January 11, 2007 1:48 PM PST

'WoW': 8 million served

Currently, the population of Earth is estimated to be 6.7 billion people. As of this week, roughly 0.1 percent of the sum of modern humanity plays World of Warcraft.

On Thursday, Blizzard Entertainment announced that more than 8 million people subscribe to the massive massively multiplayer online role-playing game, setting a new milestone for the title more than two years after its fall 2004 release.

As it is with the real-world population, Chinese subscribers are the largest demographic in Azeroth, totaling 3.5 million players, Blizzard said. Next up is North America, with 2 million players, followed by Europe, with 1.5 million--the remainder of subscribers are in other territories. Subscription rates vary by region, but U.S. players pay $14.95 each month to play WoW after doling out the suggested retail price for the game, which has been lowered to $19.99.

"We're ecstatic that the World of Warcraft community has continued to grow steadily since we launched the game," Blizzard President and co-founder Mike Morhaime said. "This milestone wouldn't have been possible for us to achieve without the incredible support of our players."

Though its original world is already popular, WoW's borders will soon grow, courtesy of next week's release of the "Burning Crusade" expansion pack. Like the original WoW, it is rated T for Teen. However, at $39.99, it will cost more than the original game, which is required to play the expansion.

Tor Thorsen reported for GameSpot.

See more CNET content tagged:
World of Warcraft, milestone, Blizzard Entertainment, role-playing game


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