Subscription MMO Market Grew 22% in 2008, Free-to-Play Model Continues to Grow [Screen Digest]

Industry analysts Screen Digest announced today that subscription-based massively mulitplayer online games revenue grew by 22% in 2008 and reached consumer spending levels of $1.4 billion in North America and Europe. The premium subscription-based model, often used to generate revenue in “free-to-play” games, showed significant growth of 11%. According to Screen Digest:

  • Consumer spending growth on non-World of Warcraft subscription MMOs grew at a robust 27% in 2008.
  • By 2013, the subscription market will top $2 billion in consumer spending.
  • Much of 2008’s growth has come from games that employ premium subscription models, which rely on freely “distributed, downloaded and accessed games” where “players are encouraged to sign up to a subscription to access premium content”.
  • Consumer spending on premium subscriptions grew by 11% year-on-year, from 35% to 46%.