Check this link out – a graph of subscribers to the various massively-multiplayer online games as of January 2004. Oh, and while they aren’t on the list, NCSoft has confirmed that City of Heroes has over 100,000 subscribers at the moment.
E&B, which had around 40k users at most, wasn’t viable at that level. Now while it is possible that this company was run poorly, it shows that a run rate of $650K per month (or $7 million per year) isn’t sustainable.
And look at the dominance by Sony – FFXI, EQ, SWG, and EQ:OA all belong to them. This list is out of date – Sony has now announced that FFXI has over 1 million subscribers along, so collectively they have nearly 2 million subscribers paying about $10 per month to play Sony games.
Ragnarok Online claims to have over 17 million subscribers worldwide, but that is hard to verify.
And finally, as the author indicates, Lineage: The Blood Pledge isn’t on the chart because it has such a different subscriber model. Apparently you count if you buy hourly time from a cyber cafe who is the one actually paying for a subscription to NCSoft. NCSoft has announced that it has 4 million subscribers, which is really impressive, but because of the differences in business model doesn’t allow for reasonable comparison.
Filed under: Games
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