World of Warcraft breaks the 1 million mark just for NA subscribers:

IRVINE, California – August 29, 2005 – Blizzard Entertainment®, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft®, its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has reached more than one million paying customers in North America. This brings the total population for Blizzard’s critically acclaimed game, the largest MMORPG in the world, to more than four million paying customers.

“It’s very rewarding to see so many new and returning players logging in to play World of Warcraft daily,” said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With the continued support of our retail partners, World of Warcraft has reached more than one million paying customers in North America well before its one-year anniversary in November. We would like to express our appreciation to both the players and our retail and license partners for helping us make World of Warcraft one of the most popular online games in the world.”

World of Warcraft’s Paying Customer Definition
World of Warcraft customers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or purchased a prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the installation box bundled with one free month access. Internet Game Room players having accessed the game over the last seven days are also counted as customers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or canceled subscriptions, and expired pre-paid cards. Customers in licensees’ territories are defined along the same rules.

My comment is still the same with the difference that this time I’m really surprised (past considerations).

I know that the game is still a best seller but I was expecting the subscription numbers to remain steady or just slightly rise. Balanced by the players leaving the game (the game is popular between younger players, which I considered less reliable long-term subscribers).

I underlined Mike Morhaime quote for a reason. WoW is considered the “fast food” of mmorpgs but I was wrong to believe that this fast food had a short life. In fact I still believe that the game has an high churn rate (people unsubscribing) but this is constantly compensated by returning players. McDonald’s is a fast food and we can criticize it on the quality of the food, but I don’t think today it has less customers than a few years ago. As McDonald’s, WoW is now conquering popularity (and unpopularity) all over the world exporting its own style. A successful style. As I already wrote this game is becoming more than a game and nearer to a cultural phenomenon.

Half a billion dollars a year. PC gaming is dead?

No, just owned.

Psyae commented on Ethic’s blog:

This is it. Finally, Bliz cracked the code opening the portal to this nth dimension. It’s what the geeks, the nerds, the hackers, the power gamers, the entrepreneurs, the closet RPers, the closet PVPers, the heroes, the maidens, the X-ers, the modernized baby boomers, the quiet, the loud, the you, and the me can all play together, simultaneously, daily, infinitely, and get a boatload of pleasure from it without feeling ashamed that you spend more of your “offtime

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