How many players in WOW?

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Have you ever wondered how many players are there in World of Warcraft? What are the most popular WOW servers in the US and EU? Well to answer this we must first step back in time through World of Warcraft with the help of the Bronze Dragonflight.

WOW Vanilla Player Base

With the release of Vanilla World of Warcraft in 2004-2005 the base game was an instant sell-out. With servers overpopulated and more demand than anticipated the game rose in the ranks to 10k – 100k – 500k – 1 million within months across US and EU. Subscribers reached 8 million by the end of WOW Vanilla.

WOW The Burning Crusader Player Base

With the World of Warcraft expansion: “The Burning Crusade” (TBC) the game was quickly becoming the most popular game in history, the players kept subscribing, reaching near 8 million subscribers and peaking at 11.5 million by the end of the Burning Crusade WOW Expansion.

WOW Wrath of the Lich King Player Base

The hype surrounding World of Warcraft reached it’s pinnacle potential with the expansion: Wrath of The Lich King as this reached the story climax bringing both World of Warcraft’s factions Horde and Alliance together to slay the Lich King in an epic raid battle. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King had 11.5 Million Subscribers and peaked at 12 Million at the end of this expansion.

WOW Cataclysm Player Base

WoW players after Wrath of the Lich King found it difficult to come to terms with the next expansion WOW Cataclysm. This expansion was changing Azeroth as we knew it. Deserts were becoming flooded, Forests turning into hallowed ground and Deathwing forever more bringing the world to its knees. Veteran players started to abandon ship, but this didn’t stop new players from joining the game, for this expansion began the easing of the gameplay. At the launch of Cataclysm WoW was at a peak of 12 Million Subscribers, dropping towards it’s end in the region of 9 -10 million Subscribers.

WOW Mist of Pandaria Player Base

After the World of Warcraft Cataclysm the player base continued to drop significantly. Mists of Pandaria as another expansion was admirable and amazing to play through but unfortunately was considered an absolute “flop”. In WOW MOP the players weren’t happy, the game was losing more and more veteran players by the day and the figures suggests the game went down from 9.6 Million Subscribers to 5.7 Million Subscribers. With the Launch of WOW’s next expansion Warlords of Draenor the subscriber count quickly climbs to 10 million once again.

WOW Warlords of Draenor Player Base

Warlord of Draenor starting off was an amazing chance to see what Outland back in time, prior to what it is today. Unfortunately WOD ended up as even more of a disappointment to the player base than Mists of Pandaria, with only three raids and a handful of dungeons the expansion tilted on the mission table experience, whilst this resulted in a lot of gold made also made the game one click away from completing the current content. Warlords of Draenor started at 10 million subscribers but dropped to 2.25 Million due to a significant count draught.

WOW Legion Player Base

Legion brought back aspects of World of Warcraft that the players had been asking for for many years as well as adding in many new and exciting gameplay mechanics. With a new class of Demon Hunter added to the game and the fight against The Burning Legion, artifact weapons, Mythic+ Dungeons, superb artwork and attention to detail began the race against the clock. Hype for Legion was so high that the subscriber count climbed to 6.95 million subscribers by the time the next expansion Battle for Azeroth came about.

WOW Battle For Azeroth Player Base

Battle for Azeroth came and started off the fourth war of Azeroth. Exciting players to return and start levelling through Kul Tiras and Zandalar, but the content wasn’t enough to retain the players for long. It became apparent the expansion whilst fulfilling in lore, dropped the ball with grinding for best in slot gear and Azerite for the Heart of Azeroth. The player count dropped so low in BFA patch 8.3 “Visions of N’zoth” because of Blizzard whistle-blowers and lawsuits starting, Shadowlands was delayed. The subscribers dropped to 2.65 Million before the launch of Classic WOW which brought about an insurgency of players once again bringing subscribers by the dozens seeking that nostalgic feeling of playing Classic WOW once again. The player base grew from 3.09 million to 8.4 Million at the start of WOW Shadowlands launch.

WOW Shadowlands Player Base

Shadowlands was a promising expansion. Bringing the players to the afterlife allowing us to experience life after death. But the expansion did not keep up with the promise of a better afterlife. With the blizzard lawsuit and then further into the rabbit hole of covid the game had issues with release dates, content drought, time-gated campaigns. Unfortunately due to a mix bag of unfortunate events the player base plummeted from 8.4 million subscribers at the start of Shadowlands to 1.67 million subscribers. Fortunately Microsoft purchased Activision at this point and the announcement of Dragonflight has brought players flocking back to World of Warcraft in preparation to slay giant dragons once again.

WOW Player Base Facts

US players account for 23% of the wow player base.

When writing this article 940,000 players were online in-game.

Top 3 US servers are:
Area 52 – Horde Majority 99.72% – Player base: 7.15%
Illidan – Horde Majority 99.36% – Player base: 6.53%
Stormrage – Alliance Majority 98.30% – Player base: 5.49%

Top 3 EU servers are:
Dreanor – Horde Majority 98.50% – Player base: 5.94%
Kazzak – Horde Majority 99.09% – Player base: 5.18%
Silvermoon – Alliance Majority 98.40% – Player base 4.95%

How many players have played World of Warcraft?

Since its release in 2004: 116,784,679 approximate players have played the game.

Summary of WOW Player Base History

It can be sad to see these numbers reading this article. From a huge peak at 12 million subscribers to 1.15 million approx. Even today there is a bountiful amount of players still gathering herbs, fighting each other or battling against the timers in Mythic+. Hope is given, with the amount of new content, game breaking changes and fixes from Blizzard, as well as the sale to Microsoft, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight could see a return of Subscribers and Active players. Fingers crossed that the game can start reaching new records once again.

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