New WoW-China Estimates
A sea of red, and they're all playing WoW...
VNUnet reports that 4.3 million Chinese have subscribed to World of Warcraft since service provider The9 began operating a year ago. The9 has failed to lock in rights to WoW's "Burning Crusade" expansion, fueling speculation that Blizzard's desire for a bigger slice of the profit pie (and concerns over The9's hosting of another MMO: Guild Wars)may lead the titanic game developer to search out another China provider.
More than 4.3 million World of Warcraft user accounts were paid for and activated in China during the past year, according to the company that operates the multiplayer online game in the country.
The game's developer, Blizzard, is claiming more than six million players worldwide, suggesting that China has more players than any other nation and could already account for more than half the global total.