Blizzard announced last week that World of Warcraft has more than 1.5 million subscribers, with as many as 500,000 users playing simultaneously. The game’s infrastructure has peridically struggled to keep pace, suffering a series of outages in January. With monthly subscription plans ranging from $12.99 to $14.99, a user base of 1.5 million would generate revenue of at least $19.5 million per month – or $26,198 an hour. While MMORPG credits are often measured in extra time rather than cash refunds, that’s a substantial “cost of downtime.” Nonetheless, the performance problems seem to have had little impact on the phenomenal growth of the game.
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on Blizzard’s Warcraft series depicting a war between four unique races (Orcs, Humans, Night Elves and Undead) each armed with magical abilities and distinctive weapons.