Let’s face it: World of Warcraft is the standard to which other newly minted MMO’s are compared. It’s the elephant in every room in every competing developers office. Because, as we’ve no choice but admit, every other major MMO is competing with WoW. Sure, to some extent with each other as well, but the prize is the amazing subscriber numbers that Blizzard has been able to amass. While we’ve seemed to move on past the point where every significant launch is heralded as the ‘death knell of WoW’ (Aion, Rift, SWTOR, etc), there’s always still that cautious eye raised towards the king of the mountain. Will it be dethroned or will the latest challenger fail to even shake its lofty perch? Of course, even with its pet behemoth, Blizzard has to be concerned when a new contender arises. And they’d be fools to not take a few preemptive strikes… (more…)
It’s 2011. World of Warcraft is hailed as the largest (and argued by some to be the best) MMO on the planet. WoW boasts 11-12 million active subscribers. Brighthub lists Aion as WoW’s closest competitor at 3.5 million users, which is only a third of the player base. Though if we bend the definition of MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online – though usually requiring a permanent world) just a little, we find that Blizzards behemoth already has been trumped and by no small margin. Zynga’s Farmville, the Facebook app, has somewhere between 60 and 80 million users – easily 5 times the player base of WoW. So, hasn’t Zynga already beaten Blizzard? Not quite.
First, we need to remember that Farmville isn’t truly an MMO. Is massive and has many players and is online, but it doesn’t have a true persistent world such as WoW or Aion. Second, FV clearly isn’t trying to be even the same type of game. It’s more so a social networking past-time. A place to loiter for a few minutes a day in between status updates, as opposed to an hour sucking beast that WoW or other MMO’s can be. But MMO gaming companies need to realize, it’s 2011 and social media is king.