World of Warcraft, the game that you either love or hate, has managed to surpass the 10 million subscriber level in the wake of a very successful launch of the game’s latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor. The woes surrounding the initial days of the launch are well-documented online with stories of server queues long into the night and in-game latency issues. Mix some DDOS attacks in during launch night and following day, and you have a recipe for disaster. Blizzard’s deployment of massive infrastructure-wide phasing for servers and staggering logins for incoming users helped to a degree, but it took nearly four days to sort out the issues. They even awarded five days of game time to all active subscribers to make up for the launch problems.Now, the business of hot-fixing and working towards the next big content patch begins.
All problems aside, November —the same month as the 10th Anniversary of World of Warcraft— was quite successful for Blizzard’s mammoth MMORPG:
New expansion achieves day-one sell-through of more than 3.3 million copies
On November 13, millions of Azeroth’s champions enlisted for the war against the Iron Horde with the launch of World of Warcraft®: Warlords of Draenor™, the fifth expansion to the world’s #1 subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game.* Blizzard Entertainment today announced that as of the first 24 hours of the expansion’s availability, more than 3.3 million copies had sold-through and the game’s global subscriber base had passed 10 million, with growth across all major regions.
The release last week in North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia brought some technical and demand-related issues that made the first few days especially challenging for many players. To address the issues, Blizzard worked around the clock to roll out a series of updates and increase realm capacity across the board, and performance has remained solid since then. The expansion launched today (November 20 local time) in South Korea, mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
“We’re thrilled that so many players jumped in to play Warlords of Draenor on day one and are having a great time with the new content,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We poured a lot of hard work and passion into this expansion, and we appreciate all the kind words from players and the overwhelming support they continue to show for World of Warcraft.“
The post-expansion bump in subscriber numbers is nothing new —Mists of Pandaria saw the numbers climb towards 10 million again, although this was only up from around 9.1 million. The Q3 earnings meeting from Activision in September showed that subscriber numbers had dropped into the 7 million range so the post-expansion boost this year was far more significant. There are certainly worse ways to celebrate a game’s ten year anniversary!
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