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Market Study Shows US Gamers Prefer Free2Play MMOs

by Rainier on Dec. 6, 2011 @ 8:00 a.m. PST

Newzoo’s 2011 MMO Games Market Report shows that 36% of 39 million active MMO gamers in the US play games that have a SciFi or Space theme, outside of North America it is 27% of less, 68% prefers Free-To-Play MMO games while only 16% go for Pay-To-Play.

The remaining 16% plays both F2P as P2P MMO games. Most F2P gamers play for free but still the absolute number of SCiFi MMO gamers spending money in F2P MMO games outnumbers the 4.5M P2P gamers.

In none of these markets, including the US, SciFi is the most popular MMO genre. The popularity of the various MMO game genres (Fantasy, SciFi/Space, Realism, History, Anime/Cartoon) and MMO types (Real-Time Strategy, Role-Playing, Shooter, Action/Adventure, Sport/Simulation) differs significantly per country or market. When it comes to SciFi MMO games, China and Korea combined score best with 38% of MMO gamers or 41M consumers. The majority (53%)  chooses P2P games, but almost all of these players also play F2P MMO games, illustrating the rise of this business model in Asia. In Emerging markets Brazil, Mexico and Russia 80% of all SciFi MMO gamers only play F2P.  In Europe, the UK is the largest SciFi MMO market when it comes to the number of players: 2.7M. Despite “only” 1.7M SciFi gamers in Germany, total money spent is almost equal for both countries.

Peter Warman, CEO Newzoo, comments on the increasingly competitive SciFi MMO market: You will not catch me making any predictions about StarWars: the Old Republic. But I am very curious to see how much F2P SciFi gamers EA will be able to convert to P2P gamers and what part will come from outside the current pool of SciFi gamers, being complete newcomers as well as the subscribers to EveOnline, WoW, Rift or any other triple A P2P MMO game. With big F2P SciFi titles also scheduled to launch pretty soon I expect to see significant differences in uptake of the various SciFi titles in US, Europe and Emerging markets.”

Rob Smith, VP of Stellar Dawn at Jagex adds: “Sci-Fi games have been disproportionally under-represented historically in the MMO sector but this research reaffirms our confidence that the appetite for new and compelling Sci-Fi games is not only significant, but growing. To provide for this audience we have two F2P Sci-Fi MMO’s in development, Transformers Universe and Stellar Dawn, so the future is looking much brighter for Sci-Fi fans.”  

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