WOW Subscriber Counts by Geography

Posted by Daeity On Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blizzard has been pretty quiet about subscription counts from each country, but there was a time when they officially released subscriber figures. These numbers are based on Blizzard's definition of a "subscriber" by the way and are quite interesting to say the least.

In January 2007, when subscription counts totaled 8 million worldwide (Source):

China: 3.5 million
North America: 2.0 million
Europe: 1.5 million
Remaining Territories: 1.0 million

In January 2008, when subscription counts totaled 10 million worldwide (Source):

China: 4.5 million
North America: 2.5 million
Europe: 2.0 million
Remaining Territories: 1.0 million

You can find other posts on Gamasutra with earlier subscription figures too, but it appears that Blizzard stopped revealing extra subscription count information in 2008.

Based on their growth trends, I think it's safe to say that these estimated projections are fairly accurate for Blizzard's latest (October 2010) 12 million subscriber count:

China: 5.5 million
North America: 3.0 million
Europe: 2.5 million
Remaining Territories: 1.0 million

That's pretty interesting. Keep in mind though that "subscriber" counts don't necessarily mean active players. In China, for example, most players have multiple prepaid cards and accounts (since the game itself is free).

Did you want to hear something really spooky?

Six months ago, I worked on estimating the number of subscribers in China versus worldwide figures. I had previously estimated that "At a rate of $15 per month, that means that there are 6.0 million players" outside of China.

So, out of 11.5 million worldwide, it's about 5.5 million Chinese subscriptions and 6.0 million in NA/EU/Other.

And based on official figures provided by Blizzard, it's about 5.5 million Chinese subscriptions and 6.0 million in NA/EU/Other.


It appears that my estimated subscription information has been confirmed by Blizzard themselves. =]

What's even more cool is that I can use the information from their 8 and 10 million subscriber figures to calculate even more interesting stuff about Blizzard's financials. More on that to come later though.