World of Warcraft is a game that needs no introduction. In fact, it’s still one of the biggest games in the video game industry right now. Even after going through several key issues that plagued them over the last couple of years, both the game and the company are still going strong.
And the stats say it all. We’re not talking about your critical strike chance or how much damage your physical attacks can do, or how much spell power you need to take down Mythic Jailer. We’re going beyond that.
Today, we’re looking at some World of Warcraft stats, from its revenue to its player demographics and more.
Key World of Warcraft Statistics
- World of Warcraft averages at about 1 million daily active users, hovering somewhere between 700,000 to 800k at any given month .
- Peak player count at the height of the game’s popularity was 10 million active players a month in 2017 .
- Since the game was released, more than 116 million players have been recorded to have played the game at some point .
- United States accounts for the biggest player share at 22.5% of the entire WoW player population .
- World of Warcraft playerbase is predominantly male, accounting for more than 50% of the population .
- World of Warcraft players spend an average of 22.7 hours a week playing .
- The most recent expansion, Shadowlands, is the game’s fastest selling expansion, selling more copies than any of the previous expansions. Shadowlands sold 3.7 million units on its first day .
- It’s estimated that World of Warcraft generated close to $200 million a month on subscriptions alone at the peak .
World of Warcraft Overview
World of Warcraft was first launched back in 2004 for PC. 18 years later, the game has gone through several expansions, legal issues, and a more recent company turmoil , .
But what exactly is World of Warcraft, or WoW?
World of Warcraft is an MMORPG, or massive multiplayer online roleplaying game, set in the world of Azeroth. Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft, developed the story in a way that players didn’t need to go through the Warcraft series in order to be familiar with the universe.
Since its release, World of Warcraft has gone through eight expansions, with a ninth coming by the end of 2022. Each expansion brings with it further story development, new mechanics and in-game content.
WoW Player Stats
Let’s take a look at some numbers on how many players play World of Warcraft .
- It’s estimated that World of Warcraft averages at above 1 million daily active users.
- Peak WoW player count was back in 2017 where the game averaged close to 10 million active players a month.
- At any given time, there are about 400,000 to 600,000 people playing the game.
- There are about 120.8 million total players or subscribers for World of Warcraft. It’s unclear as to whether or not this Warcraft player count also includes active subscriptions.
How Many People Play World of Warcraft?
- In 2015, World of Warcraft had 5.5 million global subscribers, but it’s projected to decrease to 4.46 million by 2023 .
- The peak popularity of the game put the subscriber count at 12 million during the second half of 2010 .
- In 2021, World of Warcraft live player count according to subscriptions was 4.74 million, a slight decrease from the 4.88 million recorded in 2020 .
- As of December 2019, the most popular classes in terms of player distribution for the US realm and EU realm are as follows. This Warcraft player count is based on the % of the population for the entire realm :
- Hunter – 11.3% (US) and 10.5% (EU)
- Paladin – 9.7% (US) and 9.5% (EU)
- Druid – 9.7% (US) and 9.9% (EU)
- Warrior – 9.5% (US) and 9.9% (EU)
- Mage – 8.8% (US) and 9.9% (EU)
As of December 2019, the following races are the most popular in terms of player distribution for the US realm and EU realm are as follows :
- Human – 14.4% (US) and 15% (EU)
- Night Elf – 11.6% for US and EU
- Draenei – 5.7% (US) and 5.3% (EU)
- Worgen – 4.9% (US) and 4.3% (EU)
- Gnome – 4.1% (US) and 3.6% (EU)
It’s estimated that 3% of all WoW players get addicted to playing the game . Caveat here is that there’s a clear difference between “addiction” and “being highly engaged”.
Majority of WoW players are highly engaged, which puts them far out of harm’s reach, at least on a mental state. In order for addiction to be diagnosed, a player needs to meet certain criteria within a specific period of time.
At some point since its release, there were about 116 million players playing World of Warcraft .
World of Warcraft, much like any MMORPG, isn’t a game with a completed ending. You played the game and could stop whenever you wanted to while maintaining progress.
You’d be surprised at how well Blizzard has developed their catch-up system for World of Warcraft players that you could literally quit for five years and come back into the game like you just quit yesterday.
So the 116 million players that were recorded since the game’s inception might still be questionable at best, but it proves still that the game continues to draw the interests of new and old World of Warcraft players.
Here are some other interesting player statistics:
- Average monthly player count over the last 30 days is 8.3 million .
- Peak player count over the last 30 days is 752,855 .
- An average World of Warcraft player spends about 22.7 hours a week playing the game .
World of Warcraft Player Demographics
- United States maintains itself as the country with the biggest World of Warcraft player base, accounting for 22.54% of the entire player population in terms of daily participation .
- Russia comes in second place with 9.58% and Germany with 8.81% .
- France and United Kingdom close the top 5 with 5.55% and 4.94% respectively .
- World of Warcraft players are predominantly male, accounting for 58.53% of the player base. Female players account for 36.31% .
- The average age for a WoW player is 31.9 years old. The survey participants were aged between 18 years old and 90 years old .
- Players belonging to the age group of 50 to 57 years old spent more time playing WoW than any other age group as well as having the most number of max-level Alliance toons .
World of Warcraft Revenue Statistics
For this section, we continue to look at more numbers. This time, we’ll look into World of Warcraft’s revenue data and see how well it’s done over the last few years.
And we apologize that we’re not going to show you in-game data on physical attacks, critical strike chance, % to block physical attacks, and more. If you were also expecting to learn about how to make money in World of Warcraft, then you’ll be disappointed twice.
- Activision Blizzard’s annual revenue for 2021 was $8.8 billion dollars, spanning all revenue from their titles for that particular year .
- During Q2 2022, Blizzard reported more than 27 million active users a month for all of their titles .
- Shadowlands, the most recent WoW expansion, was the fastest selling expansion of all time, having sold more copies in one day than any of the other expansions . The game sold 3.7 million units on its first day .
- Battle for Azeroth, the expansion before Shadowlands, came in second place with 3.4 million copies sold, and Legion, Wrath of the Lich King, and Warlords of Draenor tied in third place with 3.3 million copies .
- Warcraft (2016) remains as the highest-grossing film adaptation of a video game of all time with a box office revenue of $439 million .
- Pokemon: Detective Pikachu and Rampage follow in second and third place with $431 million and $428 million.
- It’s estimated that Blizzard makes about $87 million in subscription sales for World of Warcraft annually, based on their monthly subscription costs and average monthly active users .
- At the peak of its popularity, World of Warcraft generated $180 million a month on subscriptions and close to $2.15 billion per year .
- Blizzard generated $1.1 million from their first virtual pet, the Pandaren Monk, on behalf of Make-a-Wish foundation back in 2010 .
- They continued their tradition of donating their pet sales for the following year with $800,000 to the Make-a-Wish foundation and another $1.1 million for Japan after the Tohoku tsunami/earthquake.
- When the game first released, World of Warcraft became the fastest-selling PC game for that time period with more than 240,000 copies sold in a span of 24 hours .
- Burning Crusade, the first expansion, sold 2.4 million within 24 hours.
- Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion, sold 2.8 million copies.
If you’ve noticed, most of their revenue stats are based on estimation. That’s because Blizzard is secretive about their profit and revenue, so there are no official figures from them.
The estimated figures are based on subscriber count along with the subscription cost, but even then, it’s difficult to determine if the estimated figures are close to the real numbers. It’s worth noting that the computations you find online for their revenue are based on those who pay the monthly subscription. Blizzard has a three-month and six-month plan for their subscriptions, so these may not be included in the computation.
Is World of Warcraft Still Popular?
There are several factors to consider in terms of popularity, but for this segment, we’ll go over Twitch data.
Twitch is the most popular streaming platform for video games. The platform covers games from all platforms and spanning different genres. It makes sense to use viewership data from Twitch to gauge popularity because it reflects the other side of the gaming populace.
Note that the people who do watch Twitch streams may or may not have the game that’s being streamed. If a World of Warcraft player doesn’t have an active subscription, they can just keep themselves updated with the game by watching different streams.
- As of August 2022, World of Warcraft is one of the most popular games on Twitch in terms of all time views with 11.95 billion views. League of Legends maintains the top spot with 52.8 billion views .
- Other Blizzard games such as Hearthstone and Overwatch are amongst the most popular games in terms of all time views.
- World of Warcraft accounts for 1.3% of share of number of hours watched on Twitch. League of Legends remains the most popular in terms of share of number of hours with 9.3% .
- As of April 2022, World of Warcraft averaged 35,100 viewers, roughly a 50% decrease from March 2022’s 75,500 average viewers .
The Wrap Up!
There are several factors that determine World of Warcraft’s daily player count. Sometimes, it’s the content currently released, and sometimes, it’s the current circumstances. For instance, World of Warcraft peaked in popularity by the time the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the global lockdowns ensued.
On top of that, there were the legal issues that Blizzard faced over the past year or so, forcing the count of daily players for all their games at an all-time low. But for World of Warcraft, the popularity of the game depends on how the other players find the current content.
When Shadowlands released, there was a massive decline in player counts because of content draught. Majority of players felt that the game was not allowing players to fully enjoy the current content, and so they left.
And so the game with one of the highest MMO populations was stuck in a state of purgatory. New players weren’t enjoying the game while the older players felt like the content was boring. It wasn’t until Blizzard decided to restructure the entirety of the WoW dev team when they started getting their players back.
During that sensitive time period, a lot of players and even their content creators thought that World of Warcraft was about to die. After all, their biggest players, Twitch streamers, and YouTubers left for Final Fantasy XIV and New World.
But here we are and the numbers prove it. World of Warcraft can’t be taken down easily. It’s a giant in the video game industry, and numerous games have come and gone hoping to take it down.
World of Warcraft still stands, and with a new expansion coming within the next few months, there’s no doubt that WoW will get its players back.