Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chinese WoW players pay less ... so ?

Sure they do pay less than US and EU players, but not as little as some people think.

It is always funny when people claim my site has no validity and then show how they are pretty clueless themselves.

We had this little discussion here on and one of the claims was that the 11,6m number from Blizzard is invalid because Chinese players pay less.

Well I disagree, first of all they pay a lot more than claimed here :

That article is pretty biased and incorrect

Yes Blizzard does get a lot less money from the Chinese subscribers, but that is not only because the Chinese pay less, but also because Blizzard is not allowed to run online games in China by itself and has to use expensive Chinese providers to run the game for them.

That is also why Blizzard changed from the The9 to the Netease provider, because they would get more royalties.

According to the Gamasutra article here : Gamasutra Blizzard will get around $140 million in royalties annually, at the time China had around 5 million subs. ( 6,5m subs for Asia ). $140m devided by 5m chinese players equals $28, devided by 12 months equals $2,3. Blizzard gets around 55% of the royalties, so the average Chinese player pays around $5 per month. That is assuming the royalties are calculated on the total revenue, otherwise it could be even more.

$5 per month may not be much to our standards, but you have also to take into consideration that employees in China are a lot cheaper, so they have less operational costs compared to the EU or US.

If you go look at the source Wolfsheadonline used : Gamasutra then there it is clear that the 6% revenue is because of the 22% royalty deal with The9 ( as in Blizzard gets only 22% of the money made from the Chinese players ), this actually results in $1 royalty per month per Chinese player, which is consistent with the other article, because if the royalty is more than doubled ( from 22% to 55% ) then we get around $2,5 doubled again to get the total of around $5 per Chinese player.

These are rough calculations, and hovers around $5 per month per Chinese player, but it certainly is not $1 like Wolfsheadonline claims.

In the same way, Europeans pay quite a bit more than Americans because of the strong Euro. If you take into account the lower salaries of the Chinese, the difference between China 5$ and the US 15$ is not that much bigger than the difference between the US 15$ and the EU 20$. So should we not take into account the American players?

Imho even tho the Blizzard numbers are not perfect, they are pretty valid, including the Asian part.


  1. I don't see why they should not count.
    But are the chinese actually paying for WoW atm? I haven't heard that the game is out of it's open beta yet...

  2. WoW went out of beta on sept 19, and started charging and allowed new users to register again.

  3. Aha, I did try to check if that was the case before I posted... But google failed me. Or maybe my search criteria was a bit off. XD
    Keep up the good work man!