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Multiplayer Economics

All online-game revenue: $5 billion a year

Projected online-game revenue for 2012: $13 billion

Projected Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games revenue for 2007: $1.9 billion

Projected revenue by 2011: $3.5 billion

Massive multiplayer games on the market: 50+

In development: 50+

In development at NCsoft NA: 4

Typical cost of developing a high-end multiplayer game: $40 million

Percentage of such games that don't recover costs: 95%

Measure of success for a new role-playing game: 100,000 subscribers

Average monthly subscription cost: $15

The megahits:

World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment) 9 million subscribers

Lineage (NCsoft) 2 million

Ultima Online (Electronic Arts) peaked at 200,000

Eve Online (CCP) 150,000 to 200,000

EverQuest (Sony Online Entertainment) peaked at 500,000

Source: DFC Intelligence

A version of this article appeared in the November 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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