Research team SuperData has published its latest findings on the state of subscription-based MMOs. They’ve ranked the top 10 MMO titles based on the amount of revenue generated from subscriptions and in-game transactions. These statistics are based off the earnings of each game throughout 2013, which is why you’re not seeing recent entries like Wildstar and The Elder Scrolls Online, both of which only launched this year. The latter reportedly has 772,000 subscribers as of June 2014.
Unsurprisingly, World of Warcraft remains the undisputed king of the MMOs; it’s still managing to generate over $1 billion in revenue per year. The closest behind that? NCsoft’s Lineage 1, which barely manages to generate a quarter of what World of Warcraft does. Still, that’s an MMO from 1998 that’s managing to generate a quarter of a billion US dollars a year – impressive indeed.
NCsoft owns 40% of the top 10 spots on the list. Interestingly, EA and BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic is sitting in fourth place with an annual turnover of $165 million. That game introduced freemium membership options less than a year after launching as a subscription-only MMORPG.
SuperData has also highlighted that the subscription model has seen a year-on-year decline since reaching a peak in 2010. The projected total industry turnover for MMO subscriptions in 2014 is around $2.9 billion. Offsetting this decline is the marked increase in MMO revenue that’s being generated via in-game purchases and microtransactions.