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Revenues Continue to Soar for MMORPGs, Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, is a genre in which users from anywhere in the world can connect to a central server, which hosts a virtual game environment.  Game playing is as much a social activity as a solitary pursuit, as many players connect online with opponents both known and unknown.  Players may interact with one another in cooperative or adversarial game settings.  Users often pay monthly subscription fees, to services like Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s Online Entertainment network, to access the content.  Many games are designed so that players must conquer a large number of challenges to win points and proceed to higher levels.  Game masters reach the pinnacle by performing all tasks, which can number as many as 60 or 70 and require countless hours of play.

The latest dedicated game consoles provide players with access to online games in addition to locally installed software.  Xbox console purchasers tend to purchase an Xbox Live Gold membership to online services, including access to apps for services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO GO, in addition to a wide variety of high quality, online multiplayer gaming.  As of mid-2017, Xbox Live had about 52 million members.  Sony offers All Access (formerly StationAccess), which it bills as an online service offering “low-price, all-in-one” subscriptions for its games.

To a large extent, the future of MMORPGs will be shaped by the immense popularity of smartphones.  Games that can be played from multiple locations via mobile devices as well as on PCs or dedicated game playing devices are vital to today’s mobile consumers.  Google and other firms are developing tools to make virtual reality headsets work with smartphones, which will make sure that mobile gaming has access to leading edge technologies.

Meanwhile, apps that are “companions” to MMORRPGs are on the rise.  For example, Sony launched an app for Dust 514.  The app enables users to purchase items and customize their game features.  They can then save their changes and purchases so that they will be available the next time they start the game on their Sony PlayStation.

Games on Facebook are free to users, but many game producers find this no-cost entry for players a path that eventually leads to high revenues through advertising and games sold outside of Facebook.  A number of manufacturers of blockbuster game titles are entering the social gaming arena.  By February 2018, London-based King’s social games Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga topped Facebook’s monthly game leader board.



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