With the online gaming industry growing exponentially year after year, many industry analysts have made it their job to report current market conditions on an ongoing basis. Although there are many different kinds of games that can be played online, the industry can be comfortably divided into subcategories – online arenas, massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs), and social network games. Of these three categories, online arenas seem to be stealing the show in terms of revenue, although certain MMORPGs have been formidable businesses in their own right. To paint a clearer picture of the industry’s composition, we’ve compiled a brief overview of the key stats in each sector:

Memberships at an All-Time High

In the UK alone, the online gaming industry is worth approximately billions, with online games generating about £2.4 billion. The global market was worth around £31 billion as of the end of 2015, although analysts estimate that number has grown by about 7% in the past two years. Sites that specialize in comparing live casino games and online gaming platforms have also been on the rise in popularity, with millions of new signs up each year. Furthermore, online arenas seem to be profiting from the awareness as well, with attendance in regional gaming hubs reaching all-time highs.

MMORPGs Market Declining

The once glorious MMORPG market has fallen into steep decline after many users abandoned the potentially addictive gaming model in favour of more productive activities. In fact, many bloggers have written about the fall of MMORPGs. As in-game purchases became almost imperative to continue gameplay, many players simply walked away after having negative experiences related to draining their accounts and having detrimental binging sessions that would alienate them from friends and family. Although MMORPGs still represent a considerable fraction of the market, it appears the trend is shifting in favor of gaming types that offer fewer commitments and complexities.

Social Network Games Very High in Popularity

Given the fact that almost everyone has a Facebook account, it’s no surprise that games based on social networking platforms are insanely popular. Reports indicate that up to 50% of social network users also use the platforms to play games, and more than a third of all web surfers currently play at least one social game. The fact that these games often come in the form of mobile apps also helps their quest to becoming practically ubiquitous, especially among younger demographics and stay-at-home moms.

A Simpler Yet More Profitable Approach?

When you compare the above online gaming types based on financial stats, it’s clear that online arena platforms are ahead of the pack. Yet, ironically they seem to invest the least amount of time, effort, and funds into the graphics and functionality of their games. If you think about it, an online arena is infinitely more simple than a complex MMORPG, yet online arenas account for most of the online game industry’s annual revenue and absolutely dwarf MMORPGs in that regard. These facts suggest that humans are still remarkably vulnerable to impulse urges and instinctive risk taking activities that offer the possibility of a big reward since esports is the biggest reason behind the popularity of the online arenas.


  1. It does seem that social games are gaining popularity, but they won’t replace different kinds of games out there which cannot be played on a social network platform like Facebook, if you ask me.

    Heromanguy12 did not rate this post.
    • yeah, especially with steam the games you can play there are just far superior to social games on FB and a lot of games on steam still maintain the social aspect if there’s multiplayer

      Rex did not rate this post.
  2. Yeah mmorpgs aren’t quite as popular as they once were, it’s sad to see. I think the decline won’t affect established games like Runescape or WoW but indie mmos possibly.

    Rex did not rate this post.
  3. I think the decline of MMORPGs has to do mainly with the increase in popularity of other genres like Battle Royale and MOBA. For instance, once you complete story quests and craft everything you want to craft in an MMORPG, what else is there to do? Some MMORPGs have pretty good PvP which can keep players engaged in the MMORPG genre for a long time, but Battle Royale and MOBA have transformed PvP over the years that MMORPGs just can’t rival that.

    SnowyAE did not rate this post.