‘World Of Warcraft’ Passes 10 Million Subscribers Again, Helps Explain ‘Draenor’ Launch Issues

The Warlords of Draenor expansion single-handedly turned around the decreasing number of World of Warcraft subscriptions. Blizzard announced Tuesday that the daddy of all MMORPGs got a big boost from the Iron Horde to make it back over 10 million subscribers.

According to a Blizzard press release, Warlords of Draenor sold 3.3 million copies to consumers within the expansion’s first 24 hours. That was enough to drive the game’s subscriber base from the 7.4 million reported at the end of the third quarter to over 10 million.

This number includes players in North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. Expect that to grow as Warlords of Draenor expands to South Korea, mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on Thursday, November 20.

World of Warcraft has been steadily shedding subscribers since reaching a peak of approximately 12 million players in October 2010. The subscriber base fell below 10 million in August of 2012.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (PC)

Activision counts subscribers as players who have a paid subscription, active prepaid card, and those who purchased the game and are within their free month of access. It includes “internet game room” players, but excludes those under free promotional subscriptions.

“We’re thrilled that so many players jumped in to play Warlords of Draenor on day one and are having a great time with the new content,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We poured a lot of hard work and passion into this expansion, and we appreciate all the kind words from players and the overwhelming support they continue to show for World of Warcraft.

This good news for World of Warcraft helps explain why players had problems getting into the MMORPG when Draenor launched last Tuesday. In addition to a DDOS attack, players faced long queues to get into the game and experienced gameplay problems once logged in through the weekend. Blizzard is continuing to work on the issues even today.

Executive Producer J. Allen Brack apologized to fans for the problems in a post on the Battle.net forums yesterday. He detailed changes they were making to World of Warcraft‘s servers to accommodate the added capacity. He also said, “In recognition of the difficulties so many of you ran into when trying to play over the first few days, we’re adding five days’ worth of extra time to every subscription in the Americas, Oceania, and Europe that was active as of Friday, November 14.”

Are you a returning World of Warcraft player that purchased Warlords of Draenor? What do you think of it so far? Let us know in the comments below.

[Images via World of Warcraft]