for such unloyal customers
          • It's not like counting every single person who dropped a dollar on an arcade game as a fan of that game, because Blizzard does not count every IGR account every created as a subscription.

            I meant in the last week, obviously. Can we honestly say the average IGR patron who plays World of Warcraft at least once a week plays it for the 300 hours monthly or ten hours daily that would be required for their subscription to net Blizzard $15 a month (ignoring the initial $45+ discrepancy)?

            Say what you will, I can'
    • Um, WoW has about 1 million subscribers in Europe and 1.5-2 million in the US market. If you want to discount all the Asian markets, the chart would look even MORE lopsided: EQ et al. would have under 300k, WoW would have 3 million, and Lineage I & II and Runescape wouldn't even be there in between.
      • That's neat, I don't really care either way, I'm not trying to defend games, I'm just mentioning that there's something called analysis that needs to be done. Things up to and including the vastly different Asian market, statistics that are almost a year old at this point presented alongside current statistics, that kind of thing.
        • Then you should go click on the "Analysis" link on the side there and actually read it.
          • What, you mean the one where the original Everquest, among others, is given an A for accuracy despite using year-old datapoints? Where WoW is rated an A for accuracy? This in spite of the part where he mentions that he chose to disregard the people who use IGRs without a full monthly plan from Lineage because it would skew the results, but doesn't even pay lip service to why he includes the same population he threw out from Lineage in his World of Warcraft numbers.

            Lineage actually has a variety of differe
  • ...believing this guys numbers. yeah, some of them may be accurate. Blizzard has been tooting their horn with their subscription numbers. But, I've been playing Star Wars Galaxies since the beginning back in 2003 and there is no way they currently have just under 200,000 subscribers. The number of subscribers has the be half or even 3/4 of what it was in it's peak. So, I know that number to be just wrong. What other numbers are just wrong? EverQuest still has 400,000 subscribers???
  • There are thousands of articles around as to why WoW did well, from it's existing franchise, to taking the Warhammer minature artwork through to the game, to simplification and a slick interface. But I had had my does of EQ1 and to be honest find them all very boring these days. I am waiting for a generation shift, something new to come to the genre. Compare the gameplay of an MMO with the gameplay of a moden single player RPG like Oblivion, or the gameplay of Half-life 2. It's a huge gap still. Ever g
    • Planetside is like this. The only grinding you do is for rank, which involves killing lots of other players and capturing bases. I enjoyed it for a while, but left due to a lack of bug fixes and content updates. Oh god, and the nerfs. It seemed like they would nerf anything someone complained about in the forums, legit or not. I remember logging in one day and it suddenly took like 20 grenades to take down a single soldier, 4 shots with a sniper rifle, etc. All in the name of balanced play.

  • I was shocked to see Guildwars missing. Some argue its not really an MMO, as it is a hub-centred world, however it shares this with DDO (which has been listed on I hope to see it listed in future, as the last subscriber numbers I saw put it near 1,000,000 people!


    • Guildwars isn't a traditional MMO in that it doesn't have a monthly charge. It's a one-time purchase with online play. Charting GuildWars would be like charting Diablo, Freelancer, Battlefield 2, or any other online enabled game with some sort of player stat tracking.
      • It seems to me the best way to chart these games would be some sort of income model rather than just raw population, and you could still compare how much money a game with a monthly fee has made compared to one without it. I wonder if the data's out there. Raw game population doesn't mean much when you take into account the vastly different pricing schemes, especially in different parts of the world, across all of these MMOs.

        As for GW, if DDO is on there you can't rule out Guild Wars by just gameplay, and
        • Revenue numbers are interesting, but they don't tell the whole picture, either. A game with 1,000 subscribers paying $1,000 month for some amazing virtual experience would clock in at $1,000,000, whereas a game with 100,000 subscribers pay $10 a month would look the same. You wouldn't be able to tell from that that the second game was actually vastly more popular, and the other game seemed to cater to some rich elite with money to burn. Really, ALL of these data points are useful in different ways at diff
    • That'd be quite amazing if, despite not having subscribers, GW somehow managed to have a million of them. I don't have a job, but if I had a job it'd pay $1,000,000 per year!
  • Zerg the Market (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wlvdc ( 842653 )
    I'm not surprised. WoW outbeats all MMOGs in the 'market' simply because it is well written, well designed, very scriptable and fun for players of all sorts. Also the amount of support sites for WoW is staggering. And yes, with 6.5 million subscribers Blizzard is generating a lot of cash. With the paraphernalia and the planned movie it will only increase it's marketshare.

All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing without thinking.