Blizzard Entertainment today announced that World of Warcraft, its massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has surpassed the 1.5 million subscriber mark, underscoring the game's continued success around the world. Building on its record-breaking debuts in North America, Korea, and Europe, World of Warcraft has reached global peak concurrency - the number of subscribers playing at the same time in each market - of more than 500,000 players.
"All of us at Blizzard are extremely gratified and amazed at the international demand for World of Warcraft," said Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment. "From region to region, we've seen a phenomenal level of enthusiasm for World of Warcraft, and we're absolutely thrilled people are enjoying the game so much."
Since its debut in North America on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has launched to critical and commercial success in Korea and Europe, exploding in popularity across the globe. In the span of a few short months, World of Warcraft has achieved record-breaking milestones, including:
o Over 290,000 account creations and 180,000 peak concurrency in its first weekend.
o Over 500,000 active subscribers, and 230,000 peak concurrency to date.
o The most successful 100-day launch of any MMORPG in Korean history since its commercial release on January 18, 2005.
o World of Warcraft is currently played in 75% of Korean Internet Game Rooms (IGRs), the primary venue for playing games in Korea. IGRs subscribe directly to MMORPGs and then players buy blocks of time from the IGRs for game time.
• North America:
o Over 200,000 subscribers and 100,000 peak concurrency achieved in the game's first 24 hours.
o Current subscriber base of over 800,000 players.
Blizzard Entertainment is now focused on preparing the game for launch in additional regions in Asia and firming up service support in existing data centers. World of Warcraft is scheduled to launch in China in 2005, where excitement for the game has already reached a fevered pitch, as evidenced by the 100,000 applications for the limited open beta in just the first hour of signups on February 28, 2005. Launches in Taiwan and other regions are scheduled to follow closely thereafter.
Can they hit 2 million and beyond? From what we hear about the World of Warcraft, it should be a cinch