According to the web site MMOGCHART.com, Blizzard's popular World of Warcraft has surpassed all of its MMO rivals in market share. The addictive massively multiplayer online rpg captured a market share of 50.6% recently, topping other games such as Lineage, Runescape, Final Fantasy, and Everquest. World of Warcraft also recently exceeded the subscriptions list last February by acquiring more than six million subscribers.
How did the game get to be so popular? It's hard to pin the answer down to any one thing, but Blizzard has certainly been the most successful at figuring out what people like about the genre and then broadening this appeal to include as many players as possible. One innovation that Blizzard brought to the game was the idea of "rest time," where more casual players can gain experience faster after being away from the game for a few days. Another thing that Blizzard does well is handling small details: the game has, for example, the best-looking "mini-icons" (used to indicate items in your inventory) of any game that I've seen, and the various armor sets are beautifully detailed. The more imaginative art styles used in the game, as compared to competitors like Everquest II have also been cited as a factor.
News source: ArsTechnica
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