It's official: Blizzard's World of Warcraft is now the largest online game in North America. From launch on November 23rd, 2004, the game sold lots and lots of copies. No press release yet; just an understated update to the Blizzard company profile that states:
"In less than three months …. [WoW] sold over 800,000 copies in North America. With a subscriber base of more than 750,000 players and peak concurrency of over 250,000 users, World of Warcraft is now the biggest online game in North America."
Prediction: If Blizzard can lick the lag problems, WoW will become the first-ever, million-subscriber MMOG in North America. That's the magical, imaginary line at which experts agree we'll have our first-ever "Mass Market MMOG" (soon to be abbreviated to MMMMOG) in North America.
Update: An astute commenter pointed out it may not be fair to call WoW the most popular online game in North America given the success of Halo 2 and Xbox Live. Xbox live has approximately 1.5 million subscribers and Halo 2 has sold about 6.5 million copies worldwide. If 60% or more of those Xbox Live subscribers play Halo 2, then Halo 2 wins bragging rights.