IRVINE, Calif. - December 23, 2008 - Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft®, its award-winning subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is now played by more than 11.5 million subscribers worldwide. This new high was reached following the November 13 release of the game’s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King™.
Within its first 24 hours of availability, Wrath of the Lich King sold more than 2.8 million copies, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time. In addition to winning a number of editor’s choice awards from major gaming publications, the expansion has now gone on to sell more than 4 million copies in its first month, setting a new record for monthly PC-game sales. Both sales records were previously held by World of Warcraft's first expansion, The Burning Crusade.
“We’re pleased to welcome the new and returning players who have helped World of Warcraft reach these new milestones, and we appreciate the enthusiasm and support that the game’s global community has continued to show,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to providing all of them with an excellent entertainment experience for a long time to come.”
“Not only is Wrath of the Lich King still doing well, the base World of Warcraft game and the World of Warcraft Battle Chest® are performing better than last year,” said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. “That type of traction is very impressive for a game that is going into its fifth holiday season and speaks to the enthusiastic player base Blizzard Entertainment products have.”
To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at www.blizzard.com/jobs. More information about the latest World of Warcraft expansion is available at the official Wrath of the Lich King website: www.worldofwarcraft.com/wrath.
World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees’ territories are defined along the same rules.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes sixteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Blizzard Entertainment generally uses words such as “outlook,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “might,” “remains,” “to be,” “plans,” “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” “future,” “plan,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales levels of Blizzard Entertainment’s titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the impact of the current macroeconomic environment, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Blizzard Entertainment’s products, competition from the used game market, industry competition and competition from other forms of entertainment, rapid changes in technology, industry standards and consumer preferences, including interest in specific genres such as real-time strategy, action–role-playing and massively multiplayer online games, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Blizzard Entertainment, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, licensees, licensors, vendors and third-party developers, including the ability to attract, retain and develop key personnel and developers who can create high quality “hit” titles, counterparty risks relating to customers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates and tax rates, and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, and the other factors identified in the risk factors section of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.