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Updated World of Warcraft Subscriber Numbers

Lich King powers World of Warcraft to new subscriber high.

It's only a matter of time before we're issued one of these at birth.
I don't know about you, but I like nice, round numbers. They're easy for my tiny mind to process. That's why it's sort of weird that Blizzard has updated its worldwide subscriber numbers for World of Warcraft. In a release sent out this morning, the company pegs the new subscriber count at 11.5 million accounts.

That's 11,500,000. The last count was 11 million, which was already pretty impressive. What, they couldn't wait until they hit 12 million before shooting out a release?

The release of the MMO's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, is credited as fueling this rise in subscribers, and the company issued some sales numbers on that, as well. In addition to moving 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours on sale, the expansion has gone on to move 4 million copies in its first month. Here is my expert commentary on these figures: Man, that's a lot.

In case you're questioning the numbers, Blizzard is also continuing to be pretty transparent about what it considers a "subscriber" with this handy 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 left me wondering what the heck the "Internet Game Room" is, but I haven't been able to figure out what that means. Searching for the term turns up the last several Blizzard press releases that use this exact paragraph to define subscribers. I currently have both Crash Commando and TrackMania United Forever running over here... are they talking about my bedroom? IS BLIZZARD SPYING ON MY BEDROOM!?!?!!?

I should probably put on some pants.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
49 Comments
Posted by Jeff
It's only a matter of time before we're issued one of these at birth.
I don't know about you, but I like nice, round numbers. They're easy for my tiny mind to process. That's why it's sort of weird that Blizzard has updated its worldwide subscriber numbers for World of Warcraft. In a release sent out this morning, the company pegs the new subscriber count at 11.5 million accounts.

That's 11,500,000. The last count was 11 million, which was already pretty impressive. What, they couldn't wait until they hit 12 million before shooting out a release?

The release of the MMO's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, is credited as fueling this rise in subscribers, and the company issued some sales numbers on that, as well. In addition to moving 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours on sale, the expansion has gone on to move 4 million copies in its first month. Here is my expert commentary on these figures: Man, that's a lot.

In case you're questioning the numbers, Blizzard is also continuing to be pretty transparent about what it considers a "subscriber" with this handy 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 left me wondering what the heck the "Internet Game Room" is, but I haven't been able to figure out what that means. Searching for the term turns up the last several Blizzard press releases that use this exact paragraph to define subscribers. I currently have both Crash Commando and TrackMania United Forever running over here... are they talking about my bedroom? IS BLIZZARD SPYING ON MY BEDROOM!?!?!!?

I should probably put on some pants.
Staff
Posted by drifter13x

They hit 13 million, that's when they flip the switch and the world ends in a Nerd-zombie-poclypse. Just saying.

Posted by TheGTAvaccine

Internet Game Rooms I am assuming are Internet Cafes.

Posted by suneku

And their plan to take over the world continues...

Posted by Jumpify

I play in the Internet Game Room if you know what I mean.... Hey buddy want an Internet Game Room Blizzard Style!

Posted by Weltal
Jeff said:

I should probably put on some pants.
"
You have pants?!
I just assumed you only owned shorts.
Posted by Hamz

11.5 million? Seriously thats pretty damned impressive for a game to have such a HUGE following after 4 or 5 years now?

Posted by Snail

Saddens me.

Posted by dtran1212

11.5 million?? damn, thats a lot, but im sure glad i ain't one of the 11.5 mil thats for sure

Posted by tmlim

Sounds like people like it.  Maybe I should give it a try! :)

Posted by goldenmnk

lol wetal that was dick

Posted by spiceninja

Seems a bit strange that they get that many new subscribers just because of an expansion that is usless to you unless you have a high level character.

Posted by drifter13x

The extra half a mil is probably people coming back and wanting to get up to see the new content, guys who had sleeping 70's. Also the economy is in the toilet, so indoor entertainment like movies and games become the more affordable choice. And I think WoW has proven to be a pretty good time sink.

Posted by RHCPfan24

Thats a lot of people, WoW!  Hehe, see what I did there?

Posted by natetodamax

Pathetic. This world is a disgrace.

Online
Posted by Roger_Klotz

I want to own blizzard so I can have all that muneyz.

Posted by DukeTogo

Game rooms are big in colleges and in foreign countries.  There is one close to me that lets folks play WoW or some other FPS games.  It's basically a Internet Cafe but usually it's pretty seedy and full of pesky teenagers.  In the foreign joints they actually have premade toons for folks to play without their own account.  Why anyone would want to fart around with someone elses toon, (or let someone play one of yours for that matter) is beyond me, but I guess it's just fairly low level toons with no epic gear so anything they do is no big loss.  Maybe some sort of contract is signed if they go and shard gear or send stuff to their own toon they are liable.

I guess they could've waited, but a press release right before the holidays is publicity.

In other news, Warhammer lets you worship false idols that resemble e-peen douchebags that play way more than you.

Posted by MrRedwine

Ok, doing the math the easy way:

11,500,000 X $10.00 (LESS than ANYONE can pay for a subscription a month) = $115,000,000.00 a MONTH!

$115,000,000.00 X 12 =  $1,380,000,000.00 (that's 1 BILLION 380 MILLION dollars) a year. 

And this was paying less than you can pay per month with any plan.  Also, you could add in the $49.99 they charge you for the game in the box, but that's just a one time per purchase event.

Posted by Meteora

Well MrRedwine you have to also consider the maintenance fees for the servers on WoW; they can get pretty expensive.

Posted by Crono

Yes, Meteora, I am sure the maintenance costs really knock that number down a peg lol

Posted by Fontan

11.5 milion is certainly a lot.

Just glad I'm one of the 6+ billion that doesn't pay monthly to play a game.

Posted by Agent_Lost
suneku said:
"And their plan to take over the world continues..."
wait, isn't that Google job

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

I believe an internet game room is similar to a cyber cafe, but for gaming, ala the whole issue with Valve and the publisher about distribution of something to cyber cafe's?

Posted by Xiemos2

Blizzard put out a press release a few months back if I recall correctly regarding their maintenance fees..

It was $200 million TO DATE--for servers and personnel. Not too shabby.. and definitely doesn't even make a dent in their profit

Posted by Smoolander

Mooooooooooooooooo

That's the sound of the cash cow that Blizzard has created. Blizzard execs drive around in solid gold plated cars.

Posted by Gizmo

Blizzard could have had 12 million more if they had been half-assed to port it to the 360, but no, they are probably too busy counting their money to bother.

Posted by jakob187
MordeaniisChaos said:
"I believe an internet game room is similar to a cyber cafe, but for gaming, ala the whole issue with Valve and the publisher about distribution of something to cyber cafe's?"
Actually, Valve doesn't have any kind of issue.  They just charge a gaming center $200 per PC to run a special form of Steam that doesn't carry all the games.  It's pretty shitty, especially since per Microsoft's agreement with gaming centers, we have to own a copy of each game in the first place.
As for MMOs, that's not really a big deal, given that people have to buy their own subscriptions for the game anyways.
Edited by Aaox

Yes, Jeff, you should... you should really go put on some pants.

please.
Also, that's 11.5million anti-social obese people. Roughly. Unless you're not addicted. Sorry to generalize. No, no,  you're okay. It's the others. Them. I like you.
Posted by Gizmo
jakob187 said:
"MordeaniisChaos said:
"I believe an internet game room is similar to a cyber cafe, but for gaming, ala the whole issue with Valve and the publisher about distribution of something to cyber cafe's?"
Actually, Valve doesn't have any kind of issue.  They just charge a gaming center $200 per PC to run a special form of Steam that doesn't carry all the games.  It's pretty shitty, especially since per Microsoft's agreement with gaming centers, we have to own a copy of each game in the first place.
As for MMOs, that's not really a big deal, given that people have to buy their own subscriptions for the game anyways.
"
When I went to Turkey, I found a gaming cafe in one of the poorest areas of the country(my dad's side of the family lives there), and I was suprised to see how many games these computers had(and ran really well), every computer had a 26 Samsung monitor and the cases of the pcs were alienware. Guess how much it cost for 4 hours use?
20 pence.
Thats like 14 cents.

Of course all the games were pirated, but over there, they can't even buy PS2's, let alone the current gen.
And you know what, all power to them.
Posted by MrMiyagi

I just renewed my subscription last night.

Posted by Gizmo
MrMiyagi said:
"I just renewed my subscription last night."
Mr Miyagi, recognize me?
Posted by Calidreth

A great expansion for one of the best games of all time.

Posted by Gunner612

lol at bllizzards new ad campaign

"11 million people cant be wrong"

Posted by CitizenKane

Those are crazy numbers.  I'm still scared of losing what already little life I have to start playing this game, though.  I try to avoid MMO games at all cost, for my social life's sake.

Posted by BlackWaterCO
Posted by Kohe321

They are making enough money, thats for sure..

Posted by Dryker

Blizzard is a monster and earned every penny. Those guys know how to make games, too bad I don't play MMO's... they haven't made shit since. I believe my recently opened CD matures when their next game hits. Good! I'll have money to buy it.

Posted by Captain_Fookup

Great, that means alot of monays being put towards Diablo 3 and fuck who knows maybe even Ghost in a few years.

Posted by MaddProdigy

I doubt you could port wow to a console, way too few buttons. Blizzard earned every cent of this, the game is awsome, hope they put it into making future starcrafts and diablos just as good, not just conquering the world with solid platinum life size replicas of frostmourne.

Edited by SSbabel

How can so may human's commit so much time to video game, it's insane.

Posted by Media_Master

I still can't believe so many people dig MMO'S...

Posted by JoelTGM

How do so many people play that game steadily for years?  They got to the highest level already... so they're just playing to get more items for their character?  Then once they do that, Blizzard releases more gear sets and an expansion or two.  When will they realize the game ended long ago.

Posted by NathHaw

For those who've played the game or still do, I doubt these numbers are that surprising.  It is one of the best games ever made if not the best.

Posted by Gelatinousgelboy
I should probably put on some pants.
OOH, I want pics!
Edited by MasterTom
Bloviator said:
... It is one of the best games ever made if not the best.
agreed... it's a great game... awesome expansion... really a shame i don't have the time to get into it again.
Posted by runin

If there is one company that still has left to disappoint me, it has to be blizzard. So, if i pay someone to play a game, well, it might as well be the guys over at Blizzard. And wow is by far the cheapest addiction I have ever had. If i play wow for 1 Saturday I have just saved myself at least 100$ on a cheap night out. And i can tell myself that I am a nerd not a alcoholic.

Posted by BestUsernameEver
Meteora said:
"Well MrRedwine you have to also consider the maintenance fees for the servers on WoW; they can get pretty
Posted by NarcolepticBat

Not so much internet cafe's but LAN houses and ect. that buy the game on several machines for wide use

Posted by Lestater

Yeah, I'm.. uh.. ehh. err g-g-g-glad that I'm not one of those 11.5 million...  >_>

I swear I'm not..  <_<
*stuffs Night Elf ears in closet"
I'm definetly not one of those losers.  >_<