France, Paris ? 19 December, 2005 -- Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that World of WarcraftÂ®, its massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has surpassed five million customers worldwide. The subscription-based MMORPG launched approximately one year ago in North America, Australia, and New Zealand and has since released in multiple countries throughout Europe and Asia. This latest milestone comes on the heels of Blizzard EntertainmentÂ®'s recent announcement of a World of Warcraft expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning CrusadeTM, which will push the boundaries of the game and offer even more content and features for players.
"World of Warcraft's growth continues to exceed all our expectations," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We want to reiterate our thanks to the millions of players worldwide and to all the retailers who have enthusiastically supported the game over the past year. Our commitment to continue growing World of Warcraft is stronger than ever, with development on future content patches and on our 2006 expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, well underway. We look forward to offering even more content for current customers in the months ahead and welcoming new players into the world this holiday season."
With a strong presence across Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, World of Warcraft has quickly become the world's most popular MMORPG. Most recently, the game was launched in the regions of Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong on November 8, 2005.
As World of Warcraft's population grows, Blizzard continues to support the game with additional content through regular patches and a planned expansion pack, set to release in 2006. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade will add new lands, quests, monsters, magic items, spells and abilities, two new player races, a new player profession, 10 new levels of power for players to achieve, and much more. Additional information on the expansion and the game's regular content updates can be found at the official World of Warcraft website.
World of Warcraft's 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 that have 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 cancelled subscriptions, and expired pre-paid cards. Customers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including the WarcraftÂ®, StarCraftÂ®, and DiabloÂ® series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard-europe.com), a division of Vivendi Universal Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes nine #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's free Internet gaming service, Battle.netÂ®, reigns as the largest in the world, with millions of active users.