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The online gaming and MMO space is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years. Reports indicate that gamers are migrating away from subscription based models and are embracing free-to-play and online social gaming as their alternatives.
Robert Workman from Alistdaily recently wrote about the continued growth of online gaming and MMOs, highlighting the jump in revenue and player engagement in those markets. There’s also special consideration paid to the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games and online card collectible games that are seeing increased engagement across the board.
Superdata Research did a report on this growth and estimates that the online gaming and MOBA business alone is worth $20 billion.
They also revealed that six out of the top-ten games within the online gaming market are free-to-play titles, contributing to 86% of the total revenue intake from massively multiplayer online games.
The games highlighted in the report include Hearthstone, a free-to-play card game from Blizzard; League of Legends from Riot Games; and Dota 2 from Valve. They reveal that World of Warcraft still retains longtime players despite declining subscription numbers. However, the report from Superdata also reveals that many players migrate from paid online titles to free-to-play titles, especially MOBA games and casual MMOs.
Omer Altay from MMOs reported earlier in the year that Blizzard’s Hearthstone card game has increased its revenue in year-over-year comparisons by least 20% and is making an estimated $24 million a month.
Jeff Grub from Venture Beat reported that Valve makes $18 million a month from the free-to-play MOBA, Dota 2.
The Superdata report reveals that Riot Games’ League of Legends has retained more than 100 million players from around the world and makes $150 million a month for Riot Games and Tencent, Riot’s parent company.
The global online gaming market isn’t just limited to traditional games, however. There are online casual games that have contributed to the continued growth of the market, too. Pay Vision indicates that online casino games also play a significant part in the steady incline in revenue from online gaming.
In fact, social online casino gaming contributes $2.5 billion to the overall health of the online gaming market. There is an estimated 175 million gamers who play casino games from around the world
The online casino market is expected to grow alongside MMOs and MOBA titles.
Joost van Dreunen, the CEO for SuperData, revealed that user retention and maximizing revenue from experienced players will be a key component in keeping audiences engaged,
“Generally, more than a third of MMO gamers play a title for more than one-and-a-half years before quitting, so maximizing revenue from experienced players is critical,” “Keeping the player engaged with new content, daily challenges and the ability to manipulate the in-game environment will decrease their likelihood to abandon the game for another title.”
Superdata’s report shows that Asia is the biggest contribute to the online space, with an annual revenue intake – from both free-to-play and pay-to-play games – of $12.6 billion. The Americas have a combined total of $4.3 billion while Europe sits at $3.5 billion.
Superdata reports that by the end of this year free-to-play titles will account for 93% of all revenue made in the MMO gaming space.