World of Warcraft can now lay claim to .0017 percent of the world population as its active subscriber base–more than the individual populations of Greece, Cuba, and Portugal, or Lithuania, New Zealand, Fiji, and Iceland combined.
Make that 12 million and change, according to Blizzard Entertainment, which announced today that World of Warcraft had finally moved past 12 million worldwide subscribers after the Wrath of the Lich King expansion launched in China last month. The company also attributes growth to anticipation of its upcoming Cataclysm expansion.
Blizzard counts according to active subscribers, anyone in their first initial free 30 days of access, and “Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days.” They exclude players with free promotional, expired, cancelled, or expired prepaid subscriptions.
12 million’s an impressive number by just about any metric, but it’s worth noting World of Warcraft’s growth has slowed significantly in recent years. The game hit 11.5 million subscribers way back in December 2008, just after Wrath of the Lich King launched in the U.S. and Europe. Two years, then, to add a relatively modest half a million.
All that changes in December, when Cataclysm launches, probably roping another half a million or more. And let’s not forget we’re talking a six-year-old game with a subscriber base that’s still growing.
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