World of Warcraft hits five million customers

WoW Dark

Perhaps there is such a phenomenon as “too much of a good thing”. Blizzard have announced today that World of Warcraft now numbers five million customers—equivalent to the entire population of Minnesota or Scotland. Having already taken the ”#1 MMORPG” crown when it hit 3.5 million customers back in July, the game’s recent launch in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as well as Christmas sales must surely have contributed to this milestone.

There’s no doubt that WoW is a fun and enthralling product—we’ve even got a blog dedicated to it. However, as number one, WoW is facing the burden of representing MMORPGs to the wider audience. With stories of death and addiction inextricably intertwined with rumours about the expansion, WoW’s image is suffering and other MMOs may feel the burn as they try to avoid the same problems while still aiming for the top spot.

It’s going to be difficult for any MMO to reach the same numbers without World of Warcraft suffering some sort of internal haemorrhage of players, but perhaps the weight of Blizzard’s behemoth will prove its eventual downfall as the diversifying player base demands more and more from the developer.

[Thanks, Anon]