World of Warcraft tops 11.5 million subscribers

Blizzard announced in a press release last week that it's most popular game series - World of Warcraft - is now played by over 11.5 million gamers worldwide (and that number excludes players who have expired or free promotional accounts). The record was set shortly after the release of the latest expansion pack: Wrath of the Lich King, which sold over 2.8 million copies within its first 24 hours of availability.

The game series has set records (even beating its own at times) with each expansion pack, and its popularity continues to grow at an astounding rate. The game currently holds the world record for the most popular MMORPG, not surprising when you consider that the Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack sold over 4 million copies in the month after it hit the shelves.

"We're pleased to welcome the new and returning players who have helped World of Warcraft reach these new milestones, and we appreciate the enthusiasm and support that the game's global community has continued to show," said Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard. Over the years, World of Warcraft has continued to gain popularity with both hardcore gamers and casual gamers, and this latest milestone only re-enforces that.

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As people have been saying, 11.5mil x $15/mo = $172.5mil/mo, however its important to note that this figure doesn't even include the money made from selling the actual game in-stores.
2.8mil x $39.99 = $111.972mil.
Then of course if you figure in the 11.5 million made from selling the base game, which if you assume an average price of $35 (because the game was originally $50 and now its $20), 11.5mil x $35 = $402.5mil.
Figure in the 3.5 million sales of Burning Crusade (the only figure I can find), 3.5mil x $49.99 (which was its initial price) = $174.965

So just from the KNOWN figures (i'm sure they've sold many more than 3.5mil units of Burning Crusade and 11.5mil units of the original game) they have made at LEAST somewhere in the ballpark of $700mil. I think that the real number of units sold would probably push the figure well over a billion. And I'm sure that they have made another billion from the monthly subscriptions alone. So right there we are talking about $2bil.

The point I am trying to make is that if a gaming company makes a quality game, with a quality online play, with quality features, with the ability to work on older computers and its fun for all types of users, then there is no reason that they should be prospering from the game.

I can't stand these companies which cry to high hell that piracy is killing their company or that it has caused poor sales of a game. If these companies made quality games with quality online play then people would buy it. UT3 and Quake 4 both failed because they sucked and you needed an ultra powerful computer to actually enjoy the game not because of piracy. The gaming industry is recession-proof; all it takes is for these developers to devote their entire efforts to making a quality and enjoyable game.

About most of my family and friends play WOW but im the only one that dose not play , Im not rilly shore why thay spend hours and hours playing thay seem to be in sumkind of hypnotic trance...................................

xcross said,
About most of my family and friends play WOW but im the only one that dose not play , Im not rilly shore why thay spend hours and hours playing thay seem to be in sumkind of hypnotic trance...................................

They could probably better spend their time helping you with your horrible spelling problems. Seriously, go buy a dictionary.

Very strange that people go out of their way to insult other people.

Well I guess this world is made up of all kinds of different people , but I do not blame you ,because you probably had a bad childhood or something.

By the way not to point out the obvious but I think this is about World of Warcraft , and not spelling ; sorry if I miss read the topic.

If I have offended you in any way in the past to make you dislike me I apologize ,but im 100% shore that I do not know you , and that you do not know me.

Also you should learn not to criticize others so much especially if its the first time talking to them.

Now to get back on the topic let me say something about World of Warcraft.
Over all it's a very well made game I give it a 8/10 , but as most online games go you should take it in moderation. You do not wont to be spending to much time on it and lose your seance of reality of the real world. A lot of people were I live simply spend nearly all there time on WOW , and should spend more time on other activities.

11.5 million sad, lonely people. LOL i love it when people who used to play wow use the term "Quit" after they say I. amazes me as they think its a job LOL.

I'm glad I don't play WoW anymore as well.

I play EQ2, less population and less idiots to deal with. But more stuff me to do at the same time while not worrying about some dingbat KSing my mobs or have to fight some turkey for the things I need.

With that said, WoW is just too big for my taste.

perochan said,
STOP SPENDING TIME ON WOW AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT STARCRAFT 2 AND DIABLO 3!!!!!!! seriously...

Warcraft/WoW has no impact on those games. With the amount of money they are making, they can easily hire dozens of teams to make other games.

sad but true. Don't forget, they also make money on realm transfers, name changes, and gender changes now. Along with clothes lines and officially licensed merchandise. They probably rack in about 200 - 250 mill a month. We are all in the wrong business people.

SinghKing said,
How many actual players?
Most people got at least 2 accounts each

dual boxing isnt common
i only know 2 ppl personally that do it..out of at least 500 ppl i deal with on a regular basis..im sure at most its 1%

Must be a slow news day so far, seeing as a 9 day old news bit is just making it here, with nothing else having been posted. :P

Well, I'm making an effort. I just sent some emails begging for some review copies of games in 2009, and there might be some other exclusives coming up if all goes well...

But sometimes it's not easy, especially at times when most people have their holidays (thus less news).

Oh, don't mind me. I'm not usually one to bitch about things like this. Just thought it was funny to be honest.

Enjoy the holidays while you can.

cba to read the article but how many of those are active users? i quit ages ago... but i bet my account still counts in this apparent 11.5...

Probably the ones with an active subscription are the ones being counted.

It's funny because I remember they displayed some information that:

To date, 68% of the players who listed Age of Conan as their reason for cancellation and 46% of the players who listed Warhammer as their reason for cancellation have reactivated their subscriptions to World of Warcraft.

Source

So yeah, they are obviously watching the subscriptions, as well as general trends.

that number excludes players who have expired or free promotional accounts

I'm guessing that means your account isn't counted if it's canceled.

Well 11.5 Million x $15 a pop, way for a gaming company to make approx $172 million dollars a month. Wish that was going into my pocket.

Well, they have 236 US realms alone, not to mention all the other countries and areas, along with the servers handling authentication, instances, battlegrounds, zones, and so forth. I can only imagine how much it takes to run everything alone, not to mention the payroll of every employee.

Wouldn't mind seeing some in-depth financial information from them. :P

The irony of your comment, posted by the 'managing editor' of a website in which it's news-worthy that a beta of the next version of Windows has leaked, and that is enough to get members frothing out the mouth...mhmm. Sad indeed.

Glass houses and all that...

11.499 million apparently. I don't feel like I'm that much of a sad act, for playing a game a couple hours a week and enjoying myself. Thank you very much.