Monday, September 27, 2010

The Eastern MMO Saturation

On MMORPG.com, they have 393 MMOs listed. This is an amazing number of MMOs considering that WoW has about 60% of the MMO market (oh, that was in 2008, the latest number is 54%).

From there, we extrapolate how many MMOs are in the East (China and Korea mostly), and how they are almost all F2P with Item Stores. Also, Piracy in China is thought to be massively rampant (I know some people who read Tobold's Blog who would feel at home there!). Interestingly, despite predicted growth of up to 9.2 billion dollars by 2014 in China for the MMO market, the Chinese are switching from MMOs, to Social Games.

Zynga (the company that has probably the most facebook games in existence, and what most people think of when Social Gaming is mentioned) reports 1 petabyte per day. They are expanding with 1000 new servers per week.

PopCap (makers of Bejeweled, and Plants vs. Zombies) did an interview recently of how they have been modifying their games to the Eastern Market. Shortly after that interview, they talked about how awesome they are compared to Zynga.

Now we have been eyeing Farmville for awhile now, and are mostly very much against it being considered as a game. On the other hand, Plants vs. Zombies is not only a good game, but is now being included in WoW.

So, we are seeing that in China, there are too many MMOs and they are switching from those to Social Games. In the US., Social Games and MMOs are two completely different markets, but... is it possible to switch it the other way? Will we see more people going from the Social market into the Casual MMO market? Or will they simply progress to PopCap games?