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World of Warcraft celebrates 5th anniversary

Five years of World of Warcraft
Five years of World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment

Fifteen years after the release of the original Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment celebrates a record-breaking anniversary of five years of the sensation that has become the World of Warcraft. With over 11 million subscribers, WoW has become much more than a game to many; it is a second life.

From its humble beginnings of one day hoping to achieve a million subscribers, Blizzard has built an empire on the Warcraft franchise. WoW now retains close to 70% of the MMO market share globally. At an average $15 per month per account, the company behind it all is racking up some serious dough. However, it’s not all profits. They have server farms to run the realms, account maintenance through Game-Masters, advertising, and let’s not forget that they still have to actually develop the game itself.

The first expansion, The Burning Crusade, sold 2.4 million copies in the first 24 hours, and Wrath of the Lich King shattered that with a record-breaking 2.8 million. With the newest expansion, Cataclysm, due out next year, Blizzard is going to no doubt make history yet again.

In celebration of the 5-year mark, they are giving away some freebies: a pet Onyxia whelpling to wander around at your side. And for those who are ex-WoW players, a week of free play time should they reactivate their account by December 7th.

Whether you love it or hate it WoW has become a staple of the video game world. And as long as there are players out there who feel like shelling out a few bucks a month to experience a truly virtual reality, there will be an endless stream of quests and monsters and dungeons to explore in the ever expanding, never ending, World of Warcraft.

To get in on the action, visit WoW’s anniversary site.