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That didn’t take long.
NCSoft’s Blade & Soul launched six days ago, and already, the publisher says 1 million people have played this massively multiplayer online role-playing game from South Korea. While paid MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft lose subscribers, the free-to-play online model (be they RPGs, strategy games, or shooters) keep finding ways to attract people and make big bucks — either with foreign imports like Blade & Soul, tweaks to existing models (like World of Warships), or just by providing a fun experience (Path of Exile, the online game that’s an evolution of Diablo II).
“Reaching this many gamers within a week is significant, but not totally unexpected, and certainly not a record,” said Stewart Rogers of VentureBeat’s VB Insight research group. “According to Superdata Research, the MMO category was on track to generate $11 billion in annual revenues by the end of 2015, representing roughly 21 percent of the worldwide digital games market. By 2017, this number is forecast to grow to $13 billion.”
Of course, when it comes to MMOs, it’s League of Legends, Smite, and Heroes of the Storm — the multiplayer online battle arenas — that find the growth.
“Although MMOs continue to thrive, it is the MOBA category that is growing fast, increasing their share of the overall MMO category from 16% to 24% in 2015.”
The publisher, however, would not release how many of these players are new and are holdovers from the beta period, how many have paid for in-game transactions, or how many have logged in every day, showing that they are more than curious folk checking out the latest MMO release.
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