It’s 2011. World of Warcraft is hailed as the largest (and argued by some to be the best) MMO on the planet. WoW boasts 11-12 million active subscribers. Brighthub lists Aion as WoW’s closest competitor at 3.5 million users, which is only a third of the player base. Though if we bend the definition of MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online – though usually requiring a permanent world) just a little, we find that Blizzards behemoth already has been trumped and by no small margin. Zynga’s Farmville, the Facebook app, has somewhere between 60 and 80 million users - easily 5 times the player base of WoW. So, hasn’t Zynga already beaten Blizzard? Not quite.
First, we need to remember that Farmville isn’t truly an MMO. Is massive and has many players and is online, but it doesn’t have a true persistent world such as WoW or Aion. Second, FV clearly isn’t trying to be even the same type of game. It’s more so a social networking past-time. A place to loiter for a few minutes a day in between status updates, as opposed to an hour sucking beast that WoW or other MMO’s can be. But MMO gaming companies need to realize, it’s 2011 and social media is king.