It has been more than four years since Blizzard Entertainment's massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft launched, but the blockbuster's user base continues to swell. Today Blizzard provided the latest update to World of Warcraft's population, boasting a subscriber pool more than 11.5 million people strong.
World of Warcraft reached the 11-million mark roughly two months ago. As for what could have spurred the extra growth, an obvious culprit is the November launch of the game's second expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King. After selling 2.8 million copies in its first day on shelves, the expansion finished its first month with more than 4 million copies sold, according to Blizzard. The developer cites both of those figures as records for a PC game, records that were previously held by the first World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade.
As Blizzard uses a variety of payment plans in different countries, the publisher defines "subscriber" thusly: "World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last 30 days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules."
World of Warcraft subscribers hail from a number of countries and regions, including North America, Europe, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Chile, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Most recently, WOW was launched in Russia and Latin America.