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Surpassing World of Warcraft?

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 02:11 PM

Gamasutra has posted an article titled "Opinion: Is It Possible to Surpass World of Warcraft?" that takes a look at a report written by analyst group DFC Intelligence's David Cole. The focus of the report is on the highly successful MMOG World of Warcraft, and focuses on what made it successful as well as the repercussions of that success on the future MMOG market.

One of the points the report makes is to show that WoW's international success doesn't necessarily translate into the same profit across the board, with Chinese subscribers actually operating under a different pay model:

However, these Chinese users are not subscribers in the Western sense of the word: they do not pay a recurring monthly fee. In fact, they generate about 0.36 yuan per hour of gameplay; thatís about 4 cents an hour. Of course, Chinese users log a lot of hours. In the second quarter of 2006, World of Warcraft generated $32 million. While this is a substantial sum in the Chinese MMOG world, 5 million Western subscribers would have generated more than $200 million over the same time period. Thus, Chinese players generate about 15% as much revenue as their Western neighbors.
The report also warns that WoW's success may warp the industry's view of MMOG success expectations beyond reasonable levels. It also predicts that a lot of "dumb money" will be pumped into the MMOG market by investors hoping to cash in on the next big thing, though it points out that Blizzard was in a unique position on several levels when they released WoW, which is largely responsible for their individual success.
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