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"2013 MMO earnings show World of Warcraft needs to switch to free-to-play model"

nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

http://www.gamezone.com/news/2014/01/21/2013-mmo-earnings-show-world-of-warcraft-needs-to-switch-to-free-to-play-model

"revenue generated from free-to-play massive multiplayer online (MMO) games increased 45 percent in 2013. The free-to-play games category totaled $2.89 billion in sales in 2013, up from the 1.99 billion in 2012."

"Subscription-based, or pay-to-play, MMO games meanwhile saw their yearly totals drop 19 percent year-over-year. The pay-to-play category accounted for just $1.2 billion in sales in 2013."

"Although Blizzard has yet to fully make the jump, they have slowly started to introduce more and more in-game microtransactions. In fact, according to the same report, World of Warcraft generated $213 million in microtransactions in 2013 worldwide. Not bad for a game that turns 10 this year. Will 2013 be the end of the subscription-based World of Warcraft as we know it?"

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Comments

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Will 2013 be the end of the subscription-based World of Warcraft as we know it?"

    Since it is 2014.....the answer is, "No."

  • XodicXodic Kennesaw, GAPosts: 24Member

    Let us think about this a second. There are 4,112,654 quadrillion Asianized cash shop games VS maybe 6 subscription based games that are half decent enough to pay for….. The numbers I used are just as dumb as the ones used prior to me typing this.

  • TalmienTalmien Hopewell, NJPosts: 78Member
    I have a feelings that the fact that MMOs are switching from subscription based models to f2p, is why subscription based revenues are decreasing, and f2p revenues are increasing so dramatically.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Zorgo
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Will 2013 be the end of the subscription-based World of Warcraft as we know it?"

    Since it is 2014.....the answer is, "No."

    Will 2014 be the end of the sub-based WoW as we know it, then?

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Talmien
    I have a feelings that the fact that MMOs are switching from subscription based models to f2p, is why subscription based revenues are decreasing, and f2p revenues are increasing so dramatically.

    You are discounting the growth in LoL and WoT? They are a pretty good size part of the f2p revenue.

    And what games switched from sub-only to f2p in 2013?

  • PuffingtonPuffington Edmonton, ABPosts: 35Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    http://www.gamezone.com/news/2014/01/21/2013-mmo-earnings-show-world-of-warcraft-needs-to-switch-to-free-to-play-model

    "revenue generated from free-to-play massive multiplayer online (MMO) games increased 45 percent in 2013. The free-to-play games category totaled $2.89 billion in sales in 2013, up from the 1.99 billion in 2012."

    "Subscription-based, or pay-to-play, MMO games meanwhile saw their yearly totals drop 19 percent year-over-year. The pay-to-play category accounted for just $1.2 billion in sales in 2013."

    "Although Blizzard has yet to fully make the jump, they have slowly started to introduce more and more in-game microtransactions. In fact, according to the same report, World of Warcraft generated $213 million in microtransactions in 2013 worldwide. Not bad for a game that turns 10 this year. Will 2013 be the end of the subscription-based World of Warcraft as we know it?"

     

    I would say that the fall off you see in subscriptions is because of the MMOs that are good enough to actually charge a sub. You have 45743875837583 crappy F2P games and what 5-6 sub games? 2.89billion / 45743875837583  VS 1.2 billion / 6

    I'd say WoW is doing just fine, and single F2P game out there would trade places with WoW in a heartbeat. WoW can lose a million people a year and still be a viable cash crop for several years. Not to mention they can charge a sub and STILL people pay for micro-transactions on top of that!

  • xmechnaxmechna jax, FLPosts: 19Member
    Originally posted by Xodic

    Let us think about this a second. There are 4,112,654 quadrillion Asianized cash shop games VS maybe 6 subscription based games that are half decent enough to pay for….. The numbers I used are just as dumb as the ones used prior to me typing this.

    i <3 you,   just to add  There are 4,112,654 quadrillion Asianized cash shop games barely treding above water and 6 makeing enuff cash flow to make expansion after expansion =) the irony here is while the numbers are pulled out of somone arse  the general statement  is bout on par >.<  f2p cashshop needs to just die along with the cesspool of bs games that support it.

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,215Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by xmechna
    Originally posted by Xodic

    Let us think about this a second. There are 4,112,654 quadrillion Asianized cash shop games VS maybe 6 subscription based games that are half decent enough to pay for….. The numbers I used are just as dumb as the ones used prior to me typing this.

    i <3 you,   just to add  There are 4,112,654 quadrillion Asianized cash shop games barely treding above water and 6 makeing enuff cash flow to make expansion after expansion =) the irony here is while the numbers are pulled out of somone arse  the general statement  is bout on par >.<  f2p cashshop needs to just die along with the cesspool of bs games that support it.

    So you're saying a sub should be required with the cash shop or just f2p games with cash shops should die while the subscription games that have alternate revenue streams are okay.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by lugal
    [mod edit]

    actually this time, i am quoting someone else .. none of the writing is mine.

    And feel free to dispute the data he uses. Better yet, do you have evidence to show the data is false? I don't think the opinion of a random dude on the internet constitute rebuttal evidence.

     

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member
    I don't think even WoW's servers could handle the influx of free players. I'm not sure their bank book could handle the people going F2P from subs either.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by lizardbones
    I don't think even WoW's servers could handle the influx of free players. I'm not sure there bank book could handle the people going F2P from subs either.

    That is why i think they are doing it gradually.

    First, they make playing up to L20 free, and then they add more stuff into the cash shop.

    Don't you think it is a pattern?

    May be they won't make it all free all at once .. may be up to L60 in the next round .. then they can gauge the increase in traffic and plan ahead.

     

  • GaendricGaendric Posts: 449Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by lugal
    [mod edit]

    actually this time, i am quoting someone else .. none of the writing is mine.

    And feel free to dispute the data he uses. Better yet, do you have evidence to show the data is false? I don't think the opinion of a random dude on the internet constitute rebuttal evidence.

     

    The data doesn't support the claim. Period.

    I can say "2+2 = 4, and this means the sky is green." and when you tell me the sky isn't green refute you with "show me that my numbers are wrong!!!!" too. 

     

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon

    I don't see Blizz wanting to rock the boat until they at least reach only 1 million subs. I could see them extending the unlimited free trial beyond 20 to even lvl 50 or 60 though.

    Too much risk for them to alienate their loyal subscribers right now. MMOs that go F2P have much more to gain than to lose.

    I also don't see there being a huge rush to play WoW for free. After 10 years being a household name, I have a hard time believing anyone who wanted to try it, hasn't already. Not like all of a sudden 3 million people who never played WoW but always wanted to are gonna jump on the F2P. Might see some returning players, but I doubt it would be a huge to do.

    image
  • SuperNickSuperNick CambridgePosts: 460Member

    You realise those earnings are based solely on Blizzard's cash shop?

    So basically WoW made 213 million selling the few mounts and odd bits they have on their store.

    Also games like Dungeon Fighter Online, World of Tanks, SWTOR etc are anything but free to play.

    Free-to-start, sure but good luck getting any kind of game enjoyment out of those games without paying.

    Pay a sub or pay the equivalent in microtransactions; what's the difference?

  • evryman13evryman13 Pomona, CAPosts: 19Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by lugal
    [mod edit]

    actually this time, i am quoting someone else .. none of the writing is mine.

    And feel free to dispute the data he uses. Better yet, do you have evidence to show the data is false? I don't think the opinion of a random dude on the internet constitute rebuttal evidence.

     

    Well, according to the data 0ver 80% of mmo players played f2p games, compare that to only 5%-10% who play p2p games.  It is easy to see the disparity in revenue when you consider the playing base.  And WoW still brought in over a billion dollars last year.  When you make more money than there are people in China free to play can wait.

    "Those who stay will be champions"

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Gaendric
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by lugal
    [mod edit]

    actually this time, i am quoting someone else .. none of the writing is mine.

    And feel free to dispute the data he uses. Better yet, do you have evidence to show the data is false? I don't think the opinion of a random dude on the internet constitute rebuttal evidence.

     

    The data doesn't support the claim. Period.

    I can say "2+2 = 4, and this means the sky is green." and when you tell me the sky isn't green refute you with "show me that my numbers are wrong!!!!" too. 

     

    How so?

    F2P is making a lot more money than P2P, by their data.

    WoW is now making a lot of money from cash shop ... isn't the conclusion pretty obvious?

    Are you disputing WoW is making more (and a lot) of money off their cash shop? Are you disputing WoW is losing subs (and hence make less from p2p)?

  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread PshPosts: 5,501Member Uncommon

    I think F2P is an eventuality for WoW - I just don't think it's close. When Draenor comes out, they'll likely see that few million bump they see with their most recent expansions. Perhaps 2015 or 2016? It really depends on how well Draenor does.

     

    Speculation is fun!

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by evryman13
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by lugal
    [mod edit]

    actually this time, i am quoting someone else .. none of the writing is mine.

    And feel free to dispute the data he uses. Better yet, do you have evidence to show the data is false? I don't think the opinion of a random dude on the internet constitute rebuttal evidence.

     

    Well, according to the data 0ver 80% of mmo players played f2p games, compare that to only 5%-10% who play p2p games.  It is easy to see the disparity in revenue when you consider the playing base.  And WoW still brought in over a billion dollars last year.  When you make more money than there are people in China free to play can wait.

    Yes .. precisely.

    Don't you think Blizz should cater to, and get some money from, the 80% of the market, instead of just limiting themselves to the 5-10%, by YOUR numbers?

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by BeansnBread

    I think F2P is an eventuality for WoW - I just don't think it's close. When Draenor comes out, they'll likely see that few million bump they see with their most recent expansions. Perhaps 2015 or 2016? It really depends on how well Draenor does.

     

    Speculation is fun!

    I certainly agree that it is an eventuality, particularly just look at how much they can make in the cash shop. It really depends on how fast the subs are dropping .. and whether Draenor bumps the sub base up.

    So i kind of agree with you.

     

  • JJ82JJ82 Chicago, ILPosts: 1,177Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by evryman13 

    Well, according to the data 0ver 80% of mmo players played f2p games, compare that to only 5%-10% who play p2p games.  It is easy to see the disparity in revenue when you consider the playing base.  And WoW still brought in over a billion dollars last year.  When you make more money than there are people in China free to play can wait.

    A rather foolish argument because Nexon made over 1 billion as well almost all off of F2P games.

     

    OP, no I do NOT think WoW will go F2P this year, however next year is a possibility if it sees a continual downturn in subscriptions like it has the last 2 years.  I think they will lose another 50% of its players before they do it.

    "People who tell you you’re awesome are useless. No, dangerous.

    They are worse than useless because you want to believe them. They will defend you against critiques that are valid. They will seduce you into believing you are done learning, or into thinking that your work is better than it actually is." ~Raph Koster
    http://www.raphkoster.com/2013/10/14/on-getting-criticism/

  • evryman13evryman13 Pomona, CAPosts: 19Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by evryman13
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by lugal
    [mod edit]

    actually this time, i am quoting someone else .. none of the writing is mine.

    And feel free to dispute the data he uses. Better yet, do you have evidence to show the data is false? I don't think the opinion of a random dude on the internet constitute rebuttal evidence.

     

    Well, according to the data 0ver 80% of mmo players played f2p games, compare that to only 5%-10% who play p2p games.  It is easy to see the disparity in revenue when you consider the playing base.  And WoW still brought in over a billion dollars last year.  When you make more money than there are people in China free to play can wait.

    Yes .. precisely.

    Don't you think Blizz should cater to, and get some money from, the 80% of the market, instead of just limiting themselves to the 5-10%, by YOUR numbers?

    only 200m of that revenue came from microtransactions....I think the state of the game would change if you went to f2p for WoW, which would result in alienating some and welcoming others...I think if blizz really thought they could make more than they are now going f2p then they would....businesses are in it to make money, i'm sure they have considered it...but now isn't the time.

    "Those who stay will be champions"

  • azmundaiazmundai St Louis, MOPosts: 1,417Member

    apples, oranges .. mmos, mobas / crappy fb/ios games

    LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
    I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  • Thessik_IrontailThessik_Irontail Moose Jaw, SKPosts: 76Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    http://www.gamezone.com/news/2014/01/21/2013-mmo-earnings-show-world-of-warcraft-needs-to-switch-to-free-to-play-model

    "revenue generated from free-to-play massive multiplayer online (MMO) games increased 45 percent in 2013. The free-to-play games category totaled $2.89 billion in sales in 2013, up from the 1.99 billion in 2012."

    How many F2P games total are they counting to get 2.89 billion?

    "Subscription-based, or pay-to-play, MMO games meanwhile saw their yearly totals drop 19 percent year-over-year. The pay-to-play category accounted for just $1.2 billion in sales in 2013."

    How many Sub games are they counting total to get 1.2 billion?

    For example, if we had 5 sub games making $1000 total and 20 F2P games making $2000 total, then the real info to take is that sub fee games make twice as much as F2P, however F2P supporters would instead say that F2P made double as much as sub based overall! which is an irrelevent point.

    "Although Blizzard has yet to fully make the jump, they have slowly started to introduce more and more in-game microtransactions. In fact, according to the same report, World of Warcraft generated $213 million in microtransactions in 2013 worldwide. Not bad for a game that turns 10 this year. Will 2013 be the end of the subscription-based World of Warcraft as we know it?"

    Obviously not, in fact 2014 is seeing the release of Wildstar and ESO, which are two AAA titles that are sub based games.

    Overall the article author seems fairly irrational.

  • askdabossaskdaboss LondonPosts: 631Member Common

    The "article" (if it can be called that, more like a "blog post" written hastily on the kitchen table at breakfast) is absolutely horrible.

    It starts with a bold claim in the title "Blizzard MUST switch to free to play", so one can imagine that there will be data to support this. But aside from stating that WoW is still the most financially successful game - not what it once was, mind you - there is nothing.

    Then of course - as the (lazy) blog poster (can't call him "author" really) realises there is nothing in this article - to conclude their piece of junk, our now-not-so-courageous-blog-poster wets himself and rewrites the title of the article as a question - because there is nothing but speculation in this horrible collage of word. A question not even asked properly, as someone pointed out, it is 2014 already.

    [mod edit]
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