Code, personnel, everything
Since it's launch in 2004, World of Warcraft has cost Blizzard $200 million. That includes everything from coding, to server maintenance to customer service and billing.
You run a game for around five years, you can't expect it to be cheap. You've got to run servers, pay customer service reps, pay for marketing, etc etc. World of Warcraft's been running for four years now, so how much has the upkeep cost Blizzard?
$200 million. Or, at least that's what Blizzard disclosed during yesterday's analyst conference call.
Now, from an accounting perspective, THAT is success.
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