GamesIndustry.biz: Many World of Warcraft players have recently been complaining that they have to wait for long periods of time to get in the game once they've entered their username and password - and that sometimes it's not possible to log in at all. Are these problems still ongoing?
John Lagrave: A lot of the login issues are persisting. They're much less than what they were, but we have been having some incredible concurrency with the game itself, and as such that's put quite a bit of burden on the existing hardware that we have.
Can you explain what you mean by concurrency?
John Lagrave: It's just that suddenly a lot of people showed up - sort of like when you're at a party and suddenly 15 people walk through the door and they all want a drink. It's like, "Well, I'll get that to you, but it's going to take a bit of time," and that's what we've found.
We've been very fortunate in that a large number of people came into the game just recently; we've had good growth throughout the past year, but we had exceptionally high numbers come in over the holidays. Which was wonderful, and we're glad they're all there, but it put some additional stress onto the system and we've had to respond to that.
I understand that there are over five million subscribers. I understand that they expanded so quickly that everyone went into shock. What I don't understand is how they get the cream in the center of the Twinkie. It just boggles my mind.