Tobold's Blog
Saturday, April 17, 2010
MMO Future Shock documentary

Gamersfilm sent me a link to their first episode of MMO Future Shock, a documentary about the MMO market. They claim that there are 180 million MMO players, the MMO market is worth $5 billion out of the $40 billion video games market, and that it has a 17% annual growth rate, which will bring it up to $16 billion per year out of a $60 billion video game market in 2012. The video then goes on to explore how the trend changes from subscription games to Free2Play games.

It is an interesting video, with the only caveat that it also kind of advertises the games from the people that were interviewed, and these games aren't necessarily all that outstanding or representative of trends as their makers claim.
Nice professional looking clip. They're throwing alot of numbers out without putting in context or perspective though. $60 billion this, 16% that, 180 million there....should really throw in some stats we can latch onto as well, like property market or tax returns or something :)

And yay, i guess someone in that clip likes LOTRO , since that's about all i recognized between all the asian-esque MMOs :)
A very interesting documentary. Although I agree some of the interviews don’t represent the genre very well, the facts presented were impressive. The documentary seems to praise the F2P model, but I personally prefer subscription based games. You’re generally given a better polished game, certain players don’t have an unfair advantage from out of game transactions, and $15 is only two hours of work at a minimum wage job, it’s not that much.

This does depress me somewhat though, because I still maintain that World of Warcraft is the only worthwhile or even good, MMORPG (with a nod to EVE and Star Wars Galaxies before the NGE). I have played dozens of MMORPGs, even niche titles like Darkfall or A Tale in the Desert and Korean grindfests like Maple Story or 2Moons. I own or have tried demos of every mainstream or AAA MMO to date, with the exception of Aion and the original Everquest. Now SIX YEARS after its release, World of Warcraft is still the MMORPG that I could enjoy returning to for some actual fun.

What saddens me is that I don’t consider World of Warcraft to be living up to the full potential of the MMO genre, yet it remains the best. Even with so much recent focus on MMOs (bandwagon is an understatement), no developer has come close to creating a product rivaling WoW. All this time and money put into MMOs, and all we have are gimmicky clones or games that stray so far from the norm that they become terribly niche. It almost borders on pathetic how poorly designed most of these games are, especially when combined with the robotic lack of innovation. With all that money, I would love to see actual progress. WoW has gotten stale, and it’s sad to see something so stale still better than any other product being pumped out in a genre with so much potential.
Haha, entertaining enough to watch, but pretty deceptive to anyone not already savvy in the MMO market.

They pimp out this "GamersFirst" studio which makes Free To Play only games and in the same breath saying they have 28 million subscribers - if they aren't PAYING a SUBSCRIPTION to a service how can they be called subscribers?

More like 28 million registered accounts, I could go register and never play the game and they'd probably count me as a 'subscriber' for life.

I certainly am happy that theirs more to the world than WoW, but they're talking about games that aren't even as big as a Star Trek Online or even older like UO.

Misrepresenting tiny bottom-feeders as industry leaders is a bit deceptive.
I also completely agree with your analysis Hobonicus, WoW IS the go-to MMO to actually have fun, which is disappointingt. I'm sure any of us could name a dozen ideas off the top of our heads, (Fallout MMO, Left 4 Dead MMO, Elder Scrolls MMO, etc) which if were actually polished with adequate prodction values and released in a quasi-playable form would have a chance.

Instead, like you said, all we get are second class WoW-clones and unplayable niche messes.
Small point of confusion but 5 billion annually compounded at a 17% growth rate does not make 16 billion by 2012. In fact it would take more than 7 years for 5 billion to grow to 16 billion at that growth rate.

I haven't watched the video yet so I may be missing something.
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