8m subscribers for Blizzard's WoW

The news comes just four days ahead of the European release of the first expansion to WoW, Burning Crusade.

China has the biggest WoW subscriber base, with 3.5 million players. Two million reside in North America with 1.5 million in Europe.

World Of Warcraft was first launched in November, 2004 and quickly became the most popular MMORPG in the world. The title is available in seven different languages.

Blizzard co-founder and president Mike Morhaime said: “We’re ecstatic that the World of Warcraft community has continued to grow steadily since we launched the game. This milestone wouldn’t have been possible for us to achieve without the incredible support of our players. With the release of our expansion pack, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, coming next week, we’re looking forward to welcoming more players to Azeroth and offering even more quality content for our community to enjoy.”

World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade offers fans new continent to explore, new abilities, a level cap increase to 70, new playable races and new professions.

The expansion pack was originally scheduled for release last November, but Blizzard Entertainment chose to delay the title until the New Year to extend beta testing and to give the game its “finishing touches”.

It will be released on Tuesday in Europe, North America, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Later releases are also planned for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau for a later date.

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