Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Economic Growth of Online Gaming

For our class today, April 19, I will be discussing the growing infrastructure and competitive market of the online video gaming world. My focus is on the company Blizzard, the owners and creators of Call of Duty, Star Craft, Diablo and my main topic World of Warcraft. The topic for this week is mobile media and web 3.0: how are emerging technologies impacting society? I aim to answer that question by discussion the game World of Warcraft (WoW). This game started online back in 1994 and has grown into a powerhouse of Massive Multi-player Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) that collect hundreds in revenue from those who play.
                We may not see the internet as an emerging technology, but the impact it has on our daily lives is hard to miss. When it comes to Web 3.0, online gaming is very much affected by this. A gamer will choose to play online with anonymous players and live in a world that has been created for them by a team of graphic designers, tech systems and the video game creators. Game companies can host their products for free on the internet, or like Blizzard has found out, gamers will pay for the best. To play a WoW game, the game price is from twenty to forty dollars. If the player wants to take their skills on the internet,  which is the point of MMORPG, then the monthly subscription fee is fifteen dollars. Fifteen dollars multiplied by twelve months means a gamer will pay one hundred and eighty (180) dollars a year to play against other people they have never met. Based on data In 2011*, World of Warcraft had twelve million (12, 000,000) active gamers.
$14.99/month x 12 months = $179.88 year subscription to World of Warcraft
$14.99 x 12, 000,000 players = $179,880,000 subscription profits for one month
$14.99/ month x 12 months x 12 million subscribers = $2,158,560,000 revenue from online subscriptions in one year.
                The economic revenue for online gaming is a considerable amount, probably more than the developers were ever thinking they could make on a venture like this. The online gaming technology has turned a generation from playing outdoors to using LED screen as entertainment. The emerging technologies can be seen as a double sided coin: one shows technological progression while another shows social regression.

*Note: the active member figures given by gaming companies are not completely accurate (trial members are considered active members even if they never pay after the trial) so figures are rounded to create an idea of the membership base.

1 comment:

kljacob said...

In class this week, the question was how are mobile media and emerging technologies are effecting society? With my discussion topic of economic growth in online gaming, we see that people are willing to spend hundreds of dollars to live in an online world. Serious gamers will spend hours online, creating anti-social behavior and choose to make "friends" online than have some in real life. With technology advancing and media devices becoming smaller, like smartphones, it's easier to keep up with a technological life than a real one. In class, I gave the example of the humans in Wall-e and how they were so focused on the digital screen in front of them that they were missing the real life interactions going on around them. I'm not saying this is what will happen to us, but can be used as a warning for what technology could do to us.