Next-gen game publishers challenge consolidated MMO market in Europe

Totaling €1.3 billion in 2012 across the major European countries, the market for client-based MMO titles is highly concentrated. With just three companies generating 70% of annual revenues, a next generation of publishers has emerged to challenge the status quo. The incumbents—Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Gameforge—find themselves confronted by several new entrants that might just be big enough to offer competition.

European MMO Market

Offering unique insight into the European market, SuperData partnered with ICO Partners on a study titled Client-Based MMORPG in Europe. The 254-page report takes a detailed look at the key European markets, including Germany, the UK, France and Poland, and bases its findings on an analysis of 88 different titles. Among its findings, the report emphasizes “the emergence of big media platforms either as partners or direct publishers” as a result of increased acquisition costs. Their access to large audiences provide an important advantage in bringing traffic to games.

Nexon, famous for its MapleStory and 2.7MM monthly active users across all their titles in Europe, recently purchased a minority stake in NCSoft and Gamania to gain a foothold. The Asian giant is one of the few capable of even competing with blockbuster titles like World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot and Star Wars: the Old Republic.

In Germany, the biggest European MMO market with €474MM in sales last year, the broadcasting group ProSieben, bought Burda:ic and Covus to expand its footprint in online games. And Perfect World acquired Cryptic Studios as part of its expansion into the Western markets.

Beyond an analysis of the various competitors, the report also offers insight on the relevant European markets, detailing top MMO titles, payment preferences, game genres and settings, a breakdown of graphic engines used across the market, client sizes, and more.

Key findings include:

  • The client-based MMO market totalled $1.3 billion across its major markets in 2012.
  • Three publishers dominate the space, generating 70% of all revenues.
  • Germany is the largest European client-based MMO market with €474MM in 2012 sales, more than double the size of the UK market (€281MM) and France (€222MM).

To learn more about the study Client-Based MMORPG in Europe, please visit our friends over at ICO Partners, or contact us directly. Existing subscribers are eligible for a discount on the report.

Learn more about SuperData’s research on the worldwide MMO market.