A series of new reports from DFC Intelligence forecasts MMOG subscription revenue to surpass $6 billion by 2013. Furthermore, this forecast does not include additional revenue generated by retail sales, Real Money Trading (RMT) among users, or free-to-play games that do not charge a subscription. According to DFC analyst Joost van Dreunen, “Consumers are increasingly willing to spend money to pay for premium games as a service which benefits subscription-driven products.”
DFC also released a separate report on Real Money Trading. Written in conjunction with noted intellectual property attorney S. Gregory Boyd, the report looks at the challenges of controlling aftermarkets for virtual property and potential profits individual companies can make from facilitating legitimate, sanctioned RMT.
One of the big challenges for MMOGs is expanding the audience. In conjunction with PC game utility provider GameShadow, DFC released two large-scale surveys that were conducted in February 2009. The first covers more than 50,000 MMOG users worldwide; the second involves over 225,000 first-person shooter (FPS) players. For both genres, the surveys found, users were over 96% male and in many cases significantly older: over 40% of MMOG users and 48% of FPS users were over 35 years old. Even among MMOG users, FPS games were the most popular titles, accounting of 18% of software installed for MMOG users.