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MCV - Genre Focus: MMO

There's no shortage of promising MMOs due for release over the next 12 months, but can any of them hope to cut into World of Warcraft's market share? Christopher Dring speaks to the major players to find out what the future holds for the genre…

In December 2008 Blizzard revealed that World of Warcraft had 11.5 million subscribers worldwide. It's the world's biggest MMO – certainly a far cry from the genre's humble beginnings, when only 50 players could go online at the same time in 1991's Neverwinter Nights.

The rise of the MMO has been astronomical. In just 15 years since Nights the genre has become the most potentially lucrative category in games. In China alone the market could be worth $5.5bn this year (according to Pearl Research).

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