Azeroth: Population 5 million and counting

Recent launch in new regions pushes number of World of Warcraft users to another milestone mark.


Blizzard's World of Warcraft has been a pleasant surprise to the PC market, proving that the platform isn't dead and establishing itself as the benchmark for massively multiplayer online role-playing games. In late August, VU Games reiterated the game's success with the announcement that WOW had reached 4 million customers.

The game was first launched in North America, Australia, and New Zealand in late November of 2004, and it has slowly spread across the globe, tallying impressive numbers in Europe and Asia. The Irvine, California-based developer announced today that the game has netted 5 million customers worldwide.

Blizzard defines a "customer" as one who has "paid a subscription fee or purchased a prepaid card to play World of Warcraft," or someone who "has purchased the installation box bundled with one free month [of] access." The company also counted "Internet Game Room players [who have] accessed the game over the last seven days" as paying customers.

"World of Warcraft's growth continues to exceed all our expectations," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard. "We want to reiterate our thanks to the millions of players worldwide and to all the retailers who have enthusiastically supported the game over the past year."

The latest regional launch in early November introduced Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong to the game that allows players to roam a persistent virtual world populated with orcs, magic, and other fantasy subjects. Though this latest launch marks one of the final territories to get its WOW on, Blizzard isn't planning on relaxing.

"Our commitment to continue growing World of Warcraft is stronger than ever, with development on future content patches and on our 2006 expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, well underway," added Morhaime. The Burning Crusade expansion is expected to be released sometime in 2006.

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Avatar image for strategyguy

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

Avatar image for matt082191

All of you people are suprised and are saying "OMG, WHO WOULD PAY MONTHLY FEES. OMG OMG OMG", should just be quiet. If you can't pay for the game, stop complaining about the monthly fees, it's very annoying.

Avatar image for kindreadth1

World of WarItems should be the name of the game. The game is extremely heavily item based. Don't believe me, hit up the videos on Any n00b can pwn in PvP. However, the game design is focused on PvE no matter what anyone on this board says. Yeah grats to Blizzard for taking a tried and true design to profit. They have yet to introduce anything to take the genre to the next level although we're in like the "3rd generation" of games for the genre. We're still stuck in 1st gen. The only game that has taken the step in the right direction for this genre and PvP fan has been Shadowbane. Unfortunately the developing team was comprised of some morons in a least they tried. For the MMO PvP fan, we're stuck in the background for some time to come. As well as anyone that wants anything innovative. 5 years I've played MMOs and it's been the same thing time and time again. Until you people stop paying for the same rehashed ideas in a pretty new box with different graphics this genre is doomed. Why innovate when you have a cash cow to feed off of....

Avatar image for Greedo

I really don't get it. Why does everyone in the world want to play with orcs and dwarfs and magic and dragons and the like? Isn't that genre played out? I loved Morrowind and liked the Lord of the Rings movies, but that's about it for my fantasy interests. I think the WOW graphics look terrible. Why don't more people play City of Heroes/City of Villains? I grew up reading comic books and loving the first two Superman movies and some of the Batman ones. Do people think COH/COV are too dumbed down? Grant it, they're not the most complex games out there, but it's a unique genre, done well, and they have good stories. The character customization is fantastic. Why aren't there good sci-fi games? I played SWG for a while then gave up on it. Too bad that game wasn't done as well as it should have been. The devs disappointed me too much to not to want to play the new version. The most interesting upcoming online game to me is Huxley, but I don't know enough about it to pass judgement on it just yet.

Avatar image for Atarii

Congratulations Blizzard on your continued success.... I'm a WoW player and I love it. I don't mind the monthly fees becauyse the game is so very fun. I hope the expansion is just as good as promoted by Blizzard.... we'll see.

Avatar image for f_k_hosseni

I never played MMOR but i tried 10 day free trial from 3dgamers and than I bought it. It's the most fun RPG money can buy At least you can try free trial

Avatar image for gunner2200

That is just crazy! Blizzard must be swimming in hundred dollar bill$.

Avatar image for Dahok

ok pre WOW i was a happy normal and functional guy, with a GF, A job, and friends. Thn those friends got addicted to WOW and i scoffed. Then they got me to play WOW i weeped. Now i still got A GF whose been very patient with me, a Job that gives me opportunities to be on the com all day reading about WOW, and my friends in a guild together. All i know is i make time for all of it, but i cant help feeling addicted. Still my GF thinks the idea sounds cool, and if i got her hooked to hey we'll be all set. And my friends and myself have never been closer. I do find myself likening everything in my day to the Game though. And i always end my posts with this. FOR THE HORDE!

Avatar image for Mista_Sal

Not really a fan of MMORPG so thankfully I haven't been sucked in. I tried FF XI and it just gets too boring for me. Not bad for Blizzard though.

Avatar image for chrisdojo

dang....that's a lot of ppl.... i would try it out if there was no subscription fee..... oh and broadband would help.

Avatar image for SavoyPrime

I would really like to try this game out, but it's hard enough trying to manage time for games, work, my girlfriend, and my daughter now.

Avatar image for hittin

monthly fees suck.

Avatar image for linkdarkside

FF11 is a better game since is more harder

Avatar image for NeoJedi

Holy hell that's a lot of Azerothians (sp). Never played the game though, not my kind of thing, but it's good to see that a game like this is gaining popularity like it is.

Avatar image for jakeboudville

5 Million players and still growing................

Avatar image for SulaMoon

US$15 is not that expensive.. Cut your cable, youre not going to watch TV anyway. But, for pvp, I still think WoW lacks some ^^

Avatar image for Kilik_Raizen

if the montlhy tax wasnt so expensive.... you could surely count one more into those numbers :P

Avatar image for eckertt001

If you have self control it is impossible to get addicted. With WoW you can casually play, and still get the same enjoyment. This is the one MMOG that is nice to casual players like myself who only put 2 to 3 hours every other night. IMO it is a well done game.

Avatar image for Igiss

10 million milestone to hit soon :) As for me, WoW just getting too massive. I'd prefer something less crowded.

Avatar image for nemes1s3000

lol, Multiply $15 by 5 million -- comes to $75,000,000 / month. Blizzard's gettin mighty rich.

Avatar image for vaejas

I'm sure WoW is fun, it's fun to watch in the cafe's and read about Dark Iron guilds, but I can't afford the time to have a fourth job. Even CoH/CoV became too much effort, so I'll stick with single player RPG storylines that gel to my schedule.

Avatar image for revthegod

i dont see the big deal about paying a monthly fee its so you can get new content every month like instances boss fights and new areas to explore and new spells and weapons and armor to find im a big fan of wow although i recently canceled my subcription due to lack of having a life lol

Avatar image for Oni

Just think if they made a "World of Starcraft" MMO, nerds everywhere would spontaneously combust, lol. WoW can be like anything if you don't do it in moderation. Highly addictive? Yes. Worth a monthly fee? Most Definitly. Best PvP in a MMO? You're darn tootin. Can ruin your life? Er,, no comment :p

Avatar image for secily

I predict 10 million users in 2006

Avatar image for a55assin

i would rather spend 50 bucks a month for lunch than WoO..only because of the addiction level....ur becoming a zombie if u play...ur not normal!!!only people who have time for are people who either live ur moms basement or are 12 years old and failing all ur no rm

Avatar image for ulrikz

About the monthly fees, yeah they are used to keep servers going and content flowing to your computer, and the content that Blizzard creates, really is good. And instead of buying a new game every month (50 dollars), you spend 15 dollars and continue playing. :)

Avatar image for darkside5001

Not true with WoW. Granted, there are a LOT of MMOG's out there with no other purpose than to drain your money for as little work as possible. But Blizzard has REALLY stepped up with supporting and expanding WoW. You aren't getting the same weak content repackaged every month. Initially, the game started without a large number of things, real PvP tops among them. Blizzard didn't just slap together some haphazard PvP system. They built a PvP system that could have been sold as an expansion. Bottom Line: Play WoW for the month before you dismiss it as too expensive.

Avatar image for aaron123

Some people have never tasted the better combat of CoH/CoV apparently. =\ Jeez. I guess if you like Diablo 2 it might be your thing, but I just hated WoW in the trial.

Avatar image for andrewtyen

its an awesome game

Avatar image for FourSwordsx4

I wish people would stop *****ing about the monthly fees. Play the goddamn game and you'll realize that the $15 a month is worth it.

Avatar image for EqualPlatinum

Think about what these people could do together in RL. Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking? Revolution! :D

Avatar image for serioustom

lol I was on the WOW addicted once but i break free. I go back to WOW when Exp pack comes out.

Avatar image for niko44

The game is now at 30$ not 50$ so it's the best time to get it and people who get addicted to it have no self control whatsoever i used to be addicted but i can control myself now.

Avatar image for a55assin

let's see...u pay 50 for game...30 for boadband...what is it? 15 a month for wow or something and ur paying all of this money for getting addicted and ruining ur friend plays wow and he relates EVERYTHING to wow....EVERYTHING!, he changed from some 85 average in junior year to like below 70 when he started to play wow, id rather play diablo..u cant get addicted cause there is too much problems that keep u from playing too long lol and its like 10 bucks so u can waste ur money ot ur life...real life not ciber wow life ...

Avatar image for maxxseven

5 million paying subscribers can't be wrong. Play it for a month like Khasym says, you'll likely change your tune when you realize just why the game costs a monthly fee. It's worth every penny. I never believed it myself until I finally played it. Now, it's just about the only game I play, and I own every major console and handheld (plus, I have a PC, obviously).

Avatar image for doomed51

OMG more ppl are getting addicted!! just like me hehe

Avatar image for crazy_boy166

i love alot more diablo 2

Avatar image for Khasym

Not true with WoW. Granted, there are a LOT of MMOG's out there with no other purpose than to drain your money for as little work as possible. But Blizzard has REALLY stepped up with supporting and expanding WoW. You aren't getting the same weak content repackaged every month. Initially, the game started without a large number of things, real PvP tops among them. Blizzard didn't just slap together some haphazard PvP system. They built a PvP system that could have been sold as an expansion. Bottom Line: Play WoW for the month before you dismiss it as too expensive.

Avatar image for wiz4ha

Exactly. THink of it this way: Break it down. You pay $30-$40 a month for broadband... now, think of the pipe you'd need to handle 5 million users. Then you need to hire people to make content, to watch the servers, you need a building to hose the servers, etc. It's the game with no end in sight, and it's worth the money.

Avatar image for bluryder

Well, people buy TVs and then pay for cable. Same thing.

Avatar image for sacredBed

id rather stick with diablo 2

Avatar image for dinodude64

agree with Midnight games are expensive enough as it is without paying a mounthyl fee

Avatar image for LordOfMidnight

That's crazy. All those people buying a game at retail and then paying a monthly fee? No thank you.

Avatar image for kanorn

w00t. WoW is AWESOME. =D If anyone wants to add meh'. Server: Ursin ScreenName: RaRw

Avatar image for AA7

Fun game, try it out.

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