World of Warcraft hits 11 million

Blizzard's monstrously popular MMOG reaches new subscriber milestone two weeks before launch of second expansion.

Blizzard Entertainment is just over two weeks away from releasing the second expansion pack to its genre-dominating massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King. And despite increased competition this year from the likes of Funcom's Age of Conan and EA Mythic's Warhammer Online, Blizzard has managed to continue to stave off WOW fatigue to usher in that expansion's arrival.

Today, the Irvine-based developer said that its worldwide subscriber base had exceeded 11 million. Adding a little color to that number, WOW's citizenship would rank just higher than the total population of Greece, according to the Central Intelligence Agency's World Fact Book.

As revealed in Blizzard parent company Vivendi SA's recent financial reports, World of Warcraft has been on the cusp of hitting 11 million subscribers since July. Today's milestone comes just over 10 months since Blizzard touted WOW's 10 millionth subscriber in January.

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.

Wrath of the Lich King will launch for the PC and Mac on November 13. For more on the WOW's second expansion, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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291 comments
mohamedfahim7
mohamedfahim7

world is going to burn becuse every one taking about world of warcraft

mohamedfahim7
mohamedfahim7

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

shadowblade99
shadowblade99

The guys at South Park will have to make a follow up to their WOW show. LOL!

sfrattini
sfrattini

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

It's actually 10,999,999 subscribers since one of the 11,000,000 is my second account I bought to get my Zebra mount.. And no, the current patch which is basically Lich King minus Northrend and Deathknights, is bloody horrible, at least in it's current incarnation, since all the talent trees have been broken until a player reaches level 80. That's not to say you cannot get a good spec if you specialise, but old specs like 40/21/0 for mages are busted till you hit 80. So, atm, I hate the patch, and it'll always rate the worst ever in my mind.

bob_rulz
bob_rulz

Shadow, it doesn't matter what the quality of Wrath of the Lich King is. More than likely, the vast majority of WoW players already think that WoW is the embodiment of God and just want more of the same thing. So subscription will just continue to increase until there's actually an MMORPG that seriously competes with it.

Piromanaz
Piromanaz

Blizz employees probably wipe their asses with 100$ bills.

Shadow_th
Shadow_th

I have a bad feeling about WotLK to be honest, I'm pretty sure the PvP will remain more of the same, basically we'll get 10 more levels, more gear, more instances, more stuff to do made by professions, etc. While I enjoyed TBC, I think it was clearly overrated, failed to improve major aspects of WoW which I found to be lacking. Warhammer looks far more promising to be honest. And @Senrir, rofl at that korean(?)/asian/whatever game, just like the rest must be a freaking grindfest. And cry more about grinding on MMORPGs, it's like complaining about having to reload on a FPS, there will be always some progression taking some time, the key is how you mask it or how you provide alternate ways to the progression (ie leveling from pvp like other game around).

LaniReaper
LaniReaper

WoW is a strange game. How much enjoyment you get from it comes in spikes. While you're in a spike, you forget the rest of the world exists. Then, the spike wears out, and it gets boring, so you go cold turkey... for a while. Repeat cycle. At least, that's how it is with me. Good on ya, Blizz.

Tsunami_pt
Tsunami_pt

Why are the WoW players noobs with nothing better to do, dsa0224? Don't YOU have anything better to do then checking and commenting a "noob's news"?

dsa0224
dsa0224

basically its 11 million people/Noobs with nothing better to do. and the ticker in the counter keeps on growing.

FoxExecutive
FoxExecutive

I have a job and I do other activities like sports, fishing, and going to movies. I play other video games as well on other systems. I play WOW as well and enjoy it. I don't ever find myself saying, "I play this game way too much." I am really looking forward to the expansion. To the people that say WOW makes you have no life, exactly what life are you living that you can't play a little WOW?

GhostStalkerX1
GhostStalkerX1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Alf
Alf

for tha horde!

TheCraving
TheCraving

Wow. I can remember back in my WoW days, stood in Orgrimmar, listening to two people talk. Basically the discussion was that WoW will die after the release of Warhammer. How wrong they were! Part of me misses this game but then I'm reminded by the other part of me that it is FAR to time consuming. Good to see its still alive and kicking though.

ElChino223
ElChino223

11 million people with no lives very sad.

Tom-The-Tyrant
Tom-The-Tyrant

they make about 2.8 billion dollars a year revenue, just to clarify

Oni
Oni

It's a fun game and doesn't get boring if you don't over do it. I think some people burn through it too fast.

Spuntnike
Spuntnike

I love this game... but it is too addictive! It caters to both casual and hardcore crowd, and that is it's main problem. When i was playing WoW, I was a virtual recluse, because I had no idea how to curtail my playing of the game. However, once i got even the tiniest bit bored of it I left, cold turkey. WoW is great, but it is the computer version of Cocaine, one taste and you are hooked

Tsunami_pt
Tsunami_pt

After my last post, I can feel the negative reviews coming...

Tsunami_pt
Tsunami_pt

To all the WoW haters: Ok, so in your mind, since there are so many ppl playing the game, it has to be bad? Why? It's not "hardcore" enough, because it's not a game that just a restricted few play? I bet that you loved this game at launch, when it was still low populated. But now, you don't wanna be confused with the rest of the "noob" population, so you probably love any other game, not as polished and few of bugs, just because they look good on paper. Now you can call me a Blizzard fanboy. I have no problems with that. The truth is that Blizzard never disapointed me with any game, unlike other companies like Konami, Mythic (yes, I wanted to play War, but it still has a long way to go) or Obsidian. The day they disapoint me, I'll be the first to admit it. And so that you know, I'm 29, have a steady job and a gf. I do have a life. But I love to play WoW when I have free time. My WoW m8s are (all but one) above 23 years old. So, why is this a "kid's" game again?

fer1990
fer1990

If this trend continues... most of the world will be in the WoW World... wow... imagine that!

psycho_path
psycho_path

By the time I start playing WoW, it'll be about 12 million already. Impressive!

matte989
matte989

I love the comments about 'kids'. Funny, I personally don't know any kids that play Wow. I do know three executive directors, one board member, and six programmer analyst's. My brother is 19 and isn't into Wow at all. He would rather go out to clubs, etc. I think MMO's are way more attractive to the older crowd. There isn't much that gives you unlimited entertainment for 14.99$/month.

Senrir
Senrir

Whoa .... cant imagine theres A LOT of people grinding everyday! :o I my self was a WoW player once ... but after the level cap was reached ... there was practically nothing to do ... when the expansion arrived ... I then realized the boredom of "Grinding". I now hate mmos that promote grinding ... actually theres only one upcoming mmo that doesnt promote the said thing =D ... "Wakfu" is the name of the game. google it if your not interested in grinding. Open Beta starts tommorow I think. Uff ... I pity those who grinds >,>"

-x-Lulu-x-
-x-Lulu-x-

I personally think this is a great game, 15-20 dollars a month doesnt phase me. Im so excited for WotlK! I love the new achievement system its awesome!

Chronikas
Chronikas

@ Orangecrushers: If I cancel my broadband...how am I supposed to come in here?

Chronikas
Chronikas

I just would like to say that all you WoWers out there should take a break...and play Fallout 3.

amber_jade
amber_jade

Personally, it's not my cup of tea, and I could never justify the cost of the subscription unless I played it in most of my free time. However, fair play to Blizzard for making so much money out of it. I would say that the game must have a lot of good qualities to have lasted for so long with so many subscribers...

Brainkiller05
Brainkiller05

Ah well, every single one of them will look back in a few years time and say "uh wth happened to teenage life" and regret ever starting it... be warned =)

lanista
lanista

WOW ;-)) That's a lot of numbers...!

OrangeCrushers
OrangeCrushers

thewickedcool - "Blizzard doesn't make 165 million each month because operating costs are probably around 150 million" There is no way that operating costs are anywhere near that number. They might be 25-35 million Tops. Blizzard is making at least 125 million a month on this game. Then you take out Taxes and the money they are spending on other projects and they are probably pocketing around 50 million a month is cold hard cash.

OrangeCrushers
OrangeCrushers

By the way for those that are trying to suggest that 11 million users in no way suggests the quality of the product, you people really cant be the blind can you? This isnt Big Macs were talking about, its the videogame market and how well a game sells, especially over the long term like WOW, is absolutely a direct reflection of the quality of such a game. If it wasnt such a great game it would have never survived or done nearly as well as it has. The videogame market is absolutely one of the few markets out there where numbers = quality. If you havent figured that out yet about this industry then your clueless and shouldnt even be speaking about such topics. Trust me we get it, alot of you people hate Blizzad and hate WOW and will do everything in your vocal power to bash them but in the end it only makes you look like a jealous fool. Other videogame companies would kill to have a product like WOW and many of them are dumping a ton of money into MMO's after seeing what is possible with a quality product. There is nothing wrong with not liking WOW but to continue to make such ignorant claims only reflects poorly on yourself, not WOW or Blizzard.

Ebag3587
Ebag3587

ghettomaster22 yah they arent counting expried accounts only active or under free month periods, if they counted everyone they would be prolly at around 18 or so million total. Just get ready for the new expansion, shi* is gonna hit the fan, goodbye warhammer, goodbye age of conan, those games were just temporary games for people who were waiting for this expansion to come out.

OrangeCrushers
OrangeCrushers

ghettomaster22 - "Does anyone realize this INCLUDES canceled and expired accounts? " Sorry Ghetto but your 100% wrong and this has already been explained by Blizzzard. Try readin up on something first before making comments that clearly show you have no clue what your talking about. Again Blizzard made this info open to the public and it absolutly does not include such accounts. As for the rest of the people still harping on the addiction thing, you people really just dont get it do you. Your being on the interent hour after hour followed by watching TV hour after hour followed by playing console games hour after hour is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENT than people playing WOW. They are all form of escapism and your most likely spending just as many hours in total with such activities as they are. Just because you happen to switch it up and move from one form to the other doesnt suddenly make your ways better than thiers. Stop Watching TV, Quit playing Videogames, Call your cable company and cancel your broadband connection and then you can come in here and preach about how much better you are then them. Until then your nothing but a hypocrite and a blind one at that. Again Blizzard is no different than every other company involved with TV, the Internet, movies and videoagames. The only real difference is the amount of money they are bringing in from such products. Blizzard could start thier own Bank from the cash they are bringing in but considering that is the kind of world we live in, good for them.

Fexxe
Fexxe

LoL! More kids to join the endless grind! Jesus..

Janpieterzun
Janpieterzun

Will other mmo makers just quit. The prospect is scary. Bioware, save us!

anticap
anticap

I love this game. I think it's the best MMORPG out of all the ones I've played (which isn't many - Guild Wars, Eve Online, The Matrix Online and Neocron 2). Glad this means it wont be dying any time soon.

ghettomaster22
ghettomaster22

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

thewickedcool
thewickedcool

ghettomaster, did you read the article? it says "The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards." Blizzard doesn't make 165 million each month because operating costs are probably around 150 million.

ghettomaster22
ghettomaster22

Does anyone realize this INCLUDES canceled and expired accounts? Seriously, they aren't doing nearly as well as they did before trust me. I don't know why not a single person here has not don their research, with all this bullsh*t by saying "wow 15 x 11 mil is 165 million a month!" Trust me, if they were making 165 million a month everyone would have stock in blizzard. They should release an article with active accounts and then we'll see how well they are really doing.

Enok666
Enok666

character reinforcement goes recoment

Marzillius
Marzillius

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Redd_0332
Redd_0332

I love this game, WoW really is an instant classic and indeed one of the most epic games a majority of us will see in our lifetime. This is a game that every PC gamer must at least try-out with the 10 day free trial. Although the game doesnt start getting fun until you reach higher levels now that everyone has 70's. As a college student, i really wish Blizzard would drop the monthly fee, although we all know that wont ever happen. I would just love to start playing again.....

mashom
mashom

This Game really deserve this.

vegarnj
vegarnj

addictive you say? any game can be addictive asswell. the reason they have 11 million players is that wow are one of the greatest online games in the world.