1706589999 20 years ago this MMORPG changed online video gaming but

20 years ago, this MMORPG changed online video gaming, but are there still many players playing it?

Gaming News 20 years ago, this MMORPG changed online video gaming, but are there still many players playing it?

Published on January 29, 2024 at 10:00 p.m


Just mention the three initials WOW and thousands of people's eyes light up. The famous World of Warcraft enjoyed great popularity in the 2000s and shaped the lives of many gamers. But are there even people on the servers these days?

World of Warcraft, the MMORPG phenomenon

By analyzing the success surrounding EverQuest, publisher Blizzard began thinking about the idea of ​​an open-world multiplayer adventure game. In 2000, the Ultima Online servers began to desert and Chris Metzen, designer of Warcraft II's universe and missions, saw a gap. Instead of going through the trouble of creating a new franchise, Blizzard decided to put Warcraft at the top of the list, and with that idea the project began. A Half-Life enthusiast (and mod designer for that title) was then offered a position as head designer: Jeff Kaplan.

At the beginning of September 2001, shortly before the ECTS in London (the largest European video game trade fair at the time), the World of Warcraft project was presented to the press. The project has been in development for several months and is intended to breathe epic life back into the Warcraft license. The game takes place four years after the third part (then in development) and has a trailer that causes a stir with its territory of Azeroth bathed in light. Effects, music, sound effects, graphics… everything is meticulous and the audience will be enchanted by this new production from Blizzard. Its a lot to do…

20 years ago, this MMORPG changed online video gaming, but are there still many players playing it?

Instead of promising miracles, the developers voluntarily remain sober and give some ideas that could appear in the game. It is then an MMORPG, but the funding method has not yet been decided and the staff is trying to remain consistent, with Warcraft III scheduled for release in 2002. Tested for the first time in the US and Canada (to avoid a server crash), World of Warcraft was the subject of countless questions from the team, starting with the type camera. Subjective view, third person view? What moves, what spells, what interactions? The title becomes pharaonic and the developers realize that they have a mountain to tackle.

World of Warcraft in 2024

World of Warcraft was developed by around 60 people and was almost abandoned shortly before the pre-release (alpha) version was sent to employees and their families. At the time, Vivendi, the corporation that owns Blizzard, was planning budget cuts and targeting WOW for its huge budget (fifty million dollars). It's not going to happen. The tests were successful and on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft was officially launched. On launch night, more than 5,000 people crowded outside the Fry's Electronics store in Fountain Valley. As the developers sign the copies, Blizzard realizes that the number of copies will not be enough to satisfy everyone. The producer and a few henchmen then arrived at the Blizzard warehouse to pick up copies and picked up the copy at the Irvine office. That evening another two thousand nine hundred happy people left with their copy. The next day the number dropped: WOW had sold 240,000 units in North America, New Zealand and Australia. The World of Warcraft madness is just beginning…

20 years ago, this MMORPG changed online video gaming, but are there still many players playing it?

20 years later, the Dragonflight expansion has revived the excitement of World of Warcraft and the servers are filled with millions of players. In 2024, the developers are working hard to offer players exciting adventures. In addition to the three content updates for Dragonflight planned before the release of The War Within, a fourth season of Dragonflight will be released this year. There will be several new features, redesigned dungeons and new raids. Likewise, The War Within will enter beta and alpha phases. In short, World of Warcraft may be aging and facing competition, but it remains as popular as ever with its fans.

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