Blizzard Entertainment has issued a news release saying that the number of subscribers to World of Warcraft has hit 12 million worldwide.
“This milestone was reached in the wake of the mainland Chinese launch of World of Warcraft’s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, and also as global anticipation continues to mount for the December 7 release of the game’s third expansion, Cataclysm,” they said.
WOW, which is played by people speaking eight languages, began in North America, Australia and New Zealand in 2004, the company said. It is now the most popular massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) and is keeping people up waaaay too late at night in North America, Europe, mainland China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Chile, Argentina and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
The security picture
Online games, unfortunately, are no longer just fun and games. With the vast, vast audience they have, games are a serious part of the computer security landscape. Players who subscribe at a cost of $13-15 US per month are often the targets of password snatching phishing attempts. We’ve documented some of these and written about the gold-farming – largely in third-world countries – that takes an industrial approach to accessing online game accounts to steal virtual goods and turn them into real money.
Our man in the UK, Chris Boyd, has become a specialist in spotting the hacks, social engineering and scams in the gaming world and blogging about them here on the GFI Sunbelt Blog. It looks like he’s going to have work for some time into the future.
Blizzard Entertainment news release here.