World of Warcraft
A sprawling fantasy epic of wizards and warriors, World of Warcraft has raked in an estimated $9 billion plus in revenue, mainly through monthly subscription fees and in-game purchases. It’s this lucrative seam which has helped guarantee the game’s incredible lifespan: Warcraft continues to receive developer support and expansion packs almost 20 years after its initial release.
The game’s longevity is matched by its immersive – and often addictive – nature. There are frequent reports of players eating meals at their keyboard, guzzling energy drinks to prolong marathon gaming sessions late into the night. Our NOS #WakeUpWednesday guide highlights this and other potential pitfalls that parents of young Warcraft fans should be aware of.
Originally released in 2004, World of Warcraft was an instant critical and commercial success. By 2010 it had become the most popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) ever, peaking at 12 million subscribers worldwide. Warcraft encourages players to communicate when tackling quests – but this, of course, also leaves the door open for less friendly interactions.
Even if younger players opt to avoid online audio chat, the in-game text system can still leave them vulnerable to receiving abusive messages and spam. Indeed, as our #WakeUpWednesday guide discovers, other online human players pose far more of a risk to young Warcraft heroes than the game’s legions of orcs, goblins and dragons.