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Business Week Article

Posted by Keith Cross on Oct 02, 2007  | Comments

Business Week Article  - Lord of the Rings Online - MMORPG.com

 

It’s easy to forget sometimes that behind the fun and escapism of MMOs are real and thriving businesses. Sure, they take our money for the box and monthly fees, but really, it goes beyond that. MMOs (and video games in general) are a big business. That fact is never so clear as when a publication like Business Week takes an interest. 

Yesterday, the site published an article titled, “Tolkien’s Virtual World Takes Off”, in obvious reference to Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online.  Author Matt Vella not only wrote an entertaining article, but also made a few good points along the way that we here at MMORPG.com found interesting:

  • 4million unique characters have been created in the game so far. This led Vella to speculate that somewhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000 people are playing the game (only 5 characters per account… fun with math)
  • LotRO has sold 200,000 copies since launch. In the same timeframe, WoW had sold 335,000.
  • The online game market is currently worth about 4 billion dollars. In five years, professionals estimate that number at 11.8 billion.

Jeff Anderson is not a nerd. The 40-year-old chief executive of Westwood (Mass.) video game developer Turbine is six feet tall, with the frame of an NFL linebacker. Nevertheless, he presides over a vast and rapidly growing virtual world of elves, orcs, dragons, and hobbits.

In April, Anderson's company took the wraps off the Lord of the Rings Online, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for PC, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's classic books. The explosive growth of the game—players have created some 4 million unique characters in just five months—has vaulted the company into the top tier of online game design companies and made it the largest privately held developer of massively multiplayer games in the U.S.

Read the whole article here.

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