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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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