Sure, tons of people canceled their monthly subscriptions to big-budget massively multiplayer online games, but they aren’t saving that money. Instead, gamers are shifting to free-to-play games.

That shift will stimulate a continued growth in worldwide MMO revenues, according to financial analyst firm SuperData Research. The think-tank expects the industry, specifically on the strength of free-to-play, to reach $9.5 billion by 2015.

massively multiplayer online financial data


“I recognize that there is some debate over including League of Legends [in our data] since you can only build characters within a short timeframe and play with a more limited number of players,” SuperData business development manager Sam Barberie told GamesBeat. “But for research and competition purposes people tend to group it with MMOs, especially because you are still building and leveling up a character. Our data come directly from publishers and developers, so it’s sort of a two-way street of both them and us considering a game to be MMO.”

SuperData pointed toward 2012, where F2P games out-earned pay-to-play titles in all 12 months. This new model is here and it’s where the money is at.