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World of Warcraft Breaks 10 Million Subscribers after Warlords of Draenor Release

Blizzard states in a press release that it has reached 10 million WoW subscribers...again. But can Blizzard maintain this level for long?

Less than a week after the release of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard said in a press release this morning that subscriptions to the game have hit 10 million within the last month.

That represents an increase of more than 2.5 million, up from 6.8 million subscribers earlier this year. It's also not altogether surprising, given that Mists of Pandaria instigated a similar jump in subscriptions past the 10 million mark (although that was a less impressive increase of just one million). The MMORPG's high watermark for subscriptions was back in 2010, when it recorded 12 million subscribers.

10 Million...and Possibly Higher?

Blizzard noted that "more than 3.3 million copies had sold" within 24 hours of the game's release, and the subscriber growth was across "all major regions". More importantly, Warlords of Draenor debuts in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau this Thursday. Given the number of WoW players in those areas, it's probable that 10 million will grow to even more.

Warlords of Draenor debuts in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau this Thursday. Given the number of WoW players in those areas, it's probable that 10 million will grow to even more.

Besides the appeal (and marketing hype) of the new expansion, gamers are likely flocking to WoW for the level-90 instant boost Blizzard is offering for one character, which allows them to bypass most of the pre-Draenor grinding and jump straight into the new expansion.

In addition to the usual addition of new dungeons and raids, features like custom garrisons for players and the new PvP area of Ashran are likely contributing to the user growth. The real question is whether Blizzard can maintain its subscription base for the medium- or long-term, or if it will experience another slow decline, as happened after Mists of Pandaria's launch.

Published Nov. 20th 2014

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