The NPD Group has released data indicating that the value of US online game subscriptions exceeds USD 1 billion annually.
This finding was based on data gathered between October 2007 and March 2008. The NPD also said that 11 million people subscribe to online games each month.
"Now that NPD can estimate the value of the subscription market, it's clear that there is a sizable chunk of revenue being generated by PC gaming beyond what is reflected in retail sales," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.
Other analysts and execs have previously suggested that data showing a decline in PC sales does not reflect a true picture of the business because it does not account for digital distribution and online subscription sales.
NPD also analysed the demographics, finding that the majority of gaming website players are females over 35 years of age, while MMO players are largely males under age 35.
"The variety of content available to play games on the PC clearly can draw a diverse audience," Frazier said.
NPD has ranked the top MMOs and gaming websites for Q1 2008 in terms of subscribers as follows:
- 1. World of Warcraft
- 2. RuneScape
- 3. Lord of the Rings Online
- 4. Final Fantasy XI
- 5. City of Heroes
- 1. Pogo.com
- 2. Realarcade.com
- 3. Bigfishgames.com
- 4. Gametap.com
- 5. Disney.com