World of Warcraft was released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2004. This massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) was the fourth game released in the Warcraft fantasy universe series. And has gone on to become one of the most popular and famous online games of all time. Today, almost two decades after its original release, WoW, as it is known to fans, has over eight million players. So what is the secret to the continued success of World of Warcraft?
This can partly be credited to the rise in online gaming as a whole. At the beginning of the Internet as we know it, and for most of the first decade of its existence, online gaming was seen as the preserve of the same kind of people, mostly young, male and socially awkward, who used to pile into badly-lit basements to play fantasy multiplayer role-playing board games, like Dungeons and Dragons.
As technology advanced and connectivity improved, games with better graphics and more interactivity started to attract new players. These obviously ranged from typical video games to traditional casino games online and, of course, the ever-growing MMORPG market. WoW was one of the first of these latter games to attract widespread attention, but it has managed to stay at the top because of a number of other factors, which we will take a look at now.
1. WoW is exceptionally accessible
Right from the start, Blizzard Entertainment has made sure that tutorials included lore, gameplay, powers, fighting system, and, basically, everything a first-time user would need to know about the video game. Other popular MMORPG games have sometimes neglected to do this, making them harder for new players to master. But with WoW, anybody can sign up and learn all they need to know without going back to the original game to learn the basics.
2. The world in WoW is huge.
Right from the start, players of WoW could roam two continents in search of adventure. But the team at Blizzard didn’t stop there. They devoted their considerable brain power and resources to developing expansions, and with everyone came a new continent, new quests, bosses, equipment, characters, upgrades, skills, and much, much more. This basically gave subscribers a whole new game to master before the next upgrade came along.
3. Different things to do
WoW isn’t just about invading enemy territory or defending your towers. Sure, you can do these things if you want, but there are so many different aspects to gameplay that we don’t have the time or space to go into them all right here. But despite the name, WoW lets you go fishing, look for love, raise a pet, and so much more that you don’t ever get bored with the game.
4. World of Warcraft has a huge number of players
No matter what time of the day or night you log on, there will always be thousands of active players around. You’ll meet old friends, or maybe enemies, veterans of the game who have been playing for years. And thanks to its continued popularity, there are always some new players to pit your wits against.
5. WoW is always growing
WoW is constantly growing and evolving. And the great thing is Blizzard is extremely good at interacting with their fanbase, and developments in the game are based on user feedback. This includes new expansions as well as regular updates to fix things their subscribers didn’t like. Of course, they can’t address every single individual complaint, but if a feature gets a strong enough adverse reaction from the fanbase, Blizzard will respond.
An excellent example of this is the World of Warcraft Classic server option. This recreates the original game before the release of the first expansion, allowing players to take a trip down memory lane. This option was a repeat request from subscribers and was released in 2019.
The factors listed above can give you some idea of why WoW still tops lists of the most popular MMORPGs even in 2023. But if you really want to understand the appeal of the game, the best thing to do is check it out for yourself.