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World of Warcraft Hits 10 Million Subscribers

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the that's-a-lotta-bored-paladins dept.

Role Playing (Games) 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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450 comments

That explains EVERYTHING... (5, Funny)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#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!

Re:That explains EVERYTHING... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152408)

Dude, you read slashdot... you don't get laid

Re:That explains EVERYTHING... (0, Offtopic)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152498)

Less competition for me? Let them play, boys, let them play!

asl?

Re:That explains EVERYTHING... (5, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152652)

You had competition from the kind of people who play World of Warcraft?

Re:That explains EVERYTHING... (1, Flamebait)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152692)

Never underestimate what low self-esteem can do for you. If it's their self-esteem that's low, that is.

How about taking some of that subscription money.. (4, Insightful)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152316)

And you only took 7 years to figure that out. Congratulations.

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152422)

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

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (4, Insightful)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152878)

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:How about taking some of that subscription mone (1)

Vexor (947598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152894)

Blizzard is working on an untitled (so far) next gen MMO. Watch as WoW subscriber count hits 0 once World of Starcraft is released.

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (5, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:How about taking some of that subscription mone (2, Insightful)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152618)

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:How about taking some of that subscription mone (5, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:How about taking some of that subscription mone (2, Insightful)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153092)

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:How about taking some of that subscription mone (2, Insightful)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153096)

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.

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152674)

O Rly? Then what is burning crusade and upcoming wrath of the litch king?

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153118)

They are expansions. What is your point? It's a fact that WoW has had many, many content updates that do not need to be purchased.

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152684)

New stuff that is exactly like the old stuff, and does nothing but kill time while they work on the next expansion, which is the only part that actually advances the plot.

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153058)

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.

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (-1, Troll)

WapoStyle (639758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152666)

20 hours for +1 intellect? Wow, you must really suck. Please don't post if you don't know what your talking about.

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152818)

20 hours for +1 intellect? Wow, you must really suck.

Wooooooooosh!

Too bad /. cannot keep 12-year old WoW kiddies for taking hyperbole [wikipedia.org] statements seriously. Drink your own lemon-aid: "Please don't post if you don't know what your talking about."

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152672)

Clearly ten million people don't seem to mind that much.

Re:How about taking some of that subscription mone (5, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152792)

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.

munnies! (2, Insightful)

legoman666 (1098377) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152294)

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.

Re:munnies! (1, Informative)

fain0v (257098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152370)

Not all subscribers pay the same. Players in China pay as little as 6 cents an hour.

Re:munnies! (1)

legoman666 (1098377) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152424)

Back when I used to play, I think paying $0.06 an hour would have been more expensive than the $13/mo I was paying. Heh. Glad I quit, but I still don't have a life.

Re:munnies! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152530)

No wonder the gold farms are so profitable. Actually, what you said doesn't make any sense. If the subscription fee is $15 a month, and there are 720 hours (24x30) in a month, then, if you play 24 hours a day, using people in shifts, then it only costs you $0.02 an hour to play. Is there any limit on how much you can use a single account?

Re:munnies! (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152856)

Realistically, it does make sense. Since even the average WoW player doesn't play 720-748 hours every month, and most don't play even half that, .06/hr would be a much more cost-effective payment method - pay for only actual playtime, not hours or even days that you don't log on.

Re:munnies! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152974)

Well, you only need to play around 8 hours a day to bring your rate down to 6 cents an hour. Even just playing 15 hours a month brings your rate to $1 an hour. That's pretty cheap if you ask me. Way cheaper than going to a movie. I realize it ends up costing quite a bit more than your average $60 pay-once game, but it seems to offer a lot more playability. Then again, I've never played the game, so what do I know.

Wrong info in article (5, Informative)

Sierpinski (266120) | more than 6 years ago | (#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].

Re:Wrong info in article (-1, Redundant)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152598)

Warcraft brand, not World of Warcraft.

Warcraft came out in 1994, Warcraft 2 was out in '97 I think it was, and then of course there was Warcraft 3 in the early '00s

gold farmers (0, Flamebait)

musikit (716987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152342)

"5.5 million players in Asia"

so they admit over 1/2 the WoW population are gold farmers.

Re:gold farmers (2, Informative)

Broken Bottle (84695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153040)

No Asian players play for fun? Please. Blizzard's games have been huge in Asia for ages, more successful than they ever have been in the west. Starcraft is practically a religion in some Asian countries.

I wonder (2, Interesting)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152360)

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 (2)

crow (16139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152436)

Could they tell the difference between someone playing on Linux with Wine and someone playing on Windows?

Re:I wonder (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152548)

Yes they can!

Because in the first times of WoW on linux they banned ppl because the WoW Guard (anti-cheat feature/spybot u name it) accused ppl on wine+linux of cheating.

Since that doesnt happen anymore it means they have seperated the cheaters from wine+linux ppl therefore they know.

Re:I wonder (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152566)

Their anti cheat technology flagged wine users as cheaters at some point, so yeah they can tell the difference.

Re:I wonder (3, Interesting)

klngarthur (1114085) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:I wonder (2, Informative)

Res3000 (890937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153132)

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.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152528)

Valve has a survey [steampowered.com], but I would imagine the people playing WoW are a different demographic.

Not an average of $15 USD in Asia (5, Informative)

Aereus (1042228) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not an average of $15 USD in Asia (5, Informative)

Broken Bottle (84695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152910)

Actually, if analysts are correct, Blizzard's average revenue per subscriber is still quite high, even with Asian players factored in.

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16519 [gamasutra.com]

This article speaks to that. Even is they aren't bringing in $15 per subscriber per month, they're still doing surprisingly well. WOW is just a phenomenon plain and simple.

Once again, I say, Get A Life (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152412)

Once again, I say, Get A Life. Nuff said.

average income (1)

kevgaxxana (1197617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152476)

given the most known numbers, they make about 3 billion a year. time to get starcraft out of the free market

So What? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152482)

Ragnarok Online has 25+ million subscriber worldwide with 24 million being in asia(Gold farming is impossible so no farmers either...)

Re:So What? (1)

TheAngryIntern (785323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152756)

yeah, but nobody cares about some crappy game made in asia. the MMOs over in asia are a LOT different than the ones we get here

Re:So What? (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153066)

Yeah, but that's a boring grindfest, the perfect game for Asians (and especially Koreans) it seems.

10 million subscribers say ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152502)

Ouch (or words to that effect)

Say what you want... (4, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152510)

...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:Say what you want... (0)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152576)

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.

Hello. Consoles would like to have a word with you outside.

Re:Say what you want... (1)

rb4havoc (822483) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152814)

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.
I went to Blizzcon, and was able to play WotLK, and I can definitely say at that time, it was no where near done. They only had one workable zone, and it really wasn't that workable, plus if you died, there was no way to really find your corpse. It might be much closer to being in beta stages now, but when they had it for a demo at Blizzcon, it was very much still alpha at that point.

Re:Say what you want... (2, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152840)

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.

Re:Say what you want... (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152960)

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.

10,000,000 / World Population (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152562)

So, the equivalent of 10,000,000 / 6,641,114,624[1] * 100 = 0.150577% of the world's population pays for WoW.

[1] ~ World population [wikipedia.org]

Re:10,000,000 / World Population (1)

G-News.ch (793321) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152640)

actually, I suspect those 10mio subscribers include past subscribers that still have an account on the servers, but are inactive at the moment. So assuming that maybe 20% are passive accounts, they only get money from 8mio people. Which is still way more than the game is worth, of course. And I've played for 1.5 years...

Re:10,000,000 / World Population (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152918)

They announce 10 million active subscribers, but suspect that they are liars and active subscribers really means people that we know about. If you are going to call them liars, why not go for the gusto and accuse them of meaning 10000000 in base 2 and only having 256 active subscribers? I've been playing since launch, and I know people who've quit, people who have taken long breaks but are active now, and people who have picked the game up for the first time in the last few months. I have no problem believing that they hit 10 million world wide.

So let me get this right (2, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152578)

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 me...

Re:So let me get this right (1)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152772)

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.

Re:So let me get this right (1)

TheAngryIntern (785323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152882)

I find it funny that people make fun of MMO gamers for paying the monthly fee. yes I pay about $15/month to play WoW.....that's about .50 a day. Plus I tend to not buy other games since I know that I probably won't even play them, so in the end I've actually saved money by Playing wow. Paying $15/month to play a game instead of paying at least $50 for a new game about every month.

Re:So let me get this right (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153078)

Plus I tend to not buy other games since I know that I probably won't even play them, so in the end I've actually saved money by Playing wow. Paying $15/month to play a game instead of paying at least $50 for a new game about every month.
My solution was getting open ended games. After I beat Animal Crossing, Oblivion, Marrowind (I know, but my girlfriend got me hooked on Oblivion before I beat Marrowind) and Wii Sports. I'll buy some new games...

Accuracy? (3, Insightful)

UncHellMatt (790153) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Accuracy? (2, Informative)

Tridus (79566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152690)

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 again lately for the first time in months, and EVERYWHERE has been busy. The low and mid level areas were full of players over the holidays, which is really something for a game out this long. Its also a regular on the weekly PC best seller list.

Re:Accuracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152802)

Why it says subscribers, not boxes sold.

Re:Accuracy? (5, Informative)

Cabriel (803429) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Accuracy? (1)

Dal Platinum (829197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153156)

10 million active subscriptions. They do not count unpaid accounts in this number. They *do* keep old accounts, so users can go back for expansions/whatever in the future. But those accounts are not counted with these 10 mil.

What is a subscriber? (0)

AznGod (1225468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152656)

According to Blizzard that is anybody who has ever touched the game for the course of its history. Which includes those who already cancelled their accounts, those who are playing for free(whether it's the promotional 10 days or you just have an account you screw around with on the test server), and probably even accounts way back from open beta, since technically those to were free promotional subscriptions. "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."

Re:What is a subscriber? (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152796)

"The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards."

What part of "excludes expired or cancelled subscriptions" don't you understand? Subscribers are people who are currently paid up to play the game, or just bought it and are in the free month.

People keep spewing off this nonsense about how the numbers are fake with absolutely no evidence to back it up. The game really is as popular as they say it is. Anybody hitting a queue while trying to login in the last month despite there being something like 200 servers in the US alone.

Re:What is a subscriber? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152828)

No. You posted one thing and quoted something that directly contradicts your post.

The quote explicity says that
- Promotional accounts are EXCLUDED
- Expired or Cancelled subscriptions are EXCLUDED
- Expired prepay cards are EXCLUDED

Re:What is a subscriber? (1)

Broken Bottle (84695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153010)

You need to learn to read:

"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."

THAT is a subscriber, not your stupid assumption. And you contradict yourself with your own source knucklehead.

Re:What is a subscriber? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153162)

According to Blizzard that is anybody who has ever touched the game for the course of its history. Which includes those who already cancelled their accounts ... and probably even accounts way back from open beta, since technically those to were free promotional subscriptions

You mean according to you. According to Blizzard, which you actually quoted though clearly misread:

"The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards."

So no, it does not include anyone who has ever touched the game. It in fact is a pretty reasonable definition that includes only people who are currently paying for access to the game.

Could be fun with a decent game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152670)

They've shown they can cope with load. Now if only they'd make a game worth playing, a plot not revolving around a Harry Pottery-ish universe.

10million subs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152678)

not really. thats 10 million accounts.

since a lot of 'diehard' wow suckers have 3 or more accounts. and then, half of those accounts are in Asia (which are gold farmers), which means about... 100-500 accounts per company.

if you do the numbers of ACTUAL ACTIVE* subscribers, ... .. your probally looking at no more than 2 Million if their lucky. of that... probally HALF are actual players.

*Active, those activly playing, and not dud accounts .

Don't believe the hype. (1, Interesting)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152716)

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.

Re:Don't believe the hype. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22152950)

But once you're done leveling, the game is over.
Why shouldn't it be? I don't understand why people expect networked games to be ever-evolving, with awesome changes to keep them interested for a decade. Games work like this: you play it, you wrap it, and then you stop playing. The idea that a game should not "end" simply because you're too addicted to quit baffles me. If you've played for years and are level 9000, you're done. Maybe come back in a year once loads of new content is available. Don't hang around waiting desperately for the developers to drop you a few more crumbs.

I played for a couple months and then stopped because I knew I'd never be happy with the outcome. The fact that I play for enjoyment is trumped by the fact that others are playing with 20 browser windows open calculating odds and following the step-by-step mold. Quite frankly, it's boring playing a game alongside people who are treating it like a life-or-death situation where every move must be made by the book.

I'm happy for Blizzard.. (2, Interesting)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:I'm happy for Blizzard.. (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152902)

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 easy.

Re:I'm happy for Blizzard.. (2, Informative)

KaiUno (1110525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153064)

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 in the lower tiers of the expantion, having fun discovering stuff and doing quests. Look at it this way... when you hit the top, freeze your account and go play that huge pile of singleplayer games (or multiplayer games, whatever, the non-mmo's). That's what I do, at least. Play the MMO for a couple of months, then exit and catch up on Galaxies, Mass Effect and the like. I used to be "stuck" in an MMO for ages before, but I always felt I needed more diversion in my play time. Could be the perfect MMO just hasn't come around yet. If it does, I'll probably go back to the 24/7 regime.

Returning players (4, Interesting)

realsilly (186931) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

So... (-1, Flamebait)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152848)

...how long before M$ starts their own MMORPG, and then finds a small company that holds a patent on something in WoW, fronts them the money to sue the pants off Blizzard, while licensing the use of the patent-holder's IP? Or just goes the easy route and sues under anti-trust?

Warcraft books (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152860)

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. :)

Old news. (1)

Damocles the Elder (1133333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22152958)

I'm as much a fan of WoW as the next person (probably more, considering the number of "get a life" people out there), but come on. We've been getting stories [slashdot.org] about them hitting random [slashdot.org] and odd [slashdot.org] subscriber marks [slashdot.org] since the game first [slashdot.org] came out.

We get it. It's popular. It had more people than any other MMO at something like the 250k mark. I'd be more impressed if I didn't get the running commentary about the size of the player base every other month.
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