With every kid on the planet seemingly battle royale-ing it out in online multiplayer games like Fortnite and PUBG, it’s easy to forget just how big a deal the World of Warcraft once was in the online gaming realm.
Blizzard Entertainment’s most notorious creation was a significant trailblazer for bringing millions of people together to play the same game at the same time. However, the time of talking about Warcraft in the past tense is, well, in the past. That’s because the legendary MMORPG is back with a vengeance.
The subscription-based (£10/$15 a month) World of Warcraft Classic set a record for launch-day concurrent viewers on Twitch a week ago, Reuters reports, with many gamers facing waits of hours to log in and play.
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Just last week we reported queues of 20,000+ gamers seeking to get online and enjoy the return to the realm. Things have calmed down significantly since, but the popularity bodes well for the gaming studio..
Industry watcher Barron’s said Blizzard Entertainment – a subsidiary of publishing behemoth Activision Blizzard – could see a significant revival if the popularity of the new release can be sustained over the next few months.
“The business model for World of Warcraft is highly profitable, with a subscription costing $15 a month. If World of Warcraft Classic drives a couple million new subscribers for a few quarters, it would boost the company’s earnings significantly,” Barron’s said.
Just last week the Activision Blizzard stock price rose by 6.9% following a sluggish six months between October and February this year.
Whether World of Warcraft can get back to its mid-2000s heyday, which spawned its own South Park parody episode, remains to be seen. However, the more ponderous, strategic title is getting online gamers excited once again – even amid the era of short form, instantly gratifying games being offered up on all screens.