WoW not so far ahead of everyone else?

It’s widely been recognized that WoW is and has been the king of the MMO market. Whether striking a nerve that EQ2 didn’t, or being so digestable that it brought in crossover players, it can’t be denied that Blizzard’s big hitter is number one. On the other hand, it has it’s problems. People have been screaming lately about the possibility that Age of Conan and Warhammer : Age of Reckoning might steal away WoW’s PVP crowd by doing it better, more intelligently, and with a little more care. Still, AoC and WAR are still a ways away from launch, and most likely won’t see a population boom for a few months after that. However, one other MMO has been slowly & quietly climbing the sales charts : Guild Wars.

WoW, having reached 10 million subscribers in late January 2008, has been the focus of the MMO industry’s growth. But it’s Guild Wars that should be the true mark of growth. While WoW has brought in players well and above the much accepted MMO player base (that is, an MMO only had to sell about 500,000 copies to be considered “wildly successful”,) the recent anouncement that Guild Wars has sold 5 million copies is the real news. People are still coming to MMO’s via WoW, but they’re now staying here and having a look around.

With the recent release of the sci-fi alternative Tabula Rasa, the PVE beauty LOTRO, & Pirates of the Burning Sea for the magic-hating PVP crowd, we’re seeing a huge boon to the MMO crowd. No longer is the genre content with carving up the same small player base, but now reaching out into the overall gaming world as the preeminent PC gaming destination. So what kind of numbers can we expect out of future titles like AoC, WAR, Star Trek Online, and Blizz’s proposed next-gen MMO? At this point it looks like the sky’s the limit.


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Mike Black is…

A writer, reader, commentator, music lover, art lover, futurist, tech lover, pragmatist, romantic, DepDecoist, and a bastard. Hopefully you enjoy.

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