Blizzard Entertainment has announced that World of Warcraft
, its subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has surpassed 1.5 million paying customers in China - just a month following the game's commercial launch on June 7, 2005.
According to the company, World of Warcraft
has now achieved another significant milestone as the largest MMORPG in the world, with more than 3.5 million global customers, following a 2 million subscriber announcement
on June 14th. Although it's believed that Chinese consumers are paying significantly less than Western consumers to play the title, this is still a significant and extremely impressive milestone.
"World of Warcraft
's success in China has quickly exceeded our expectations, and seeing Chinese gamers respond so enthusiastically to the game has been extremely gratifying," said Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We thank the players for embracing World of Warcraft
, our partner The9 for helping to make all of this possible, and the Chinese authorities for their support of Blizzard Entertainment."
Blizzard's partner, MMO operator The9, is leading the operation and management of World of Warcraft in China
, and has provided localization of game content, synchronization of content updates, and delivery of player feedback to the developers, including 24-hour customer service, direct game master (GM) support, and local call-center representatives to deal with technical and gameplay issues.
"Chinese gamers across the country have embraced World of Warcraft
," said Michael Fong, Blizzard Entertainment managing director, Greater China, "and we are committed to responding with continual updates to the game, including new dungeons for players to explore, additional player-vs.-player content, ongoing live events, and much more. Blizzard and The9 also remain dedicated to delivering unparalleled service to Chinese gamers with fully localized content and local, around-the-clock customer support."
Blizzard has announced that it plans to continue expanding World of Warcraft
with upcoming launches in Taiwan and other parts of Asia.