Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced a total of more than 4.5 million customers for its massively popular MMO World of Warcraft
, simultaneously announcing an official launch for the game in the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. The company's last major subscriber milestone
was 3.5 million 'customers', reached in July 2005.
According to Blizzard, the commercial launch of World of Warcraft
in the territory follows an open-beta test during which WoW
reached a peak concurrency of more than 140,000 players, with a total open-beta base of more than 800,000 players.
Blizzard's partner, Soft-World, and its subsidiary, GFI (Game First International), are leading the operation and management of World of Warcraft in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. GFI's dedicated team in Taiwan will provide synchronization of content updates and deliver player feedback to the developers. The team will also offer 24-hour customer service with direct game master (GM) support and local call-centre representatives dedicated to helping players with questions regarding gameplay and technical issues.
Finally, a footnote to Blizzard's new provides interesting information on how its 4.5 million customers are defined, since Asian MMO game use differs significantly to North American players. The company explains: "World of Warcraft
customers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or purchased a prepaid card to play [the game], as well as those who have purchased the installation box bundled with one free month access. Internet Game Room players having accessed the game over the last seven days are also counted as customers."