The global market for massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs or MMOs, for short) is worth $8 billion (£5.1 billion) in 2010.

The overall revenue from MMOs such as Blizzard's mighty World of Warcraft is set to grow by a phenomenal 60 per cent this year.

Wow WoW!

The latest market predictions come from a recent industry report by Strategy Analytics.

The MMO market was worth $5 billion (£3.2 billion) last year and $8 billion in 2010, says that report.

2009's revenue is was up 17 per cent on 2008's revenue of $4.15 billion. Which shows that the market is growing a rapidly accelerating rate in 2010.

Booming Asian MMO scene

All is not rosy in the western MMO market however, with Strategy Analytics actually reporting a general decline in growth in the west (outside of World of WarCraft).

It is the increasingly lucrative Asian market that is bolstering the overall growth in revenues from MMOs, with publishers such as Shanda, Netease, Nexon and NCsoft leading the way.

"Contrary to the flattening Western market, the Asian MMORPG market has grown immensely since 2007, due to the successful virtual items-based revenue model," said Strategy Analytics' Jia Wu.

"As more Asian online game companies target US and European markets, they will become a formidable force in the global gaming industry."

Via Gamesindustry.biz