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Role Playing (Games)

World of Warcraft Hits 10 Million Subscribers 450

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that's-a-lotta-bored-paladins dept.
technirvana writes "Blizzard Entertainment, owners of World of Warcraft, announced today that the game now has more than 10 million paying subscribers around the world. Online gameplay costs an average of $15 USD per month. Those 10 million paying subscribers include 5.5 million players in Asia, 2.5 million in the US and 2 million in Europe. The Warcraft brand was first introduced in 1994 and World of Warcraft was launched in 2001."
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World of Warcraft Hits 10 Million Subscribers

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  • by neokushan (932374) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @09:48AM (#22152266)
    I've noticed a direct correlation with the amount of WoW subscribers and the amount I get laid.
    Less competition for me? Let them play, boys, let them play!
  • 2001? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gigiya (1022729) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @09:48AM (#22152274)
    2004.
  • by ip_freely_2000 (577249) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @09:50AM (#22152288)
    ..and making the game more interesting.

    Once I hit 70, my desire to grind for 20 hours to get that shiny new +1 Int cloak gets a little tedious.
    • Well, you could probably only expect so much out of a single game. Probably time for them to start on WoW II.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MadnessASAP (1052274)
        It's not really a good idea to just up and abandon an old MMO to go create a new one thereby invalidating 10 million subscribers hard work and effort. Anywyas both WoW and Eve (The biggegst MMOs I know of) are hardly the game they were when they were first released and are constantly changing and expanding.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ajs (35943)

        Well, you could probably only expect so much out of a single game. Probably time for them to start on WoW II.

        WoW II was delivered in December of 2006. It was officially called World of Warcraft patch 2.0.1 and was tied to the release of The Burning Crusade expansion (though it came out a month before the release of the expansion itself). What MMO vendors are starting to realize is that, no matter how disruptive a change to the technology might be, introducing a new game is orders of magnitude more disruptive to their player base (and many will simply never play the new game). This was the case with EverQuest and

    • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:04AM (#22152496)

      ..and making the game more interesting.

      Once I hit 70, my desire to grind for 20 hours to get that shiny new +1 Int cloak gets a little tedious.
      I understand that you're complaining more about the mechanics and gameplay rather than what they're doing with the money, so maybe my response is a bit off-topic... But WoW is one of the first MMOGs I've paid to play where I actually felt I was really getting my money's worth.

      Blizzard is constantly rolling out new content for free - new dungeons, new raid zones, new quests, new factions... All sorts of new stuff. Compare this to something like old-school EverQuest where your money just kind of vanished and every single new addition was through a paid expansion pack.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DarkFencer (260473)

        Blizzard is constantly rolling out new content for free - new dungeons, new raid zones, new quests, new factions... All sorts of new stuff. Compare this to something like old-school EverQuest where your money just kind of vanished and every single new addition was through a paid expansion pack.

        Except half the stuff they've rolled out was promised as part of the last paid expansion pack (Black Temple, Zul'Aman, etc).

        Late content that you paid extra for != free content.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by eht (8912)
          Zul'Aman was never promised as part of the expansion, and neither was the upcoming Sunwell, or the massive amount of daily quests(which they are making more of when Sunwell comes out), or the improved Dustwallow Marsh area.
      • by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:18AM (#22152630)
        Blizzard is constantly rolling out new content for free

        I'm so tired of people making such statements. You get ZERO new content for FREE. You pay a monthly subscription which funds new development, among other things. You PAID for the new content. It is not free!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Fred_A (10934)
          So they're giving you for free what you paid for. :)
          They could make you pay again for what you already paid for or just not give you anything. It's been done before. At least the players get an evolving game.

          (Never played any MMRPG though since the few glimpses I got always made they seem horribly tedious to me, but to each his own)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Das Modell (969371)
          They could charge additional money for the content if they wanted to, and you're still paying a monthly fee even if they don't provide content updates.
        • by Broken Bottle (84695) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @11:09AM (#22153306)

          I'm so tired of people making such statements. You get ZERO new content for FREE. You pay a monthly subscription which funds new development, among other things. You PAID for the new content. It is not free!
          That depends on how you look at the fees. WOW is a service. We pay for access to the game. There are costs associated with running the game day to day. They could just release expansion packs at retail if they cared to. THAT would be paying for new content. Obviously there are a myriad of reasons why that policy would be a bad idea, but you get the drift and I think that a fair number of people look at it like that too.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Well, they aren't providing it for free, you're monthly subscription funds that. I can't believe somebody would play an online game for a subscription fee and not expect tons of upgrades for no additional cost. What else would the money go towards? Servers and bandwidth only cost so much.
    • Clearly ten million people don't seem to mind that much.
    • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:30AM (#22152792) Journal
      To be honest, the current end-game isn't bad. They've got enough avenues in there to suit most degrees of committment to the game and general temperaments, even if some of these are more developed than others.

      For the casual players, there are the five-man instances - first the regular versions and then, when you've got your gear from those, the heroics. Heroics are an interesting twist; they aren't, as I was expecting, just tuned-up versions of the regular instances. In many cases, despite the superficial similarities, they need very different tactics. There's also a nice progression here; a group in all blues wouldn't have too many problems with Botanica or Black Morass, while even full-epic groups can find Durnholde Keep or Arcatraz tricky.

      Battlegrounds are a popular way of killing time for the casual PvPers. Even if you have awful gear and suck at them, you will still get your rewards - it'll just take a bit longer. The relative ease with which you can get your PvP rewards, combined with the low time input required, has led to them being branded "welfare epics". Of course, they don't really stand up against the high-end raiding or arena epics, but I know plenty of casuals who are content with this. Over time, the lower end arena drops get pushed down into Battleground rewards anyway.

      The hardcore PvPers have Arena, which really is a cut-throat environment (and is the only form of PvP in the game where getting killed is any more than a momentary annoyance). Ironically, it doesn't actually take particularly long each week - the main challenge here is putting in the time to get the gear so you can participate effectively. The top end season 3 arena gear is almost on a par with the top-end raiding epics, although with the new personal rating requirements for some pieces, it isn't necessarily easy to get.

      Finally, you have raiding, which is the favorite hardcore PvE end-game activity. This is where, to my mind, Blizzard have really made strides since the Burning Crusade hit. Rather than having a 40 man raid as the entry-level point, a la Molten Core, Karazhan was a nice, relatively easy 10 man raid, which many non-hardcore guilds were able to switch to quite quickly at level 70. With the addition of Zul'Aman in the 2.3 patch, you can more or less work your way through about 2/3rds of the end-game gear progression without ever setting foot in a 25-man raid. For the genuinely hardcore who do push into the 25 man raiding scene, there's a definite progression tree with 6 different instances to work through. The difference from most of the pre-expansion end-game is dramatic and impressive.

      In short, Blizzard have delivered as reasonable an end-game experience as could reasonably be expected and continue to add new content at a decent pace. At the same time, they've refined the experience for lower level players and those levelling up alts, with the new Dustwallow Marsh quests and the dramatic reduction of the amount of xp needed to level up (you can level 1-60 in WoW now faster than you can in the fully-offline Final Fantasy XII). Of course, things are far from perfect, and I can see a few dark clouds on the horizon.

      The most significant of these is that, as a former Final Fantasy XI player (where the level cap never went above 75), I must confess to being a bit worried by Blizzard's intention to slam the level cap up with 10 with every new expansion. What this essentially means is that any end-game gear you acquired before the expansion hit is immediately obsolete. Green is suddenly the new Purple. Effectively, this amounts to a complete end-game reboot every 12-18 months. While beneficial in some respects (shaking up the scene, letting newcomers get a foot on the ladder), in the long term it is just going to drive people away and kill the end-game scene for a few months before an expansion hits.

      • by paitre (32242)
        Durnholde's easy as long as your party isn't a bunch of fuck-ups.
        Seriously... I've run heroic Durn with a complete mish-mash of jobs (Feral and Boomkin druids, pally (me), a rogue and I forget what
        the 5th dude was), and we basically demolished the place.
      • by yanos (633109)
        you can level 1-60 in WoW now faster

        I was planning to subscribe again to WoW when I heard that they increased the rate at witch you gain XP. Does it really make a difference? Or is it so minor that I wouldn't really notice?
        • You'll notice since you end up skipping most of the quests, you just level so fast that all of the content whooshes by. The main changes are in the 30-50 range (I did that recently in maybe a day and a half total playtime).
        • I'm not really noticing.

          I understand that you need to spend some time 'learning' a new character, but I'm certain that at this point, none of us even need to read the quest dialog anymore. I've seriously cut back the time I invest into WoW, I can't handle the timesinks. I'm just lucky that I'm one of the 0.01% that is lucky enough to have a raiding guild that puts up with a casual gamer.

          Leveling a character is faster, but it certainly isn't anything that you will notice. I just level faster because I'm s
        • by Blakey Rat (99501)
          Remember that slog in the original game when you hit about level 40 or so, halfway through STV, and it's all mind-numbing tedium and it seems impossible to get anywhere with the game? That's actually gone now, thank God, and the mind-numbing tedium doesn't start until you get into Outlands. The biggest problem is that on old servers, the ones where 99% of the population is level 70, it's nearly impossible to get groups together to do the 60 dungeons.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Atomic6 (1011895)
          You'll definitely notice. The reduced amount of XP needed to level along with all the new mid-range quests makes hitting Outlands so much easier. Whatever you do, make sure to give Duskwallow a second chance. There is an exciting new questchain in Theramore that I won't spoil, and they even added roads to Tabetha's house, so she isn't so much of a pain-in-the-ass to find.
    • Once I hit 70, my desire to grind for 20 hours to get that shiny new +1 Int cloak gets a little tedious.


      One has to wonder what was driving your desire to "grind" in the first place.

  • munnies! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by legoman666 (1098377)
    10,000,000 subcribers x $15 a month = $150,000,000 a month. $150,000,000 x 12 months = $1,800,000,000 a year. From WoW alone. I bet blizzard/vivendi are happy campers.
  • Bwahahaha (Score:3, Funny)

    by geminidomino (614729) * on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @09:51AM (#22152306) Journal
    Dance, my little piñata-smacking monkeys, dance for me!

    All the way to the bank. BFD.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Dance, my little piñata-smacking monkeys, dance for me!

      I think you're confused. Viva Piñata is for Xbox and PC, doesn't have anything to do with WOW.

      All the way to the bank. BFD.

      Black Fathom Deeps? That's like level 25, you can't bank much there. Try upping your level and doing Sunken Temple. :)

  • by Sierpinski (266120) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @09:52AM (#22152324)
    The Warcraft brand was first introduced in 1994 and World of Warcraft was launched in 2001.

    World of Warcraft was announced in 2001, but was launched on November 23, 2004.

    see The wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org].
  • Actually (Score:5, Funny)

    by Malevolent Tester (1201209) * on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @09:52AM (#22152328) Journal
    There's one Asian player with 5.5 million gold farming accounts.
  • I wonder (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AndGodSed (968378)
    If they have stats as to operating systems used for gameplay... Would be interesting to see how many of those 10mil actually use Vista, XP, MacOS and Linux etc...
    • by crow (16139)
      Could they tell the difference between someone playing on Linux with Wine and someone playing on Windows?
      • by Splab (574204)
        Their anti cheat technology flagged wine users as cheaters at some point, so yeah they can tell the difference.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by klngarthur (1114085)
        i would imagine yes. Warden (wow's anti-cheat spyware) has been known to flag players running wine as exploiters/botters. I don't believe blizzard intends to shut out linux users. At one point, i believe, there was a sticky on the forums detailing how to use wow with linux. Rather that flags go off when warden sets off alarms because it doesn't recognize its surroundings in linux. I have no idea if blizzard has rectified the issue, but i'm sure if they had the desire they could find out how many linux ma
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Res3000 (890937)
          Blizzard actually worked together with Cedega to fix the problem when the Linux users got flagged. They problems are now fixed, or at least I never heard of it again.
  • by Aereus (1042228) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @09:55AM (#22152372)
    Only accounts for North America and European servers pay the regular subscription price. Blizzard licenses out WoW to local companies in the Asian markets. Typical subscription plans there are for X amount of hours per month, and in the case of China the average price is $3-4 USD/month. Of which I assume Blizzard only sees a small royalty from.
  • So What? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:03AM (#22152482)
    Ragnarok Online has 25+ million subscriber worldwide with 24 million being in asia(Gold farming is impossible so no farmers either...)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jandrese (485)
      Yeah, but that's a boring grindfest, the perfect game for Asians (and especially Koreans) it seems.
  • by argStyopa (232550) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:06AM (#22152510) Journal
    ...there are going to be dozens of posts about how WoW sucks, and (game x) is so much better.

    Maybe (game x) is better by some specific subjective metric, but in terms of the overall 'package', I'd have to say that in this case Adam Smith's measurement is the best objective general measure of value.

    I think WoW is particularly strong in terms of ease-of-play, progression speed, reward vs. time, variety of experience, replayability, and yes, even balance. Other games might have advantages such as a better crafting system, better pvp, and better graphics but each of these involves a tradeoff that Blizzard has perhaps deliberately accepted in favor of more mass-market acceptance (in the above examples, I'd say the tradeoffs are learning curve, playability, and system requirements, respectively).

    There are LOTS of specific things to complain about WoW, but commercial success on this scale is hard to dispute. They had no particular advantage in the marketplace compared to other developers (aside from a well-earned reputation), but they have come to utterly dominate the MMOG market to the extent that their 'ownership' of that market space has leaked into popular culture.

    Now that WoW is so dominant, it has become the benchmark in ways nobody could have anticipated 5 years ago. They not only pull in more subscribers, they've transformed the "computer gaming" activity almost singlehandedly from nerdville to nearly-mainstream, particularly with 20-somethings and under.

    Unfortunately that means they are also able to exert an influence (large, although I'd hesitate to say disproportionate) on other games - I for one believe that WotLK (the next expansion) has been done or nearly done since before the end of the year, and that they are waiting to unleash it a month or so before the 'next big competitor' (I believe Age of Conan) is released.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by everphilski (877346)
      Maybe (game x) is better by some specific subjective metric, but in terms of the overall 'package', I'd have to say that in this case Adam Smith's measurement is the best objective general measure of value.

      No, It hits the least common denominator in gaming. Much like television, which has a way larger captive fanbase (and they generally pay more a month, as well), people can sit in front of WoW and essentially zone out. IMO.
    • by CmdrGravy (645153)

      singlehandedly from nerdville


      Ah ha ha ha ! How come everyone who admits to playing it also seems to be a complete sadcase with no life at all but is willing to drone on in a boring monotone about how exciting it is sitting in their costume battling other wizards.
    • by Martian_Kyo (1161137) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @11:08AM (#22153294)

      ...there are going to be dozens of posts about how WoW sucks, and (game x) is so much better.

      Maybe (game x) is better by some specific subjective metric, but in terms of the overall 'package', I'd have to say that in this case Adam Smith's measurement is the best objective general measure of value.

      maybe as a commercial model, but not as gaming experience. Using the same logic windows is the best operating system around Best music in late 90s and early 2000s was performed by Brittney Spears.

      WoW has hit critical mass, and new players are not joining it because it's still the best game around, but because they want to know what's all the fuss about. If you never played an MMORPG, and you wanted to play one, which one would you pick? WoW, of course. But not because it IS the best game around but because it's the most played game around. You would use the 'well 10 million people can't be wrong' logic, in picking your first MMORPG.

      That's classic example of herd mentality, not quality.

    • >There are LOTS of specific things to complain about WoW, but commercial success on this scale is hard to dispute.

      Popularity != Quality
  • ouch (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheCreeep (794716) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:10AM (#22152556)
    World of Warcraft Hits 10 Million Subscribers

    That must hurt...
    • by Thanshin (1188877)
      Well, we had to choose between that and hitting the same subscriber 10 million times. The former was chosen by coin toss.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nuzak (959558)
      Now that's what I call AOE.

      Though from my POV, WOW is really more of a DOT on my bank account. To say nothing of a debuff on my social life.

  • There are 10 million people willing to pay to play a game they already payed once for? And all they get out of it is to complain about gold farmers and griding hours of their life away for another item that the company can just create (which in of itself is utterly useless to the rest of their life)?

    Wow! And I thought I was odd for selling fish to a raccoon to pay off my virtual house in bells... I kind of don't feel so bad because I'm not paying for it in real money each month... And I can take my DS with
    • by FirstNoel (113932)
      They do release content patches on a fairly regular basis. The last one 2.3 added a new dungeon and few other things. So your not paying for "nothing"...you do pay for something. It's up to you to decide if it's worth the $14 a month.

      Sean D.
    • by yanos (633109)

      There are 10 million people willing to pay to play a game they already payed once for?
      No, they don't. You don't have to buy the game at the store (witch gives you like 2 months free anyway), you just have to register on the WoW website and it will let you download the game with their torrent-like application.
  • Accuracy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UncHellMatt (790153) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:14AM (#22152594)
    I am a little curious about those numbers.

    From what I have seen, the use of multiple accounts by single users is not all that uncommon. Blizzard doesn't seem to actually delete accounts after they've been deactivated. If someone cancels their subscription, their account name, their toons, everything remains (much like AOL's method of fudging their numbers). So of those 10m subscribers, I'd be curious to find out if those are individuals, or simply active subscribers, or in fact accounts created but not currently subscribed counted in that total.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tridus (79566)
      The only count active subscriptions. They do count multiple accounts from the same people as multiple subscriptions (since thats exactly what they are), but thats not very uncommon.

      I'm not sure how common multi-account people actually are, aside from dual boxers. I've seen people do it far more in other games, but in WoW you get so many characters (and bank space, and bank alts) anyway that there isn't much reason to do it without dual boxing.

      The numbers seem pretty accurate. There's been server queues agai
    • Re:Accuracy? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cabriel (803429) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:36AM (#22152866)
      From their article,

      World of Warcraft's Subscriber Definition
      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.
    • by PJ1216 (1063738) *
      FTFA:

      World of Warcraft's Subscriber Definition

      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.

      Dunno if that helps...

    • by illumin8 (148082)

      I am a little curious about those numbers.

      From what I have seen, the use of multiple accounts by single users is not all that uncommon. Blizzard doesn't seem to actually delete accounts after they've been deactivated. If someone cancels their subscription, their account name, their toons, everything remains (much like AOL's method of fudging their numbers). So of those 10m subscribers, I'd be curious to find out if those are individuals, or simply active subscribers, or in fact accounts created but not curr

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      I'm going to find the person who coined the term "toon" and slap them. In the MUD world, we used to say either "alt" (for alternate) or "avatar." "Toon" is just stupid.
    • From what I have seen, the use of multiple accounts by single users is not all that uncommon.

      I would be interested in knowing where you've seen that. It's very common in other MMO's such as EVE (they actually restrict training so you need to have two accounts to train two characters) but in WoW there's usually no point. The only exception maybe being the gold farmers, but then they also pay for all those accounts. I think they might be skewing the numbers a fair bit, as there are a lot of these operations out there and each one of them must employ quite a few people to keep up with the grind. They

  • Hit them with what?
  • by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:25AM (#22152722)
    However I am still not going back to the game.. I quit the game a while ago.... cold turkey... I played the game from day 1 in beta, I however quit just before the first expansion came out, I was done, as were many of my guild mates, raiding the same high end content week after week after week just became too much of a chore.

    The same can be said for Everquest (I did not really get into eq2). The problem as I see it, is that they develop a game, in the lifecycle plan for the game, I am almost positive they already have a project plan for the expansion before the game is even initially released. And they release the game, with the mechanics that are designed to hopefully satisfy people till the expansion comes out. But they under estimate the users every time, within the first few months, possibly even weeks, you have groups of users that have maxed out their character level, and sure it fun getting shiny new toys for the first year, but it then becomes a chore, and is tedious, and at that point is where the game developer has failed. This is of course my opinion, but having played both everquest, and then wow, for many years (same high end raiding guild for both games), I believe I have some insight into the problems that can occur over time.
    • I'm about the same way. Actually, I'd probably still play off-and-on if it wasn't for the monthly fee. It's not worth it to me to pay $15 to maybe play 2-3x a month. When I was on 4 hours every other day, yeah, I got my money's worth.

      Of course, I DID by the original version off of a guy selling store returns on ebay for eight bucks. Fixed a minor glitch, and it worked fine.

      I'm now currently enjoying a copy of Starcraft I got for $2 at a flea market. With Brood War.

      Yeah, I may be cheap, but I ain't e
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by KaiUno (1110525)
      Ah, but that just means you're doing it wrong. I'm sure it's only a small percentage of the 10 million strong userbase that ever hits the top and runs out of content. The more casual players (and there's a lot of them) have enough to do untill the expantion hits. I see the same thing in Everquest 2. Rise of Kunark comes out and a week later there's folk running around who have seen it all and done it all. And for them, that's where the grind starts, while the comre casual players are still hanging around i
  • Returning players (Score:4, Interesting)

    by realsilly (186931) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:26AM (#22152726)
    There is this massive influx of returning players. I can tell you that from seeing it happen in my own guild. At least 10 accounts have been re-activated in the last month. I can't explain why, other than people missed the friendships that have been made.

    This is quite possibly a good reason for the 10 million mark reached.

    • I'm in that boat. Quit for 3 months and came back for 2.3 to level a new toon on a new server with a group of friends. It took me 1/3 of the time to level this guy than my last alt since the leveling changes were made.
  • I enjoy the Warcraft I, II, III games, but do not play World of Warcraft or other MMORPGs. (eats way to much time) What I enjoy the most are the Warcraft books. I've read them all and am getting impatient waiting for new ones. I need my Orgrim Doomhammer and Thrall fix. :)
  • Cha-Ching! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lally Singh (3427) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @11:03AM (#22153250) Journal
    Quick Math:
    10 million * 15.00 * 12 = 1.8 billion a year
    + 10 million * 30 = 300 million a year for the box + expansions (I'm eyeballing this one, but Blizzard did say they wanted an expansion a year)

    $2.1 billion. Not bad for a single game! Maybe someone more in-tune with the WoW world can tighten up my estimate of the price of the box + expansions. How much up front? How much for expansions? How frequently?

    Frankly, WoW's success shows beyond /. and Kotaku: WoW is nearly a household name now. Congrats to Blizzard for bringing MMOGs to the mainstream.

    Also,I love that Shatner commercial.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by paitre (32242)
      I would, personally, halve the monthly subscription cost to account for the somewhat lower amount paid by the Asian players.
      I fully admit that it probably under-estimates Blizzard's income from WoW by doing that, tho. (IMO, the most realistic number is probably around 10/mo or so).

      Still - they're pulling down over a billion a year between box sales and monthly fees.
      *drool*
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Quick Math:
      10 million * 15.00 * 12 = 1.8 billion a year
      + 10 million * 30 = 300 million a year for the box + expansions (I'm eyeballing this one, but Blizzard did say they wanted an expansion a year)

      $2.1 billion. Not bad for a single game! Maybe someone more in-tune with the WoW world can tighten up my estimate of the price of the box + expansions. How much up front? How much for expansions? How frequently?


      Good thing Blizzard doesn't have any payroll and gets servers and bandwidth for free from the Server Fa
  • by HomeySmurf (124537) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @12:27PM (#22154320)
    I was curious how this compared to various national populations, and this data may be a bit old, but... Countries by Sorted by Population [worldatlas.com] This means that WoW has more players than 112 countries have people. Ten million is of course much larger than the populations of Vatican City, Tuvalu, Monaco, Luxembourg, etc. But also bigger than Uruguay, Costa Rica, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Israel, Austria, Laos, and many more.
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @01:12PM (#22154948)

    WoW is a friggin' phenomenon that crosses so many demographics unlike any other game I've played over my 25 years as a consumer. My guilds have had husbands and wives playing together, parents and children, mothers playing with babies on their laps (hi Bitters!), and even grandparents. I'm a lifelong addict and I had to FORCE myself to cancel my account to focus on renovating my house.

    Yet, there's still some confusingly high number of negative posts on Slashdot from people slamming the game. Yes, it has flaws, but nothing even close to other games I've played. My BF2142 installation crashes with BS memory and driver errors about 1/4 rounds. As a software engineer, I appreciate the design behind the game; efficient bandwidth usage, very few bugs which are addressed very quickly for a game, the well thought-out UI design and API, efficient code, a user-friendly interface. Blizzard has done a remarkable job on so many levels.

    Maybe they're pissed that no one wants to play D&D anymore, who knows? But, please, at least concede that WoW is a GREAT game!

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