Just days ahead of the launch of its first expansion, representatives from Blizzard Entertainment have announced that its flagship MMO World of Warcraft has surpassed 8 million players worldwide.
First launched in November 23, 2004, the game has quickly has become the most populated MMORPG in the world. Blizzard notes the game is available in seven different languages and is played in North America, Europe, mainland China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
There, the game has set new regional subscriber records as well, with more than 2 million players in North America, more than 1.5 million players in Europe, and more than 3.5 million players in China.
The game's first expansion is due in North America and Europe January 16th, 2007 with World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. From there is will be launched in Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand within the week, and mainland China and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau coming at a later date.
The expansion adds an entire new continent to explore, a level cap increase to 70, new playable races, new talents and abilities, flying mounts, and several new quests and professions.
Said Blizzard co-founder and president Mike Morhaime, “We’re ecstatic that the World of Warcraft community has continued to grow steadily since we launched the game. This milestone wouldn’t have been possible for us to achieve without the incredible support of our players. With the release of our expansion pack, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, coming next week, we’re looking forward to welcoming more players to Azeroth and offering even more quality content for our community to enjoy.”