StingingVelvet wrote on Dec 14, 2011, 11:17:
Wonder how long WoW and TOR can hold out as subscription services with everything else being "free."
WoW? Until blizzard's next MMO which is already in the works. I'm convinced thats the only thing thats going to finally kill off WoW. We will see the sub numbers drop down (its already started as seen in blizz's latest numbers they mentioned), I'm going to guess it will settle around 4 million, and then once blizzard releases the next, then it will break new records.
Meanwhile, blizzard will have diablo 3 to pick up some of the income slack, what with taking a cut of all the real money auction house stuff happening.
Keep in mind that even at 4 million it would be far more than any other paid MMO.http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/Subs-1.png
Above 1 million its quite a rarefied atmosphere.
Lineage used to be more, but looks to me like it was trending down so much they stopped announcing numbers after it dropped back down below 1 million so no new numbers for almost 2 years now. A quick google shows that they just shut down servers for L1, and L2 just went F2P, so they aren't going to be doing subscriptions anymore. For a brief while Aion was near 4 million, but now obviously its fallen, else they would have never needed to go F2P.
Eve isn't even in that list, its significantly less than 500k. Whats interesting is looking at other charts below 1 million:http://mmodata.blogspot.com/
For instance warhammer online went up to 800k almost immediately, then plummeted a month or two later to less than half that (perhaps after the free month expired? I never played it, so perhaps not enough end game content? Or did it just suck?).
All these companies doing MMOs think they will have easy money and get WoW like numbers, they get dollar signs in their eyes thinking about the money pouring steadily in month by month, year after year. Doesn't happen. Repeatedly we see failures. Companies need to plan an MMO to survive and be profitable on a couple hundred thousand subscribers (and that's if it doesn't suck), or else just forget the whole subscription plan and go F2P.
The disaster that was APB showed how quickly a company can go bankrupt if they don't have even a little common sense about how to run an MMO. They burned through over $100 million and were broke at launch. In fact, their business plan was written that way with no reserve! Their numbers were 130k subscribers, which is actually not too shabby for a new MMO, but they were depending on millions.This comment was edited on Dec 14, 2011, 15:37.