The World's Most Popular MMORPG

Posted by Daeity On Friday, December 24, 2010

Recently, a U.S. Senator called out the University of California, Irvine on their shameless waste of tax payer's money "studying" World of Warcraft.

Walt Scacchi, a research director at UCI in response stated that "They absolutely don't get what we're doing". This study can only benefit mankind right? I mean.. playing World of Warcraft SAVES LIVES man. They're heroes!

What I didn't understand, though, was that they called World of Warcraft the "World's Most Popular MMORPG". I suppose everyone interprets the definition of a "MMORPG" differently.. and even the whole definition of "subscribers" is pretty flexible.

WoW is certainly very popular in Irvine CA and the rest of the Americas.. but the entire world? I suppose it is popular in some areas of the world due to the massive amount of money Blizzard invests in promotion.. so, it's "very well known". But most popular? Does popular mean most amount of players? I'm assuming so.

So, let's see how WoW holds up against other MMORPG subscriber counts worldwide. Here are some of the largest MMORPG's by population or "popularity" that have listed their subscription figures:

Dungeons and Dragons Online - 2 Million
Knight Online - 4.25 Million
Flyff - 5 Million
Guild Wars - 6 Million
Metin2 - 7 Million
Gaia Online - 8 Million
Lineage 1 - 10 Million
Free Realms - 12 Million
World of Warcraft - 12 Million
Wizard 101 - 15 Million
Silkroad Online - 18 Million
Lineage 2 - 20 Million
Second Life - 20 Million
Dofus - 30 Million
MU Online - 40 Million
DarkOrbit - 50 Million
Perfect World - 50 Million
Scions of Fate - 50 Million
Ragnarok Online - 60 Million
Farmville - 80 Million
Westward Journey Online II - 86 Million
Maple Story - 100 Million
RuneScape - 130 Million
Dungeon Fighter Online - 200 Million

All of these numbers are certainly debatable, but these are the official subscribers counts.. apparently.

So in the end, I wouldn't necessarily call WoW the "World's Most Popular MMORPG". When I heard "World's Most Popular MMORPG" I immediately thought of Maple Story and RuneScape actually. Therefore, it would be much more appropriate and accurate to call it "The Most Well Known Non-Free Non-Browser Client-Based 3D Fantasy MMORPG In Some Parts of the World."

Maybe "World's Most Popular MMORPG" is a trademark or a registered company name that Blizzard owns. You know, like McDonald's "100% Pure Beef" marketing strategy. It's written on their packaging, but "100% Pure Beef" is really just the name of the company that manufactures the processed meat. It doesn't actually MEAN the meat is 100% pure beef though. =]