Video games have come a long way since the days of the video arcade in the early 1980`s. And with the coming of the digital age with its ever advancing personal computers and the increasing possibilities of the internet, video games have become a massive income generator for the producers and are winning the hearts of internet users around the globe. One of the biggest steady revenue creators in the land of videogames is the MMORPG.
For those of you that have no idea what I`m talking about here`s a quick rundown. An MMORPG is a Massive Multiplayer Online RolePlaying Game or to put it simple a video game you play with an internet connection together with thousands of other people, if not more. Within this game you usually take the role of a (fantasy) character that evolves during the course of the game to become famous, skilled and more powerful. One of these games that has dominated the market goes under the name of World of Warcraft, WoW for short, and it has been the market leader for MMORPGs for over 7 years now grabbing the attention of more than 10 million players worldwide.
One of the biggest differences between an MMORPG and the more traditional computer video games is also the reason why it is generating such a high revenue stream. With normal video games you buy the games and can play how long and whenever you want without extra payments being needed. A standard “MMO” is different in the fact that it usually requires a monthly fee on top of the initial purchase to be able to play the game. And that monthly fee is what keeps the games ever evolving and expanding which in return makes the players keep coming back for more.
To come back to the current market leader WoW, that monthly fee is around $14.99. If you would just take the regular players of North America and Europe (about 37% of the total user base) that is already a yearly revenue stream of over $800 million, That is larger the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Samoa which is around $530 Million. All this lovely revenue comes with a cost, to keep the virtual worlds of the MMORPGs running requires a massive computer hardware setup. In case of WoW this results in several huge servers sites around the globe consisting of almost 20000 computers total that use more than 1.3 Petabytes of data storage (that is 1.3 million Giga Byte). To keep all those computers running 24/7 requires a daily upkeep cost of around $136,986 which is almost the same as purchasing a brand new Audi R8 every single day.
Despite the extra monthly fees of the “MMO” type games they are gaining more and more followers, the third expansion for WoW that went to the stores in December 2010 shattered all existing records and got the title of “fastest selling game of all times” by selling over 3.3 million copies with 24 hours after release dethroning the previous expansion of the same game who sold “only” 2.8 million in the first 24 hours after its release.
So there you have it, video games have evolved from the dark arcade halls for the teenagers to the multi-million dollar business it is today. If you play Farmville or the latest shooter we welcome you to the community.