The power of World of Warcraft can never be understated. It’s a little frightening to imagine how many combined hours players have spent in this virtual world. Has it lost its lustre? According to the barnstorming success of Battle for Azeroth, the consensus would be: nope, it sure as heckles hasn’t.
Now, there can be very few gamers who don’t have at least a passing knowledge of this epic Blizzard title. First released in 2004, it came to be known as one of the biggest MMORPGs in the business. After a decade of success, the team announced in 2014 that over 100 million WoW accounts had been made. That’s how you make numbers go really big now.
Over all of that time, of course, players have seen tweaks, additions and updates-amundo. From subtle changes like bug fixes to vast and substantial updates, World of Warcraft’s dynamic world is ever changing. The latest update, Battle for Azeroth, focuses on the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde.
This narrative has always been central, so it was high time that the team made something bigger of it. Think of a Splatoon 2 Splatfest dialled up to about eighteen trillion, and you’re in the ballpark. The new content was always going to be a hit, but it’s succeeded on a scale that’s impressive even by this MMORPG titan’s standards.
New official content has always been a great way to get past players and those who have drifted away back, of course. Couple that with WoW’s natural talent for drawing us back in, time after time, and you’re looking at a real money-spinner. So much so, according to Business Wire, that it sold over 3.4 million units in its first full day on sale (August 14).
Is it possible the popularity of Warcraft spin-off card game, Hearthstone, has driven a lot of players back into WoW?
Not only was this a new record for the franchise, it also made the title one of the fastest-selling PC games in history. The only thing more impressive than Battle for Azeroth’s sales rate is the rate at which some fans are playing it. As we reported on August 16, one intrepid player managed to hit the new level cap (120, up from 110) just four hours after the expansion’s release. Now that’s dedication.