“Doll Web Sites Drive Girls to Stay Home and Play”, says the New York Times. Among the games covered are ones I hadn’t really paid attention to before, like Stardoll and Cartoon Doll Emporium.
Over at Virtual Worlds News they give this handy table summarizing the growth rates of some of these; I added to the table with additional unique user stats elsewhere in the article:
The NYT mentions that the category has grown 68% in the last year alone; some of the sites report 20% growth monthly.
My list of “the biggest MMOs in the West” is evolving rapidly. With Habbo Hotel and Runescape also clocking in with multiple millions of unique users every month, it may be possible that World of Warcraft is actually sitting around #4 or #5 in the top MMOs in NA and Europe.
Of course, by and large, the gamers and gaming industry will likely blow these off as “not counting” or “shallow” or something. I get that pretty regularly, particularly from folks who are hoping that I am not making something like these games myself. (I’m not — I just find it fascinating).