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MMOGs may be directing largely
toward free-to-play and microtransaction models, but a recent report
has shown that the subscription model is still alive and kicking. We
take a look at the validity of the revenue model today in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/loading/2010/sep/28">Loading...
It Ain't Over Yet.

cellspacing="0" width="100%">


You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/">What
is The Pulse?).

top 5 Pulse results:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World
    of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/99">Lord
    of the Rings Online 
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2">Everquest 2 
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/73">Stargate
    Worlds (UP 24) 
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/33">Gods
    and Heroes: Rome Rising (UP

movers today

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/147">Myst
    Online: URU Live

    - UP 101
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/254">Aion

    - down 4
    style="text-decoration: underline;">
  3. style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/183">Guild
    Wars 2

    - down 4
size="-1">Recent Releases
  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2461"
    for Speed World
  • size="-1">7/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/starcraft2" target="_blank">StarCraft
    II: Wings of Liberty
  • size="-1">8/17
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/140">City
    of Heroes: Going Rogue (release)
  • size="-1">8/18
    - href="http://everquest2.com/free_to_play">EverQuest
    II Extended (release)
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/7
    - size="-1"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aion">Aion:
    Assault on Balaurea (free

  • size="-1">September
    30, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/ffxiv" target="_blank">Final
    Fantasy XIV size="-1">
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">October
    26, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/170">LEGO
    Universe (release)

  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">November
    2, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1407">DC
    Universe Online (release)


  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/5 -
    10/8 - href="http://www.gdconline.com/">GDC
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/8 -
    10/10 - href="http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/">New
    York Comic Con
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y" target="_blank">BlizzCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 3/24
    3/26 (2011) - href="http://fanfest.eveonline.com/" target="_blank">CCP
style="font-weight: bold;">World
of Warcraft:
Brewfest Tankard O' Terror Contest

October is just around the corner, so you know what that means.
It’s that festive time once again when we get to raise or
virtual tankards in World of Warcraft in celebration of the annual
in-game Brewfest event! To help get you into the spirit (or should that
be spirits?) of the event, we’ll be giving away not just one,
but two signed Tankard O’ Terror’s from href="http://www.taverncraft.com/">Taverncraft.
For full contest details be sure to race your ram over to our href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/wow/brewfest">Brewfest
Tankard O’ Terror Contest page!

Enter now as the contest ends on Friday, October 1st at 11:59pm! style="font-weight: bold;">Rift
- Ask the Devs!

Have you got a question about style="font-style: italic;">Rift:
Planes of Telera?
Well, you have a chance to ask the devs at Trion Worlds directly. Just
submit your questions href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53660">in
our forums.
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore/scoreboards"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 249px;"
alt="World of Warcraft PlayerScore"

your PlayerScore?
World of
Warcraft players, find out at href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/playerscore">playerscore.com.

Loading... MMOG goodness
without the trans-fats.

to Screen Digest subscription
MMOGs are alive and kicking,
despite the influx of free-to-play and alternate subscription models.
Last year alone the revenues went up $200 million from the $1.4 billion
in 2008. 56% of this market is in North America, while the other 44% is
in Europe (this report did not cover other continents).

Of another interesting note, Activision Blizzard lost 6% of its market
share in 2009. Why I find this particularly interesting is because I
have no idea where that 6% went. 2009 didn't have a whole lotta'
subscription based games come out, so either style="font-style: italic;">Champions Online
or Aion
got a big bite of the market,
or older games gained a good bit of momentum. I would be surprised if
it was the latter as it's not often gamers will try something old
instead of something new, but in some ways that seems the more likely

If the trend continues, by 2014 subscription model games could reach
revenues of almost $2 billion. That's a big enough pie for many to want
a piece, so ultimately it's not surprising that several new games
including Gods
& Heroes

are going with a traditional subscription model. (Be sure to check out
our exclusive href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gnh/interviews/heatwave-interview-sep-2010"> style="font-style: italic;">GnH
while you're at it.)

The other question is where Blizzard is going to fit in by 2014. I
wouldn't expect them to continue to lose 6% of the share every year as
they did last year, but if somehow they did, they'd be down to 26% of
the market share. Even in a worst case scenario though, if the
projected growth is correct, that's still a $520 million /year share. I
don't know anyone who would complain about that payroll.

In the same report, we see that the average revenue gained per player
went down 10 percent over the year, with only $13 million coming from
recurring subscriptions. That's right. Only $13 million worth of
revenue came from players who enjoyed a game enough to subscribe for
more than a month. That is quite shocking as pending overhead costs, it
could mean only one to three million players stuck with a single game.
This, to me, is really telling of how drastically things have changed
since 1999-2004 when almost all players played the same game for at
least a year.

How does this compare to free-to-play games?

Earlier this year a href="http://www.strategyanalytics.com/default.aspx?mod=ReportAbstractViewer&a0=5689">similar
report put microtransaction
driven games at
$8 billion by the end of this year. However, it is very important to
note that that was a global estimate, whereas the Screen Digest report
was for the North American and European markets alone. It's very clear
that the Asian market holds a much larger stock in microtransactions
than anywhere else, so it's still somewhat difficult to tell which
market is more lucrative for the Western developer.

If I were a betting man, I'd wager that by 2014 we'll see mostly
microtransaction revenue modeled games, or hybrids a la style="font-style: italic;">EQ2x,
and LotRO,
with only a few daring
contenders duking out the revenues from the subscription models. In
fact, I wouldn't at all be surprised if by then Blizzard and BioWare
were the only real contenders left for subscription games.

What do you think? Let us know in the forums.

Epic Thread of the Day

From our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=689">PC
& Console Games (Non-MMO) forum

href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53656"> style="font-weight: bold;">Civ 5

Are you one of the many gamers who waited not-so-patiently for the
launch of href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2755">Civilization
You're not alone. In fact, there are plenty of gamers in today's epic
thread who are fans of the Civ series, and turn-based strategy games in
general. They've come to discuss Civ 5 and how it compares to its
predecessors. href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53656">Join


Quotes from the Epic Thread

don't see replacing my Civ 4 time with Civ 5 anytime soon. Its a fine
addition to the series hour devouring legacy but it just feels
'smaller' for lack of a better word.

- href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showpost.php?p=442518&postcount=4">SirRobin


and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

8 new Ten Ton Hammer
features today! 96 Ten Ton
Hammer features in September! 1051 in 2010!


the Emperor! Gods and Heroes - An Interview with Heatwave Interactive



everywhere were excited when they heard that Gods and Heroes was not
dead, but had been given an imperial reprieve The Roman-mythology based
MMOG, initially developed by Perpetual Entertainment, was acquired by
Heatwave Interactive. Ten Ton Hammer, in order to learn more details on
the state of the game, journeyed to the palatial villa of Heatwave
Interactive. There we
learned details from Anthony Castoro (CEO of
Heatwave Interactive), Phil Tittle (Produder), and Theda Sandiford
(Marketing Director.)


Happened To...


about a game that never made it to the retail shelves, or shut down
before it had its chance to shine? We've researched a few of these sad
tales and brought you the findings, and all the skeletons we've dug up
along the way. This article will tell the story of a few of these
forgotten worlds:  Stargate Worlds, Hellgate: London, Gods and
and Myst Online.


Super Hero Squad Online - A Heroes & Helicarriers Preview



Ton Hammer recently focused our mutant telepathic powers on Marvel's Ed
Chang and Marvel Super Hero Squad Online Creative Director Jay Minn to
learn the latest on this kid-friendly free-to-play coming in early
2011. We'll learn about newly revealed playable characters like Thor,
the Human Torch, and Wasp, have another look at missions and gameplay,
plus learn more about the built-in card game and player housing via
Helicarrier. It's all in our latest preview of Marvel Super Hero Squad

Cataclysm - Thousand Needles Preview


Needles a vast canyon filled with towering pillars and, most notably,
home to the Simmering Flats and the Mirage Raceway. After the events of
Cataclysm, however, rumors have begun swirling that this zone filled
with harsh beauty has been utterly consumed by water. Join us at Ten
Ton Hammer as we explore Thousand Needles and find out for ourselves
just what Cataclysm has wrought on the zone.


Weekly Report - Brewfest, Cataclysm, Tanking a Ten Tons More


WoW Weekly Report is our newsletter dedicated to giving you a
of the previous week in news, stories, and more. This week we had so
much content created that it barely fit into just one issue: eight new
pieces of content, PlayerScore updates, a contest, and news! Wow! Key
articles include looks at the 4.0.1 patch, pending Cataclysm world
events, Paladin Tanking, zone previews and a whole lot more. In
addition to all that great onsite content, check out all the news
regarding World of Warcraft so you don't miss a thing.


Game World Video for Marvel Super Hero Squad Online



(and many adults) are eagerly awaiting the release of Marvel Super Hero
Squad Online, the free-to-play MMORPG developed by the Amazing Society
and published by Gazillion Entertainment. Exclusive to Ten Ton Hammer
is this dev diary video showcasing the game world of SHSO.
You’ll see a
lot of familiar landmarks that Marvel fans will want to explore and get
some good looks at the gameplay, even some dancing X-Men.


Fantasy XIV - Tips & Tricks


Fantasy XIV is a complicated world full of many intertwined systems,
each as feature-rich as the last. As such, it is possible that actions
you would find easy to accomplish in another MMOG are beyond your
comprehension in this land. To help you along the way, we've assembled
some helpful tips to assist you on your adventures.

of a Solar Spymaster #52 - The Rise of Independent Media


rise of independent media has had a heavy impact on the EVE Online
universe. Information that was once obtained by spies infiltrating a
corporation and leaking out details can now at times be obtained by
simply searching the right website. All this has had a profound effect
on the EVE Online universe with both positive and negative
consequences, a subject that The Mittani focuses his attention on in
this week's Sins of a Solar Spymaster #52 - The Rise of Independent

Top 10

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/shso/previews/sept-2010"> style="font-weight: bold;">Marvel Super Hero Squad
    Online - A Heroes &
    Helicarriers Preview
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gnh/interviews/heatwave-interview-sep-2010">For
    the Emperor! style="font-weight: bold;">Gods and Heroes
    - An Interview with Heatwave Interactive
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/minstrel/overview">Ten
    Ton Hammer's All-New Minstrel Class Guide for style="font-weight: bold;">Lord of the Rings Online
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/guides/politics/incursion-pre-look">A
    Preliminary Look At The Incursion Expansion For style="font-weight: bold;">EVE Online
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/cataclysm_patch_guide">A
    Guide to the Major Changes in style="font-weight: bold;">WoW
    Patch 4.0.1
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/editorials/what-happened-to">What
    Happened To... href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/vindictus/previews/sept2010"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/vindictus/previews/sept2010"> style="font-weight: bold;">Vindictus
    Preview - Enter the Next Generation
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/guides/politics/interview-PAX10">CCP's
    Noah Ward Talks About The Upcoming Incursion Expansion For style="font-weight: bold;">EVE Online
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/guides/cataclysm_priest_talents"> style="font-weight: bold;">WoW Cataclysm:
    New Priest Talents href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/wow/brewfest"> style="font-weight: bold;">
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/interviews/core-gameplay">Core
    Gameplay in Guild
    Wars 2
    - A Ten Ton Hammer
    Exclusive Community Interview href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/previews/lego-universe-preview"> style="font-weight: bold;">

for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Benjamin J. de la Durantaye and the Ten Ton Hammer

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016