Projections of at least 18 million gamers online next year have set developers scrambling for part of this presumed $1.6 billion market. Some forecasts even have a quarter of all games online by 2002. Sony Online Entertainment and Electronic Arts have already jumped into the fray, both betting on subscription based services. EA.com, owned mostly by Electronic Arts, has about 200,000 players on its 4-year-old role-playing game called Ultima Online. A new subscription-based game by EverQuest, launched in February 1999 by Sony Online Entertainment, already has 300,000 members. The success of EverQuest has reportedly forced Sony to rethink its earlier presumptions that successful online gaming would be advertiser-driven.
To learn more, read pcworld.com.