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March 10, 2006


Susana Rodriguez

Is this an elaborate and twisted plan to justify your love for computer games?


No. I don't need justficiation.

Van Kwok

The box office take understates the total dollars generated by feature-length films by a significant margin. From the contractual dollars generated by the studios for premium cable, DVD release, and broadcast royalties, the lifetime value of a feature film can be 3-5X+ what its ticket sales generate. Also, are your WoW sub numbers US only or world-wide, since they've licensed the game to several international operators, including The9, who runs WoW in China. I highly doubt anyone in China pays $15 per month. Churn in the sub base (which is pretty high) also make it difficult to take a straight multiplication of the per-month fees times the average subs to calculate annual revenue.

Hit MMOGs are cash machines when they are successful, but the on-going investment in sub acquisition, retention and servicing are all expensive costs that studios largely don't have to incur for movies. There has also been significant price pressure in the Asian MMOG world that I suspect will become more prevalent in the US and push the per-month fees down as well. Tell me about the last time the price of a movie ticket decreased. (^_^)

I'm not disagreeing with your overall sentiment that gaming is becoming a significant force in entertainment to rival feature-length films, but I'm not sure that a fair comparison of the total cashflow generated by each content medium would conclude gaming is a clear-cut winner at this point.


Very good points. Shows my argument is coarse, which it is. I've gone astray without your analytical rigor to keep me in check :-)

We heard from the company that owns WoW (don't remember the name) that the overall numbers are indeed near $1B/year. So maybe there more subs than we thought that pay less than $15 globally. What is the price people pay in China for such a subscription by the way?

Content owners do make a lot from DVD sales etc, that's very true, so yes, perhaps Wow is not there yet in terms of topping Titanic yet. Star Wars probably made billions in merchandising too (all those action figures). It's a social phenomenon that influenced the lifestyle of two generations. I doubt a game will do that for years to come.

Maybe we'll have to wait a few years to make the statement more rigorously, but we agree the trend is pointing in that direction. We shall see.

Susana Rodriguez

And don't forget the massive revenue generated by virtual commerce in MMOGs.
The retail industry is also beginning to pay attention to the success of gaming and we're starting to see apparel featuring these games. Leroy Jenkins is on many many t-shits these days!

Tolunay Orkun

Hi Baris,

As for Star Wars, Lucas is taking in revenue generated through Star Wars games as well.



Nice to hear from you!
Yes, George Lucas is a smart guy isn't he?

Trevor Stafford

I have followed up on your idea with an article that talks about the startup-like challenges faced by Blizzard and WoW, and how they overcame them. Oh yeah and it does mention the fact that WoW is at the billion-dollar revenue per year stage given its 8 million subscribers (with China's likely profit factored in).

I'd like to respond to the person who talked about total cashflow of movies vs online games. I'd like to point out that, for WoW at least, there are spinoffs that are very lucas-like. Including:
Clothing (mentioned above)
Costs incurred from character transfers and similar fees
Figurine sales
Playing card sales
Licensing agreements for books, the WoW CCG (collectible card game), DVDs and more
Oh and of course CD (china) and retail sales (rest of world) for new subs.

I'm not an apologist for WoW, I don't even play it, but I follow the industry.


I want to say - thank you for this!

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what is the total number of video games ever published?

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Great post!..very informative post...yes, i love playing video games too but then sometimes i got bored and love to be entertained by a movie.

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Re: Games are more entertaining and interactive. Why would you watch entertainment when you can be part of it? - Yeah, I second that! :) Gaming brings more fun, excitement and entertainment than watching!

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those drawings are awesome. hahah it's super cute. i could just imagine myself when i was a little boy, i could draw better than than this. LOL just kidding. :D


Wow well I can say, I was one of them, I was playing an online game, was a free server but you can make donations and purchases the points for donation items, like hats, armors, weapons, etc etc
I was stuck in this game for 3 years but I just donate $60 for 3 years.

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Today, children have access to educational video games as they study in school, as lot of educational institutions make use of video games as auxiliary materials. These games actually work great and effective in teaching children various academic skills.

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You share such a great difference between this.It is really great to know about it.

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well, I'm one of those freakies fan of World of Warcraft, and I have to tell that is so exciting have wisard, a rogue or even a druid to play with. for me is an relief experience

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This is not surprising but disturbing just the same. We can still help each other learn how to make better choices. My annual blog event called Teach a Man to Fish included top chefs,


I'd like to say you're right.Nowadays the video games play a very important role in the entertainment field.


The game is won or lost when either the bubbles reach the bottom of the screen or the player manages to clear all the bubbles from the screen. The play itself is simple, just line up the arrow with the direction you wish your bubble to travel and click the pointed part of the arrow to fire your bubble towards the pack. If you manage to explode a set of bubbles with more than three of the same color, then that "hit" will be worth more points than a pack of three would be. So, as an example, one set of six bubbles is worth more than two sets of three.

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I think game based learning can be huge, and not only can it be a positive for students and children, but it's a big market opportunity as well.

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