World of Warcraft is about to turn 10. And its developer wouldn’t mind seeing it last another decade.
The insanely popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game originally came out back on Nov. 23, 2004. While most games can’t manage relevancy less than a year after release, WoW has stayed strong thanks to millions of subscribers and a constant stream of new content (its fifth expansion, The Warlords of Draenor, comes out Nov. 13). So, how much longer can it keep going? At least 10 more years, according to developer Blizzard.
“I definitely can’t tell you what our 20th anniversary is going to be. I can tell you there is definitely going to be one,” World of Warcraft lead game designer Ion Hazzikostas said in an interview with Cnet. “I have no doubt saying that. We’re definitely planning into the future, talking about what the next expansion is going to be, and what the one after that is going to be, just in terms of big picture storylines, how can we start setting things up now, where do we want the game to go. Ultimately it’s all one step at a time.”
World of Warcraft is still popular, but it’s clearly peaked. The game had 12 million paying members in 2012, but that number is currently at 7.4 million. Still, that is actually an increase from 6.8 million in the previous quarter. Players are likely coming back in anticipation for the expansion.
Regardless, even 6.8 million would still be a ton of subscribers. It’s a number that other MMOs can only dream of. If Blizzard can keep fans happy with new content, it just may have a shot of getting World of Warcraft to its 20th anniversary.