Tobold's Blog
Friday, January 12, 2007
World of Warcraft hits the 8 million mark

These "resubscribe to WoW early before the BC rush" e-mails really worked: Blizzard just announced World of Warcraft now having 8 million paying customers, of which 2 million are in North America, 1.5 million in Europe, and 3.5 million in China.

Now compare that to the 280,000 players that pre-WoW were thought to be the size of the European MMO market. World of Warcraft increased the market size at least 5-fold. Sorry, don't have the numbers for North America, but I'm sure the overall market size grew there as well. That is important, because paying customers equal profit which equals future investment in new games. That could be Blizzard working on World of Starcraft, or other companies wanting their share of the pie. Now the market has been proven to be there, people start investing. And while not all the games produced that way will be good, overall we players will get more choice between better games. And even if you hate WoW, you'll have to thank Blizzard for that.
plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, plz, World of Starcraft.

Interesting point about the size of the MMO market.

My wife responded to my "WoW addiction" with, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

Her gaming experience was Pac Man and the original Mario Bros.

So I sat down with her. And we worked side-by-side, with her at the controls, from character creation though about 20 levels.

It's no longer a "stupid game" to her. Now her level-33 character is transferred to her own account. She enjoys WoW, and has become proficient at playing, and (since level-20 or so) we almost always party as a team. It's very fun.

And it has also opened a new side of WoW for me. We've tried quest lines and professions that I've never tried before, and WoW is much more fun and smooth with a party of two, than with soloing.

But in a survey six months ago, she would not have been considered "potential MMO market".
I wonder if that number of WoW paying customers will drop once it's realized that each account (not computer) has to have its own copy of TBC.

There are people I know who have accumulated a number of accounts, but I can't see them paying an additional $50 for each on top of the monthly fee. We're going to condense our 3 accounts down to 2 because of this very issue.

My wife responded to my "WoW addiction" with, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

So did mine. While I had been unable to interest her in SWG, she took up WoW enthusiastically. Over the past few weeks, where I was playing less WoW due to waiting for the expansion, she actually ended up playing more WoW than I did. I'll buy her a BC expansion for the blood elves and draenei, which will probably interest her. But in nearly 2 years of WoW she has started so many characters that her highest level is 53, and she doesn't really need BC for the Outlands content.
Mart's comment above makes me wonder about the distribution of player involvement. I mean metrics like:

* number of computers with WoW
* number of accounts
* number of family members that share accounts
* number of active alts
* number of mules
* number of active toons on different servers
* number of toons leveled to 60
* number of guild memberships on different toons

And most importantly: number of people that will be buying TBC on launch day or launch week, to give an idea of whether the servers will really crash! :)
Ah you lucky guys, my wife wont go near it have shown her bit & pieces but just not for her, even the buying of goods & clothing hasnt caught her imagination ah well...more power to the female wow player i say thou!
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