Over the past few years, anticipation for The Elder Scrolls Online wavered from unbridled enthusiasm to ground-kicking disappointment. When ZeniMax Media first announced the game it seemed like a dream come true for fans, but when they started hearing more, and eventually seeing more, that initial excitement began to wear off.
Now that the launch of The Elder Scrolls Online has come and gone, many might wonder whether the MMO actually made a dent on the market. And we have those answers.
According to SuperData, an analysis firm that releases an annual report on the state of the MMO market, The Elder Scrolls has been very successful for ZeniMax Online Studios and Bethesda. As of this writing, their subscriber numbers chart somewhere around 772,374, which is very good for an MMO that was thought to be D.O.A. But it appears the game is doing just fine, and has even expanded its reach to Steam within the last week.
On top of strong subscriber numbers, The Elder Scrolls Online‘s average revenue per user is actually ascending — a surprising stat given the state of subscription-based MMOs. In fact, revenue for subscription-based MMOs with microtransactions has been on the rise as a whole, up from 14% to 27% over the last five years.
That being said, the subscription market is shrinking, and is down from 30.6 million subscribers in 2010 to 23.4 million in 2014. Moreover, subscription market revenue is down to $2.9 billion, with an average spend per user at about $170 (or a little over $14 per month).
While these numbers only give us a cursory glance at how The Elder Scrolls Online is doing, they do suggest that there it still a place for a subscription-based MMO, provided it is attached to the right property. On the flip side, free-to-play MMOs surface fairly regularly, and many find ways to carve their own niche. But we wouldn’t expect TESO to go free-to-play just yet, as clearly their numbers are strong enough to keep going with subscriptions.
Also, in case anyone was wondering, World of Warcraft is still hugely popular in the MMO space, tallying 36% of the worldwide subscription-based MMO market and over $1 billion in revenue. Coming in at a distant 2 and 3 are Lineage 1 and TERA: Online, for those who are curious.
Are you one of The Elder Scrolls Online‘s subscribers? If so how much money have you put into the game?
Source: VG 24/7
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