This is old news really: we all know that there are 10 million of us playing Blizzard's MMORPG juggernaut. In MMOGChart's latest report however, there appears to be a little growth spurt in the early part of this year.
This is surprising when we consider the fact that WoW is three years old. In the video and computer game business, three years is considered "old", even for a game that is constantly updated. Other games would usually see a tapering off in terms of population growth at this stage. Not only is market-dominating WoW bucking the trend, it's actually enjoying a surge in its population!
Is this growth spike the result of anticipation for Wrath of the Lich King? Probably so, according to MMOGChart: "There appears to be a slight acceleration of growth a month or two before the release of an expansion, which then continues for approximately 3-6 months afterwards." With the unprecedented size of WoW's playerbase, we can probably expect the hype to be built up a lot sooner than "a month or two".
The report has gone on to break down WoW's existing 10 million subscribers by territory:
- North America: 2.5 million
- Europe: 2 million
- Asia: 5.5 million (primarily China)