Blizzard Entertainment announced today that World of Warcraft, its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), is now played by more than 11 million gamers around the world.
That’s a full one million more than the number of monthly players World of Warcraft had back in January 2008 ten months ago. And all this before the release of the World of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King expansion pack worldwide on November 13th, 2008, which is expected to cause an increase in new and returning subscribers.
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It’s interesting to note that if the World of Warcraft were a nation, CIA’s World Factbook says that out of 239 listed countries it would be the 75th most populated country on Earth ahead of Greece, but behind Zimbabwe.
“It’s been very rewarding to see gamers around the world continue to show such strong support for World of Warcraft,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We remain fully committed to responding to that enthusiasm with a high-quality, constantly evolving game experience.”
Since debuting in North America on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has become the most popular MMORPG around the world. It was the bestselling PC game of 2005 and 2006 worldwide, and finished behind only World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, the first expansion pack for the game, in 2007.1 In addition to being the bestselling PC game of 2007 in both North America and Europe, The Burning Crusade holds the record for fastest-selling PC game of all time, with nearly 2.4 million copies sold in its first 24 hours of availability and approximately 3.5 million in its first month.
Please note: These subscriber numbers are not for all-time, but they are in fact monthly active subscribers. Blizzard‘s World of Warcraft Subscriber Definition reads:
“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 thirty 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.”