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Four MMOs make $100 million annually, with The Old Republic among them

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

In the world of MMOs, it's World of Warcraft in first place and everyone else a very distant second, or third, though an analysis by the research firm SuperData turns up some interesting details about a market where freemium models are becoming dominant.

One is that Lineage — the original, launched 16 years ago — was in second place (based on worldwide revenue), one of four NCsoft MMOs placing in the top 10. Electronic Arts' ambitious Star Wars: The Old Republic, which switched to a free-to-play model 10 months after its 2011 launch, is hanging in with $165 million in annual revenue, good for fourth place.

World of Warcraft — both its Western and Asian releases, is still king, with more than $1 billion in revenue, and 36 percent market share. SuperData says the decline in subscription revenue is still holding, while the increase in microtransaction revenue is up from 14 percent of income 15 years ago to 27 percent today.

The top 10 MMOs (by revenue over the past year), according to SuperData:

1. World of Warcraft
2. Lineage
3. TERA: Online
4. Star Wars: The Old Republic
5. Lord of the Rings Online
6. EVE Online
7. Aion
8. Blade and Soul
8. Lineage 2

The Elder Scrolls Online, which launched this year, didn't make the top 10 but did report 772,000 subscribers, SuperData notes.

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