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And the top 10 subscription-based MMOs are…


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.

Source: SuperData
Via: Games Industry International

  • FanieNel

    If WoW looked like the image at the top, I would play it non-stop.
    Since it doesn’t look like that, there are much better mmo games out there like The Secret World and Guild Wars 2, just to name a few.

    • Anel Animella Roux

      Have you had a look at how they are revamping the character models? You should have a look.

      • FanieNel

        I did take a look at some of the revamped models. While they do look much better, it is no where near the quality of other free-to-play or non-subscription based mmo games.

        I might get the expansion when it releases eventually after looking at some gameplay videos when it is released.

  • Wesley Fick

    The money is in MOBAs now, so that’s why we’re seeing the dip. Valve and Riot Games are laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Alec van Zyl

      Gaben will never stop laughing!

  • Guest

    Have you had a look at how they are revamping the character models? Looks pretty descent after a ten year wait..

  • Francois Landsberg

    I’m still going to play the new wow exp. however i do agree that the games gfx is not up to what guild wars are sporting right now. But remember game play comes first and even with decent hardware getting a 60 fps with guild wars at highest settings not many people can do. Wow looks OK at highest and runs a smooth 60fps on most cards R2200 gfx card and upwards. But yeah Dota is so much more rewarding no month to month cost I only pay for cool skins. And I still spend more time playing it than WOW lately. MOBA’s are going to be taking over for sure.


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