How many people play MMO? — 2024 statistics

Massively multiplayer online games have become massive hits.


MMO stands for massively multiplayer online game, a genre where numerous players interact in a virtual world. The concept began in 1985 with the basic yet pioneering game, Island of Kesmai, paving the way for iconic titles like World of Warcraft. These games have evolved significantly, attracting millions globally. The MMO genre has evolved into one of the largest corners of the gaming industry and it has been a massive influence on how much the video game industry is worth, so we are going to be taking a look at the entire genre and presenting you with some MMO stats! Let’s dive into the numbers and see how many people play MMOs today.

MMO genre key stats

For this section, we are going to be taking a look at some of the most relevant and popular MMO games out there today to compare their success between them and to check out some relevant news regarding the genre in general. These games have seen their fair share of success in the gaming industry so you can be sure that there are quite a few numbers to consider.

World of Warcraft is the most popular MMO game with 122.6 million registered users.

(Source: MMO Population)

  • World of Warcraft had an average of 1.16 million players in November 2022.
  • The game is ranked #1 out of 138 tracked MMOs.

Whenever someone mentions MMO games, most of the time, the game that comes to mind is World of Warcraft. The game came out in 2004 and has since been an instant hit with many gamers worldwide, many of which have dedicated thousands of hours to the game and accomplished a high number of feats and accomplishments. There is no denying that World of Warcraft has been a massive hit in the gaming community and will continue to be relevant for many years to come, and that’s why we’re using it as the base game for the information here.

The MMO industry is expected to grow by $21.25 billion from 2021 to 2026.

(Source: PR News Wire)

  • Its growth is expected to reach a 9.45% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) in the same time frame.
  • The industry is projected to experience a 9.01 growth percentage year over year.
  • It has a 48% performing market contribution.

This line of stats is very complicated and it serves to show us how the MMO market is constantly evolving and growing the further time goes on, as is apparent when you look at the fact that the genre is expected tođ grow by a couple of billion dollars from 2021 to 2026.

New World players have to pay more taxes on their gold than Jeff Bezos does in real life.

(Source: Kotaku)

  • The standard tax rate for trading posts in New World was 2.5%.
  • After one of the patches, the tax rate was increased to 5%.
  • To compare, Jeff Bezos usually pays a tax rate of 0.98%.

Here we have some real-world stats to tie into the MMO genre through a pretty funny example of Jeff Bezos and his ineptitude towards paying taxes. New World was a fairly popular game when it just came out, being rated around 6/10 in most cases. In either case, the trading tax rates for New World are pretty steep and it is an unusual thing to have in an MMO in general.

43% of MMO players are between 30 and 39 years old.

(Source: Statista)

  • 40% of players are between 18 and 29 years old.
  • 23% of players are between 40 and 49 years old.
  • 8% of players are over 50 years old.

Here we can see that a large percentage of MMO players are a bit older compared to the usual age of gamers in general, being around 18 to 24 years old. We can’t say exactly why this stat is the way it is, but we can be sure that the age of the rest of the MMO players in the world is a bit lower, just as you would expect. This is because the games are usually quite inclusive and players from many age ranges can play them comfortably.

50.9% of male MMO players are full-time employees.

(Source: Nick Yee)

  • 23.9% of players are full-time students.
  • 12.8% of players are part-time students/employees.
  • 10.1% of players are unemployed.
  • 1.5% of players are homemakers.
  • 0.7% of players are retired.

One of the most common stereotypes that come with the MMO genre pertains to the idea that all MMO players are unemployed basement dwellers, but this cannot be further from the truth. From this line of stats, we can see that the vast majority of male MMO players are actually full-time employees, implying that they simply play the game in their free time as a way to unwind.

World of Warcraft players have created 500 million characters.

(Source: World of Warcraft)

  • The game is available in 244 countries.
  • 52% of players have chosen Alliance, while 47% of players have chosen Horde.
  • 9 million guilds were created.
  • 11 million Pandaren characters were created.
  • There are 100,000 pages of content on the WoW wiki.
  • There are 6 million words in the World of Warcraft story, which is more than 12 times the words The Lord of the Rings has.
  • There are 619 unique pets and 504 unique mounts.
  • There are 900,000 PvE and 670,000 PvP instances in Azeroth each day.
  • There are 2.8 million daily trades in the Auction House.

While these statistics are fairly old considering that World of Warcraft has been out for a very long time, they are still useful for some perspective on how massive the game is. World of Warcraft players tend to be quite dedicated to playing the game, and we are sure that all of these numbers have only been steadily increasing over the years.

MMO games esports and Twitch stats

Alright, in this section we are going to take a look at the Twitch stats surrounding some of the most popular MMO games to see what their user engagement looks like. MMO games are massively popular in the gaming community so we can be sure that we’ll see some impressive numbers in the Twitch category. Aside from that, we are going to also be taking a look at some of the esports earnings that a few of the most popular MMO games have made, just for the sake of perspective.

World of Warcraft had 340.6 million hours watched on Twitch in 2022.

(Source: SullyGnome)

  • There were 8.9 million broadcasting hours of the game in 2022.
  • The game had 38,885 average viewers.
  • 1,134 average channels were streaming the game.
  • The game had a viewer ratio of 34.4.
  • The game was ranked 13th based on average viewers in 2022.
  • It was ranked 25th based on peak viewer count.

This just goes to show that World of Warcraft is definitely the most popular MMO game in the world as it acquired hundreds of millions of dedicated Twitch viewers throughout the entirety of 2022. The numbers that the game has pulled in 2022 alone are epic, but the interesting thing we’ll be taking a look at is in the next line of stats.

Lost Ark had 337.1 million hours watched on Twitch in 2022.

(Source: SullyGnome)

  • There were 6.73 million broadcasting hours of the game in 2022.
  • The game had 38,482 average viewers.
  • 768 average channels were streaming the game.
  • The game had a viewer ratio of 50.1.
  • The game was ranked 14th based on average viewers in 2022.
  • It was ranked 7th based on peak viewer count.

Lost Ark was released in 2019 and it immediately gained notoriety as one of the most popular MMOs of its time, quickly becoming a hit in the gaming community. The plot of the game is about gaining power by collecting fragments of the Lost Ark. The gameplay is interesting and it feels quite smooth in a game market where you have developers just churning out games for the sake of it. It had nearly the same amount of hours watched on Twitch as World of Warcraft, the domineering MMO of the last decade.

The World of Warcraft esports scene has awarded $7.6 million in prize money.

(Source: Esports Earnings)

  • The game has had 168 tournaments.
  • The tournament with the highest prize pool was the Arena World Championship with $330,000.
  • The rest of the tournaments have prize pools ranging from $280,000 to $110.
  • $2.24 million of the total prize money was awarded in the United States.

While MMO games are not that popular for their esports scene as they lack the replayability and competitive nature of games with more stable esports scenes such as Dota 2 and League of Legends. Nonetheless, the game still has a relatively healthy esports scene that has seen plenty of tournaments and millions of dollars in prize pools.

The most successful World of Warcraft player is Rene “Swapxy” Pinkera with $214,724 in earnings.

(Source: Esports Earnings)

  • He has taken part in 34 tournaments.
  • He is ranked #25 in Germany.
  • He is ranked #1109 in the world.

The final line of stats we have for you is concerned with the World of Warcraft player that has earned the most money from tournaments and can be considered the most successful player in general, at least on the pro scene. Swapxy is definitely a veteran WoW player and you can be sure that you can turn to him for any PvP or PvE questions you might have!

To sum up

And that would be all we have to say about the magical world of the MMO genre! As you can see, MMO games have been around for a very long time and they have spawned some of the most epic and memorable titles, many of which are going to be remembered for years to come. Although this genre of gaming has received its fair share of criticism over the years, from comments about it ruining people’s lives and being a waste of time, the vast majority of MMO players are down-to-earth and they are some of the best members of the gaming community! We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed the information presented here and we hope that you learned something new!


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