The number of people downloading free-to-play Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games has grown 450 percent since 2009, according to new data from Pando Networks, the game delivery network.
The firm said that more than 38 million people will download an online game using Pando services in 2011, and more than 70 million people have done so since 2009.
“While the media is saturated with stories about the rapid growth of social and casual games from the likes of Zynga and Rovio, the free-to-play MMO genre also continues to grow swiftly,” said CEO Robert Levitan. “We expect continued robust growth as traditional game publishers move to full digital distribution and embrace the free-to-play model.”
In the US, the number of people downloading games using the Pando platform increased by 162 percent from October 2009 to October 2011, rising from 4.8 million to 12.6 million. In Latin America, the number increased 595 percent during the same period while Europe’s growth was even more explosive, climbing 1025 percent over two years.
Pando cited popular MMO games such as Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online and Blizzard’s World of Warcraft as leading this growth.