WoW Reaches 11.5 Million...Wait, We're Counting Halves Now?

Two months after announcing the jump to 11 million subscribers, Blizzard has decided to start incrementing its milestones, announcing that the tally is now up to 11.5.

That extra .5 million is the focus of Blizzard's press release today, earning top billing over the much more impressive news that the Wrath of the Lich King sold 4 million copies in the first month, breaking the monthly PC sales record previously held by The Burning Crusade. Barring some sort of global awakening I suspect we can just save these press releases and change out the names and numbers once the next WoW expansion hits.

Sales of the core game and the World of Warcraft Burning Crusade Battle Chest also jumped during the month as Lich King mania drove more holdouts over the edge, helping bring in those extra 500 thousand subscribers so that Blizz could issue the press release version of a 6-month anniversary.

World of Warcraft® Subscriber Base Reaches 11.5 Million Worldwide
Wrath of the Lich King™ expansion fuels growth with record first-month sales of more than 4 million

IRVINE, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft®, its award-winning subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is now played by more than 11.5 million subscribers worldwide. This new high was reached following the November 13 release of the game’s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King™.

Within its first 24 hours of availability, Wrath of the Lich King sold more than 2.8 million copies, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time. In addition to winning a number of editor’s choice awards from major gaming publications, the expansion has now gone on to sell more than 4 million copies in its first month, setting a new record for monthly PC-game sales. Both sales records were previously held by World of Warcraft’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade®.*

“We’re pleased to welcome the new and returning players who have helped World of Warcraft reach these new milestones, and we appreciate the enthusiasm and support that the game’s global community has continued to show,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment®. “We look forward to providing all of them with an excellent entertainment experience for a long time to come.”

“Not only is Wrath of the Lich King still doing well, the base World of Warcraft game and the World of Warcraft Battle Chest® are performing better than last year,” said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. “That type of traction is very impressive for a game that is going into its fifth holiday season and speaks to the enthusiastic player base Blizzard Entertainment products have.”

To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at www.blizzard.com/jobs. More information about the latest World of Warcraft expansion is available at the official Wrath of the Lich King website: www.worldofwarcraft.com/wrath.

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.