Check this out from Seth Schiesel and the New York Times: Online Game, Made in U.S., Seizes the Globe.
The article is very much worth a read, particularly because it makes points interesting to the mainstream, as opposed to interesting to we who are already MMOers and gamers.
As if all of that data about WoW’s importance and success isn’t enough – including confirmation that revenue is $1 billion a year – WoW is about to release its first complete expansion, The Burning Crusade, on October 15th. Just about everyone who has ever played WoW – and that’s 7 million people now – will be buying and trying this expansion. At $40 apiece plus $14 a month. And 7 million is just the current base – the buzz from this will bring out millions more people who haven’t tried it yet. Yes, they’re going to make much more than $1 billion in the year after its release.
Which brings me back to the Times article: not a lot of better PR than a feature in the Times, eh? Add the resources of Vivendi to the global social (and gaming) phenomenon that is World of Warcraft, and you can be sure there’ll be much much more media coverage leading up to and after next month’s launch. Take a look at this graph, and imagine WoW doubling again in the next year.
NASA calls that a second stage rocket, right?