Massively multiplayer online, or MMO, games are generating serious dollars these days and doing so in a way that suggests that revenue opportunities are still nascent.
Counter to what we see with console games, the bulk of the revenue appears to be coming from subscriptions. Generally speaking, subscription revenue for MMOs and MMPORGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) is better than license revenue for console games because it has a longer life span. Call it support, maintenance, or whatever you like, but a recurring revenue stream is what drives every software-as-a-service and open-source company.
GigaOm has reported on the Top 10 money-making MMOs of 2008 and the ways in which they all make money.
A few interesting points it makes:The top MMOs all require a piece of software to be installed to the local machine Subscriptions and prepaid cards are clearly working well Microtransactions are picking up