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 jyubo

btw i have been reading about a pro gamer in warcraft tft i dont care what you say about that game i know many of you dont like it but the guy says that blizzard made all great games but the only un-skilled game is wow..........

Avatar image for jyubo

can someone tell me whats the point of wow? ok mb you kill 102103120312030 creeps to gain lvl 60 and you click like 7000 times in 5 min but whats the real thingof game?well the horde must beat the alliance or alliance horde .. how? well by killing example the whole city but whats so dumb in it? when you kill 50 non pvp charachter of city/there was 51 example/the whole city revives???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sry for my dumb english use i never pay so much attention on boring games -.-

Avatar image for 2Apunisher

PPL if u dont play WoW dont start !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its like drugs i cans stop playing ;-S

Avatar image for darkfox101

guild wars doesnt need monthly fees.... HAH forget this crap!

Avatar image for middito

This game is one of the best dam games in existance, if the money is the problem jus get a gamecard for 29.99 (no tax) for 60days. Then if you cant afford to pay 50cents a day then you're probably to poor to have a computer. So Stop Complaining about the monthly Fee ( .> _

Avatar image for gamespotboys

This game is awesome. With 5 million users worldwide, there's bound to be someone out there you know who would give you the 10 day trial period guest pass so you can try it out yourself. After that, decide whether 15 bucks a month is too expensive for you or not. If you read this site at all, and if you trust the reviews on gamespot, then you should give WoW a shot. It's the same with all RPG games. The more time you are willing to invest in it, the more content you'll experience and the more items you will receive. Play it casually, you still get to experience the nice things and still get nice items(however not the best ones). If it becomes too addicting and you lose self control, then you probably shouldn't be playing any kind of game at all. No one will stop you if you want to quit. You decide how you should play. Don't allow any game to decide for you. There are things that need improvement, but Blizzard continues to provide new content and fixes without any extra charge.

Avatar image for WildDog_00

WOW is a good game, but not without its problems. True, its uses Pay-to-play to cover costs and everything, but they are also recieving millions of dollars in advertising, especially on major TV spots and programs. Also, WoW has so many people on their servers because of massive worldwide distribution of the game, in markets where other games are still working out the kinks. the pay to play issue can be argued both pro and con, Guild Wars and other MMORPG games come to mind that are free to play. Also, since WoW is growing faster than Blizzard can compensate for, they have the highest number of problems. The Sony Rootkits are allowing hackers to bypass the Warden anti-cheating program and really exploit the games holes, while other mmorpg games have had rootkit scanning anticheat programs since launch. Until Blizzard corrects many of their fundamental flaws they have, it cant be the great game everyone claims it to be, only good, but it is far far from a bad mmorpg.

Avatar image for b2bjugsta

Yeah I'm getting screwed out of my $13/month. I mean I spent $60 on COD2 and beat it in a weekend. $40 on Half Life2 and beat that in a day. BF2 is an awesome game but why is there an expansion to a game that is 2 months old? Sure there is online play in other games but how many times can I play the Strike at Karkand map? We should be crying about the industry's raising game prices to $60 because "game prices have not increased in 10 years" or in other words "we've been screwing you for 8 of those 10 years"

Avatar image for WhiteZero

I should slap Tim Surette. PC's kicked off the MMO genre as a whole and 90% of them are PC exclusive.

Avatar image for sirkel28

Agree, I think MMORPG like this should only charge like $5 a month but the game is the best PC game made to date IMO. Comparing WoW to Diablo 2 is about like comparing a Hummer to a bycycle.

Avatar image for Weecka

WOW is the best MMORPG, no matter what other people say. Nowadays you have to pay for your pleasure. :) That's the way it is, folks.

Avatar image for ohSnap87

Is the monthly fee really so bad when you think about the price of games? If I didn't pay the $20 a month (Which I don't anymore, quit WoW), I'd be paying about $50 a month for a single player game for one of the consoles I own, they usually only last me about a month anyway. I find MMOs actually save me money in the long run, and few things beat playing with hundreds of people at once in a guild fight (Against another guild I mean, raiding the same instances over and over isn't my idea of fun).

Avatar image for johnpoop1234

i dont like this game i got banned for life for calling someone an as*. pretty stupid game to get a life time ban for that.

Avatar image for hpulse

Over 5 million players

Avatar image for FlamingFlamingo

I would rather stick with XBOX LIVE... i mean 50 bucks a month for a game? No thank you... that is a waste of money, XBL offers a whole bunch of great games with peps on all de time, this is wayy too expensive... maybe if the payment was optional or sumthing, but as of now... ill pass on the WoW train

Avatar image for Desperados11

to all the ppl out there who think that paying a monthly fee is bad think of it this way when u pay a monthly fee u will always look at the amount of time u spend in azeroth thus making u think about not paying more for this game. games that are free are even more addictive since u never stop playing. think about cs and all the ppl that play it since it came out , they never did quit. I love this game its the best game i have ever seen but the only thing that made me quit was the monthly fee since i started to see that it cost a bit too much and that i was losing precious time playing wow. Good job blizzard for making another truly great game. All we need now is World Of Diablo or something like that :D(the only game to not have had a sequel in some time now).

Avatar image for Skeleton-Man

hey it's one heck of a game i bought it about a month ago and i have been hooked!!

Avatar image for jeffjones66

My best friend used to VEHEMENTLY rail against paying a monthly fee game. He thought I was nuts for doing so. He was a huge Diablo 2 (and Blizzard) fan though, and that was my in to get him to try WoW. Long story short, he's been a subscriber for a year today, and has taken his character farther than my own. This game is truly amazing. A work of art, and like others have said, the $15/month actually *saves* me money. It's just so fun, and a very social experience. I have made many new friends in Azeroth.

Avatar image for bodypart

about $15 a month you say? 5 million customers worldwide?.... work it out yourselfs at how much this game is making Blizzard a month. I think a reduction in the monthly fee would be in order and very welcome to all that play it.

Avatar image for Marco_Sousa

best game eva for the PC...can't be more complete and addicting =D

Avatar image for truevar

The way i see it is that $15 a month is nothing for the content we get and the maintenance of the special servers which handle all the calculations in real time. If I didnt have WoW I would be spending $50 every other week for a new game which bores the hell out of me in just 4 days so WoW actually saves me alot of money sence I love it and I have no time for other boring games like Guild Wars City of Heroes SWG AC2 and so on.. Only other awsome mmorpg I have played would have to be Ultima Online..unfortunately most people wouldnt even bother looking at it due to the graphics sence it came out in 1999. I have also stopped playing it a few years back =( I hope that 1 day WoW provides everything UO did and even some more !! Blizzard I want player houses!!!

Avatar image for joel_nukem_hell

ya ill stick to d2 lod and guild wars my self dont need to be looking at paying about 200+ bucks a all most a year to play a game

Avatar image for Nilsadas

Great game, but to pay monthly fee? Good lord no!

Avatar image for igl

5 Million copys sold... How many cancelled? Sadly hyped game. This is the very rare case, where objectivly the Gamespot rating completly failed. I cancelled my subscription for good.

Avatar image for bigtpsychoboy

Server up-keep is a huge part of the monthly fee, thats why we pay and also its money for the people whose job it is to do the server maintnance

Avatar image for BounceDK

Wow has destroyed every other mmo in the world. Thanks for that, love ya!

Avatar image for jpedroborges

Its a crimenot to give this game a try. It doesnt matter if you are a mmorpg fun or not, after playing 15 minutes youl need a crane to remove you from the pc. Great quest, good players and guilds they are all in this game. What ar you waiting for go pick up this game!!!!! Server: Hellscream Euro Shadowrath

Avatar image for luke159

lets be realistic. 1- WoW is thinked for mostly, belive it ur not mature people, who have the chance, without making a big deal out of it, of paying a monthly fee. 2-Think about it this way, (at least in my country) you can go 3 times a month to watch a movie, well, lets just better think of paying azeroth. 3-We cant change it, this game's worth the money. 4-To all of us who, well, cant pay it, theres always the cance to think it this way, since 2000, the no-monthly fee games have grown from a 10% to a 25%, lets just hope that number keeps growing, lets just hope someone looks at guild wars, the games no THAT great, but, theres no monthly fee...

Avatar image for Hunter-Stride

I want to try it out sooo bad but being a 16 year old w/ no job and parents very unwilling to pay a monthly fee (, my mom got pretty pissed when I mentioned it too lol) makes it pretty damn hard for younger people like me. I would pay a fee if it was just more affordable. But at $77.94 for 6 months at the cheapest seems wrong to me. Make it at least $50 a year then, I would go for it easily. Besides, look at Xbox Live, they give so much free time, a year when u buy it free, 2 months free w/ some games, and the money goes to all your Xbox Live enabled games! Come on Blizzard, you could hit that 10 mil. benchmark easy if you cut down the price.

Avatar image for HotTommy

To all those people saying FFXI is better because it harder. You should say "I have no life, therefor I play FFXI because it is a timesink and thats the only way I can have a Mithra Girlfriend who loves me much" 1-4 hours LFP. No Thanks. 30 MINS to get to EXP camp. No Thanks. Zero PvP. No Thanks. (Ballista is not pvp) This coming from a SE fan who made lvl 70 with Ranger. Endgame FFXI sucks so bad. At least in WoW killing the mobs is fun. WoW FTW. Reactivating my account once the expansion comes out.

Avatar image for viper_one

Buying a game at retail and than paying a monthly fee? Why should we do this?

Avatar image for Vic_Vega1994

being one of those 5 million is frickin awsome

Avatar image for jyubo

every moron in wow can be lvl 60 very hard game indeed...

Avatar image for bikerdanpa8

Even though it seems that montly fees are a pain, the game is the most addicting game I have ever played, so I don't even think about the money.

Avatar image for thorboy03

World of Warcrack ftw!

Avatar image for quietguy

To all you WOW haters out there: quit your b i c t h i n' and try the damn game. Hate it, then your fault not ours.

Avatar image for mazzhar

WoW is a great game no doubt. But at what cost? It takes away your life! This game should have been for free, considering how you pay annually for it...

Avatar image for elricbane21

dont see why people complain about monthly fee, try the game out before you turn it down because of monthly fee, how many of you rent movies, or pay per view, if you break it down 15 a month is about 50cents a day in US, I bet alot of people waste more then that just on soda everyday, or even 50cent on a local arcade game, Entertainment is Entertainment dont judge how people wish to spend their 50cents a day.

Avatar image for Shoemuncher

This is the best game ever!!! no doubts

Avatar image for Ogre_Mage

Rofl at the last two comments.

Avatar image for Gigagamer2

stop wasting your lives

Avatar image for LauZaIM

Guild Wars is plenty good. Paying monthly for 1 video game is pathetic to me, I don't care how much it is or how good it is. Get a girlfriend and spend it on her or something...

Avatar image for Dnom

I quit WoW because of the PATHETIC community and customer service here in Europe. Servers going down at least 3 times a week for hours, it just became ridiculous. Plus, I don't care what anyone else says, reach level 50+ and this game is un-playable to a casual player unless you want to be bored out of your skull grinding. Solo quests become rare, and who would want to make a guild with someone who only plays for an hour or two a day? No-one, and you almost NEED guilds to have fun on WoW. Good game? Yes. Good community and customer service? Heck no (at least in europe).

Avatar image for forever_blank

Is It That Good? I Am Thinking About It

Avatar image for Nipplehook

PVP system is screwed up.

Avatar image for Nipplehook

You know why the game is so "addictive"? Is it the quests? Is it the players around you? Is it the fun gameplay? The game is so addictive because the only thing you need is items...nothing else, you destribute the skills and there is nothing else left except to equip your character because without decent items your character will suck...and when your character sucks, nobody will want you in the group, nobody will want you in the guild and you wouldnt want to PVP because you will die. Ergo, everyone has to do countless raids and countless dugeons to get the items. If youre the person who controls yourself and only plays when you have free time you probably have crappy items and are not the best player in your guild. When the game first came out I was one of the first people to reach 60 in less than 15 (game) days I realized that the game is all about items and I quit after the first (real) month. I sold the character and account for 400 US dollars and lived hapily ever after. I stick to good ole' D2 and FPS games now. I never have to worry because FPS games require skill and not how much better your items are.

Avatar image for darkfox101

i played WoW it was great, i didnt think it was worht it.. got boring and repetitive...... so i quit plus i think the fees are riduclus

Avatar image for ImperialPanda

WoW is good if you're new or casual, that's why its got so many players. I've played UO, shadowbane, FFXI, a bit of Lineage2. And wow really has nothing special going for it except being easily accessible for new/casual players. The thing Blizzard did right is they managed to get a lot of non-mmo players to start playing and paying. I agree FFXI is better. That has has the best PvE to date, by far, period. The novel mob encounters/fights and auction house concept worked brilliantly. It also has much more depth. But it's pretty much geared towards really hardcore MMO players. I quit before they tagged on the PvP so I dunno how that's going.

Avatar image for Snosavan24

I, myself, prefer Guild Wars. I have not tried WoW yet, so i can't really comment on this.

Avatar image for strategyguy

WoW is amazing and good graphics and lots of diffrent things you can do who cares about monthly things? i mean you have a cellphone? how do you pay for that? exactly monthly fee's think of it as a cellphone.I'ts just a extra pleasure you love to have . you pay for cable and tons of other things to. WoW is a very fun game and if people arent going to play it why complain about monthly fee's? you pay tons of other monthly fee's i think you should play this game its great and fun to play i play on Medivh server name is Qubertguy.

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