A report released today by media analyst Screen Digest suggests that massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) are here to stay and are going to become even more popular over the next several years. Titled “Western World MMOG Market: 2006 Review and Forecasts to 2011,” the report finds that the MMO market in North America and Europe hit one billion for the first time in 2006.
Most of the cash generated from MMOs comes from subscriptions, which account for 87 percent of the market. But new business models like in-game advertising and microtransactions are on the rise, and are expected to slice a bigger piece of the pie in the coming years. In 2006, the North American subscription market hit $576 million, and Europe rose to $299 million. Europe has seen the fastest growth over the last few years, rising from $74 million in 2004, and is expected to see the most growth over the next few, as well.