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Webzen CEO predicts huge growth for console MMOGs

Speaking at the London Games Summit this morning, Webzen America CEO Cindy Armstrong has predicted that consoles will overtake PCs in the MMOG market within the next decade.

Speaking at the London Games Summit this morning, Webzen America CEO Cindy Armstrong has predicted that consoles will overtake PCs in the MMOG market within the next decade.

She quoted figures from DFC Intelligence which forecast that US online game revenues generated from subscriptions, advertising and digital downloads will reach US$4.7 billion by 2011.

Armstrong believes that PC games will continue to dominate the market in Asia, but when it comes to the US and Europe, "By 2015 you're going to see more money generated off console than PC, because these countries are console countries."

She went on to highlight the importance of entering new markets such as India and Vietnam - where 100,000 people concurrently play Webzen title Mu.

Inevitably, as she herself observed, Armstrong's speech touched on World of Warcraft - which she concedes "was really the exceptional product that expanded everything".

However, Armstrong said she disagrees with recent suggestions made by THQ CEO Brian Farrell that it would be "misguided" to even attempt to compete with WOW in the current market.

"The key is being innovative," Armstrong argued. "Don't try to recreate World of Warcraft, you're not going to do it. Do something new."

One way in which to do something new, she continued, is to look at the console MMO market rather than focusing exclusively on PC gaming. "Console's a huge opportunity, and that's where I think we're going to see huge growth in both the US and Europe," Armstrong said, adding that "75 to 80 per cent" of the market for forthcoming Webzen titles Huxley and All Points Bulletin will be the US and Europe.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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