World of Warcraft is an MMORPG (Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) set in the Warcraft universe. In the game, the gamer plays the role of an adventurer traveling the land of Azeroth. There, they mingle with the community, fight enemies, and do quests and favors for the townsfolk in exchange for gold.
How Did It Start Out
Designed by Jeff Kaplan, Rob Pardo and Tom Chilton, the MMORPG game World of Warcraft (WoW) has a rich history. Its development was announced on September 2, 2001. After three years, development of World of Warcraft was finished, and was released on November 23, 2004, at the same time as the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise under the Blizzard company.
It has had many expansions, such as The Burning Crusade (2007), Wrath of the Lich King (2008), Cataclysm (2010), Mists of Pandaria (2012), Warlords of Draenor (2014) and Legion (2016). Another expansion is in the works, Battle for Azeroth.
World of Warcraft is the most subscribed game in history, with more than 5.5 million active subscriptions as of 2015. Its peak was at 12 million subscriptions in 2012. Everquest, one of the biggest competitors of World of Warcraft, on the other hand, has an estimated peak of 700 thousand active players at a time, as of 2015.
World of Warcraft, as it has had a long history, also has a massive database. Their servers have the data of over 100 million total separate accounts accumulated over time, which is about double the population of South Korea.
The most expensive account trade ever done in World of Warcraft amounted to USD 9,900, or around 5000 pounds. However, this was against the End-User License Agreement of Blizzard, thus leading to the account being banned less than a week later.
Blizzard has used World of Warcraft for charity events. They occasionally sell premium items whose revenues are sent to charity, and between 2015 and 2016 their donations have amounted to a total of USD 3.2 million.
WoW has made quite an impact in the past, but its future remains open. The announcement of Battle for Azeroth on November 3, 2017 meant that the game will continue having more improvements for the years to come. We could also expect Blizzard to gain a bigger playerbase because of the advertising that they have been providing the gaming community, with some simple of the first trailers of Battle for Azeroth reaching nearly 5 minutes, as opposed to the former trailers of The Burning Crusade at less than 2 minutes.
Rise in cyber threats have also led cyber watchdogs to point out discrepancies in the anti-cheat software of WoW called Warden. With the vigilance of late, Warden is now facing the threat of being removed because it is being labeled as spyware (since it returns information back to Blizzard). The implication of this is that other anti-cheat software will have to be changed as well.
Social media is now also being integrated with Blizzard services. This makes WoW players wary of their privacy. Player’s Facebook accounts are now being displayed in the forums, thus causing concerns over game-related identity-theft.
DC Comics released a World of Warcraft series in 2007, so the possibility of it being continued on until well past 2018 is a possibility. This had allowed World of Warcraft to gain a foothold in popular media, such as the case with the 2016 movie Warcraft, which was based on World of Warcraft lore.
World of Warcraft has truly reached the general public. It has a rich history, has great impact in our community, and its future is bright. We should expect more, because this game is not just a game, it’s an entire World!