Blizzard Entertainment announced today that World of Warcraft, its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), is now played by more than 8 million gamers around the world. World of Warcraft has also achieved new regional subscriber milestones, with more than 2 million players in North America, more than 1.5 million players in Europe, and more than 3.5 million players in China.
World of Warcraft will soon see the launch of its first expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, which will be available in North America and Europe on January 16, 2007. The expansion will be available in Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand the same week, with availability in mainland China and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau to be announced at a later date. The Burning Crusade will add a tremendous amount of new content to the game, including an entire new continent to explore; an increase in the level cap up to 70, complete with new talents and abilities; flying mounts; new quests, creatures, and items; new dungeons; two new playable races; a new profession; and more.
Since debuting in North America on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has become the most popular MMORPG around the world. Today, World of Warcraft is available in seven different languages and is played in North America, Europe, mainland China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
“We’re ecstatic that the World of Warcraft community has continued to grow steadily since we launched the game,” said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This milestone wouldn’t have been possible for us to achieve without the incredible support of our players. With the release of our expansion pack, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, coming next week, we’re looking forward to welcoming more players to Azeroth and offering even more quality content for our community to enjoy.”
Next week World of Warcraft’s servers will be undergoing their weekly maintenance on Monday instead of the regular Tuesday. So when The Burning Crusade launches in the night of Monday to Tuesday, there won’t be any interruptions for gamers, that’s assuming the 9,000+ servers won’t melt.
PS: It’s interesting to note that if the World of Warcraft were a nation, CIA’s World Factbook says that it would be the 94th most populated country on Earth after Burundi.