Even in the middle of zombies, nerfs, and Death Knights, World of Warcraft has continued to grow. Blizzard announced today that World of Warcraft has achieved 11 million subscribers. To help with perspective, that's as many people as had been employed by the construction industry last year, or just slightly under the population of Greece.
When WoW hit 10 million back in January, Blizzard acknowledged how big the holiday season had been for them. Now consider that we're going into a new holiday season with a brand new expansion on the way. Even if other games are looking to get a piece of the action, we should expect Blizzard to keep steamrolling with their great success. Word of mouth from the recent zombie event might be exciting older players to return, and programs like Recruit-a-Friend will keep growing their active base.
We should expect to see the 12 million landmark sometime in 2009. WoW had hit 9 million subscribers back in July of 2007. Like we said, 10 million subscribers was reached in January of 2008. It took a little longer to grow from 10 to 11 than it did to get from 9 to 10, but if they keep up this rate, we should see the 12 million announcement around February or March.