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Role Playing (Games)

World of Warcraft Hits 10 Million Subscribers 450

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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  • I wonder (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AndGodSed ( 968378 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @09:55AM (#22152360) Homepage Journal
    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...
  • Re:I wonder (Score:3, Interesting)

    by klngarthur ( 1114085 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:14AM (#22152588)
    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 machines were running wow. Additionally i would be absolutely shocked if they didn't know the ratios of win xp/2k/vista and mac os machines running, that'd just be bad business.
  • by 7-Vodka ( 195504 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:25AM (#22152716) Journal

    Unfortunately these numbers don't reflect the bastardization they've introduced into the game. I'd be willing to bet that the percentage of subscribers who actually play the game is much lower now than a year ago. I'm one of those players. The only reason I haven't canceled my account is that the market is a one trick pony. There are no decent alternatives to Warcraft. If they have so many subscribers why are most realms turning into empty wastelands?

    The more they take content and put it into instances, both pve and pvp; the more it becomes a pointless game to play. Why play a Mmorpg which has turned into an Orpg? Does it matter that there can be 2k people on your server when you only ever see a dozen or so every night because the game is all instanced?

    Then there's the cottage cheese-y-ness they've done with pvp. It used to take some skill, quick thinking and some organization. Now with resilience , other damage mitigation and overpowered healing that can keep anyone alive things like arena matches turn into long grind fests. The outcome of pvp encounters used to be maybe 50% skill and preparation, 20% luck and 30% gear and class make-up. With all of the changes they've introduced this past year, your typical arena match is determined by 10% skill and preparation, 5% luck, 85% gear and class make-up. Doesn't that sound exhilarating kids?

    This happens with a lot of mmorpgs. They are released in a form that is slightly buggy and end up with all of these unplanned and unforeseen novelties in terms of gameplay, strategy, interaction. Then after the corporation that develops it spends a few years tightening the cogs and getting RID of the unplanned and unforseen elements as well as anything that gets complained about by the userbase, voila! You end up with a bland, boring game no one plays anymore.

    I was a member of a guild with over 100 people and kept in touch with a former guild of 200. They've both dried up and shrivelled out of existence because every patch slowly turned the game more and more bland. Both 'realms' I used to frequent have died horrible deaths and the main cities are ghost towns.

    Bring back the wild west. Bring back the buggy, unforseen, wild, insulting, violent mess that was Ultima Online back in the early years. There were no cookie cutter classes. There was gambling, extortion, confidence tricksters, scammers, spammers, raiders, looters, exploiters, thieves, honorable and dishonorable fighters and gangs. There was somewhat of a safety zone in towns. There were no factions, everyone and everything was fair game. There was no one way to play the game, I'm sure people have so many interesting stories about how they or friends played. I had a friend who liked to spend his time stealing useless items. He was a weird looking fellow and a clepto. He also enjoyed running around town naked. He would yell at the NPCs and get angry at the guards when they caught him and killed him. That was his take of the game.

    If I wanted to play around in a world where everything gets regulated and restrained and anything that causes people to whine gets the axe I would... Not go pay $50 bucks + $15 per month to do it on a computer, there's plenty of it in a non-virtual world.

    The only reason WOW hasn't collapsed like a house of soggy cards is that there is still an influx of new players and the game does have a great unique feel with LOTS of art and content to discover as you level. But once you're done leveling, the game is over.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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:Cha-Ching! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by paitre ( 32242 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @11:31AM (#22153576) Journal
    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.
  • Re:So What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by paitre ( 32242 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @11:39AM (#22153678) Journal
    Because in this case it's true.
    Asian players -do- typically have a preference towards grind games (or more specifically - games where the time/reward ratio is -heavily- in favor of time). FFXI, for example, has a very large Asian (Japanese, specifically) playerbase. There are a lot of EU/NA players, as well, but the majority (IIRC) are JP. NOONE is going to contradict the statement that FFXI is anything but a huge grindfest and time sink (it takes literally a year or more to 'earn' the Epic weapons for each job if you don't purchase currency in quantity from other players running Dynamis).

    I played FFXI for 3 years. I still twitch.
  • by Atomic6 ( 1011895 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @12:06PM (#22154052) Homepage
    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.
  • 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 [] 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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @03:40PM (#22157214)
    WoW is a great game up until you hit the cap. After that it's a fucking job, not a game.

    Blizzard has disappointed me so greatly with WoW that I doubt I'll ever buy another Blizzard game (not that it would affect them). Of all the game companies out there, they have the monthly revenue to be innovative, try something new, think outside the box, take risks smaller mmo's are unable to risk. But no, Blizzard has (and will) continue to leech ideas and proven concepts from other games.

    Their pvp is damn pathetic. Their server backends and client couldn't handle world pvp (like was advertised from the beginning), so they herd all the lemmings into instances and them put a fucking fps ladder system in. Thankfully they removed that, but then added Arenas which are just as pathetic. If I wanted that kind of shit I'd go play an fps.

    Thank god for Age of Conan and Warhammer Online where pvp can actually happen. WoW pvp = Pussy PvP.

    Blizzard is pathetic and sadly will be around for a long time.

    In short, no, I won't admit WoW is a great game. It's a fucking rip-off of EQ with better graphics.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle