World of Warcraft reaches 12 million subscribers

For a while, it seemed that World of Warcraft had been stuck at around 11.5 million subscribers. Blizzard Entertainment announced today that World of Warcraft has finally reached more than 12 million subscribers around the world almost six years after the massively multiplayer online RPG's launch.

The popular online title reached this milestone shortly after the launch of its Wrath of the Lich King expansion in mainland, and two months before the European and North American release of its Cataclysm expansion.

"The support and enthusiasm that gamers across the world continue to show for World of Warcraft reaffirms our belief that it offers one of the best entertainment values available today," said Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment. "We are as committed as ever to taking the game to new heights, and we look forward to demonstrating that with Cataclysm in December."

Though World of Warcraft is the most popular subscription-based MMORPG, its audience's expansion has slowed in the past two years. Blizzard last reported reaching the 11.5 million subscribers mark in December 2008.

The publisher defines subscribers as individuals who have paid a subscription fee, have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, have purchased the game and are within their free month of access, and have accessed the game in the last thirty days from an "internet game room".

The subscription-based title is currently available in eight different languages and is played in North America, Europe, mainland China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Chile, Argentina, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Mozilla announces Firefox 4 beta for mobile

Next Story

Microsoft: virus-infected PCs should be banned from the Internet

53 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Well I played it for a while with my GF, she got hooked, I got bored. Frankly the community is shocking, as in non existing, and the game is long and tiresome. and frankly I don't have months and months of time to dump into a game. I play to play with friends, not grind for gear. jeez end game is a great big keyboard smashing extravaganza. While APB was limited the amount I laughed with friends far out weighs the years I played WoW. Dull and boring, 6 years on and the game mechanics creak, the graphics are awful compared to modern titles, and the gameplay is, well boring as F... roll on Star Wars Online.

este said,
I didnt know people still played this game.

Yes, they do. And you might also be shocked to hear that we have electric lights now, too!

Great job, Blizz! Love your work!

Now that you can eternally milk the WOW cash cow, give us the D3 already and start working on WC4!

MightyJordan said,
12 million subscribers, "with a total of about 3 girlfriends between them", as Yahtzee would say.

You'd be surprised, there are a huge number of girls playing the game and of the ones I've met in my age range (20-28) have all actually been really hot ^^

Remember that the player base is wider that just America (where apparently almost everyone is a a fat, lazy (or incredibly vain), unsociable, slob with no conscience and is totally ignorant of the rest of the world ... btw stop trying to do British accents, you sound like idiots).

Felix_ said,
You'd be surprised, there are a huge number of girls playing the game and of the ones I've met in my age range (20-28) have all actually been really hot ^^
I really highly doubt that. The 'all have been really hot' bit, i mean. Unless of course, all the ones you have met could be counted on a single hand. Then that would be an accurate count of actually attractive girls in game.

Blackhearted said,
I really highly doubt that. The 'all have been really hot' bit, i mean. Unless of course, all the ones you have met could be counted on a single hand. Then that would be an accurate count of actually attractive girls in game.

Well 'met' is a bit of a stretch, I've physically met 8 of the girls I have made friends with online. Two of those are 40+ so a bit out of my age range but still pleasant, intelligent people. The others I met IRL are awesome girls The others I have 'met' or at least become friends with on facebook / myspace.

I don't really understand your POV? Are you just being belligerent? I could say that based on commonly held preconceptions about the type of people who enjoy reading about games/tech news then the total number of attractive girls on this forum could be counted with one had ... but i'd be wrong and considered ignorant by other people for making such a stupid comment ... *hint hint*


ANYWAY!! It's a game not a dating service. Sure there's the chance every now and again of getting your 'end away' with someone you meet in game but that's not what the game is for. You'd be pretty disappointed if you tried to find a girlfriend playing CoD or solitaire wouldn't you?

Edited by Felix_, Oct 8 2010, 11:20am :

Tom W said,
12 million raiders! I never really saw the appeal of the game to be honest.
Certainly not everyone who plays is a raider! Personally I play the game almost entirely solo (which it supports very well).

Tom W said,
12 million raiders! I never really saw the appeal of the game to be honest.

Me too. Never played, never will. I'm not a fan of these types of games

2xSilverKnight said,

Me too. Never played, never will. I'm not a fan of these types of games

How can you know if you never played the game ?

Tom W said,
12 million raiders! I never really saw the appeal of the game to be honest.

Does that opinion come from having actually played the game (beyond the 14 day trial)? Or just some random musing?

12 million subscribers, "with a total of about 3 girlfriends between them", as Yahtzee would say.


At least it's not increasing at a ridiculous rate now. When Yahtzee said that on Game Damage, that was back when they announced they had 11 million WoW subscribers, and that was nearly 2 years ago now.

12 million is a lot. I wonder what the number will be when the expansion is released. I also wonder how it'll be affected by upcoming games like Guild Wars 2 and DC Universe Online.

chadlachlanross said,
WoW, I can't believe so many accept to Blizzard's unscrupulous business practices.

Care to explain? I don't play WoW, but I'm curious what you mean.

(By don't Play I mean that I have 2 lvl 80s and 1 lvl 70 but have only played for a few months since it came out)

chadlachlanross said,
WoW, I can't believe so many accept to Blizzard's unscrupulous business practices.
I am likewise confused by this comment.

Next expansion is going to bring more subscribers since they practically revamped the initial zones and the difficulty of it. Won't link the article I'll mention but it said they lost plenty of new people because of the horrible beginning of the game. Once the next expansion ships new people will want to try it out (so they don't stay far behind on progression) and old people will come back, surely the numbers will go up.

Rodrigo said,
Next expansion is going to bring more subscribers since they practically revamped the initial zones and the difficulty of it. Won't link the article I'll mention but it said they lost plenty of new people because of the horrible beginning of the game. Once the next expansion ships new people will want to try it out (so they don't stay far behind on progression) and old people will come back, surely the numbers will go up.

I'm not sure how its going to work for new people to the game. Before you was able to just buy wow and play. you couldnt get to outland as you would need The Burning Crusade, or Ice Crown.
But with the Zones being revamped, will u need wow + cata for leveling? Or can you just buy Wow and the zones be Patched for newbies?

Gothic_Rebel said,

I'm not sure how its going to work for new people to the game. Before you was able to just buy wow and play. you couldnt get to outland as you would need The Burning Crusade, or Ice Crown.
But with the Zones being revamped, will u need wow + cata for leveling? Or can you just buy Wow and the zones be Patched for newbies?

You get the 1 - 60 content for buying vanilla, the revamped 1- 60 will be patched in for everyone since with vanilla you paid for 1 - 60 content.

Gothic_Rebel said,

I'm not sure how its going to work for new people to the game. Before you was able to just buy wow and play. you couldnt get to outland as you would need The Burning Crusade, or Ice Crown.
But with the Zones being revamped, will u need wow + cata for leveling? Or can you just buy Wow and the zones be Patched for newbies?

If you're thinking about returning and giving it another go, wait until after cataclysm. You will not need to purchase cataclysm for the new revamped lvls 1-60 content though, it's changing for everybody, as part of the revamp is to improve that experience for new players.

Statistics apparently show that many new players barely make it past level 10, this coudl be due to the face that they hadn't quite perfected the early stages of leveling, its been the same for the last 6 years teh game has been in existence. The developers have learned a lot in that time, and have now decided to go back and 'shake' things up a bit (pun intended) by taking what they have learned are good and bad things to impliment into the game, and essentially, have a second go at it.

Come back and have another go, you should find it's one of the greatest RPG's of all time.

Happy_Camel said,

snip

Statistics apparently show that many new players barely make it past level 10, this coudl be due to the face that they hadn't quite perfected the early stages of leveling, its been the same for the last 6 years teh game has been in existence.
snip

Yeah, it's because those first 10 levels were, (and still are week ago when I fired up a trial acct out of curiosity), the most excruciating and mind numbingly boring MMORPG levels I've ever played, and there isn't much I haven't played starting back with UO and EQ1 from beta on.

That's a very interesting statistic to be sure. I couldn't believe I was the only one who thought it was just that bad in the beginning

zkid2010 said,

Yeah, it's because those first 10 levels were, (and still are week ago when I fired up a trial acct out of curiosity), the most excruciating and mind numbingly boring MMORPG levels I've ever played, and there isn't much I haven't played starting back with UO and EQ1 from beta on.

That's a very interesting statistic to be sure. I couldn't believe I was the only one who thought it was just that bad in the beginning


Those are also the levels where you don't know anyone in the game so the social aspect of the game that keeps many people playing hasn't kicked in yet. Different story though if you do those levels with a friend.

Yadiel Feliciano said,
tried wow, nothing interesting, boring, lame, for people who don't like being social -__- .. in two words.. no life ..

/my opinion

I'd actually say the opposite, wow is made for people to be social, so not being social at all kind of defeats the purpose. also I think the whole wow players have no life thing has been done to death.

Yadiel Feliciano said,
tried wow, nothing interesting, boring, lame, for people who don't like being social -__- .. in two words.. no life ..

/my opinion


people who use -__- as a smiley are boring and lame.

^thats about how logical your comment was.

Gabe3 said,

people who use -__- as a smiley are boring and lame.

^thats about how logical your comment was.


I agree

Im a massive WoW player. I find the game extremly intresting, and im excited for cata on the 7th of dec. I'm very social as well.

I think your /opinion was rather /stupid.... Idiot

Yadiel Feliciano said,
tried wow, nothing interesting, boring, lame, for people who don't like being social -__- .. in two words.. no life ..
/my opinion

You should have put "/my uneducated opinion".

Yadiel Feliciano said,
tried wow, nothing interesting, boring, lame, for people who don't like being social -__- .. in two words.. no life ..

/my opinion

No life? I have a full time job, a beautiful wife, and 2 wonderful children with another on the way...

Not everyone that plays is a recluse and has no life. We still go out and do things in RL, my wife and I, as well as RL friends.

Yadiel Feliciano said,
tried wow, nothing interesting, boring, lame, for people who don't like being social -__- .. in two words.. no life ..

/my opinion

Ignorant post is ignorant.

TRC said,
Why do people feel the need to act smug and bash things that are popular?

i think it's only natural for people to dis something that they only find OK but is massively popular.

i like bashing Halo series myself (which i think is the most overrated super popular gaming series)

but overall out of multiplayer games... i think the best hands down is the game that's been out for around 11 years now which is Counter-Strike (source).

but it is surprising people can become THAT addicted to a game like WoW is beyond me or damn near any game for that matter as i think as i got older it's harder to become addicted to a game in general.

Yadiel Feliciano said,
tried wow, nothing interesting, boring, lame, for people who don't like being social -__- .. in two words.. no life ..

/my opinion

then you sir, are an idiot.

Yadiel Feliciano said,
tried wow, nothing interesting, boring, lame, for people who don't like being social -__- .. in two words.. no life ..

/my opinion

Successful troll is successful.

ccoltmanm said,
I'm sure active subscribers would be far less.

Im that dude, playing on and off, waiting for expansion which is aimed at 7th of december. Dont think anything will ever kill wow apart from itself, all the wow killers seem to fall flat on there face aka Aion/APB and Conan.

ccoltmanm said,
I'm sure active subscribers would be far less.

If you read the article, you would have seen "The publisher defines subscribers as individuals who have paid a subscription fee, have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, have purchased the game and are within their free month of access, and have accessed the game in the last thirty days"

Quick Shot said,
WOW. i can't believe people are still playing that game.

WOW I can't believe, you can't believe people are still playing that game?

Anyone got any, I can't believe It's not butter ?

Recon415 said,
Glad I'm not one of them...

EvE FTW!


I found EvE to be linear and boring. I liked the visuals and flying around in space was fun but I never subscribed. I like to pick it up every now and again as a 14 day trial just to fly about but that's about it.

For me, the warcraft Universe has one of the most diverse and in-depth story lines available. The Lore is immense. I started playing WoW late in the game, mostly because popular view had it that WoW was for lamers who didn't like to socialise...how can you not be social when there are millions of other players all sharing the same interests XD Guilds are brilliant fun too, we meet up one or twice a month in london as huge group and cause mayhem

The game play is diverse too, there are soo many different ways to play the game that it can suit a almost anyone. For people thinking of trying the game, maybe pick up some of the books or Manga, it'll give you an idea of what the characters in the game are like.

Soo yeah ... went from yelling at counter strike (read: FPS games), being constantly let down by dwindling standards of story line from the final fantasy games, and a massive number of MMO games which were really just a hollow grind to eventually playing WoW. It took me a long time to get there, prejudice against the game from people who had never even played it made the first step difficult but once I got there I was pretty happy