The chart below represents market share in the Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming industry. Guess which slice is World of Warcraft? I found it and many others at a website called mmogchart.org, a serious effort to track MMOG statistics. This is all part of a personal undertaking to understand the appeal of these games more.
One conclusion I get from the data is that most MMOGs today are in decline, perhaps because of the popularity of World of Warcraft. Only Runescape, Eve Online, Second Life, Tibia, and a curiously named game called Dofus have been able to deliver sustained, decent growth for the last 12 months. Dungeons & Dragons Online will probably do the same, it’s growing fast, and has a built-in fan base.
I don’t play any MMOGs, though it’s not for lack of other people trying to get me into it. My friends who play MMOGs tend to be great advocates of their game and are always trying to get me to join. I tell them I already have a time wasting Internet hobby and I don’t need another. It can get annoying at times, all the talk of DoTs, Gnomes, mining and jump gates, but this is mostly because I have no idea what the hell everyone is talking about*. I’m in no position to lecture, but at least my time wasting Internet hobby is slowly making me more literate.
Still, the social pressure is undeniable, which is as good a reason as any for why WoW is as popular as it is. Me, if I did play one, it would probably be Eve Online. I like spaceships and killing monsters gets old real fast.
* a hilarious parody of this is found here. Don’t play it with the kids in the room.