This WoW Infographic Presents Quite a Few Really Big Numbers

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This WoW Infographic Presents Quite a Few Really Big Numbers

How much does it cost to keep the hardware behind Blizzard's World of Warcraft running every single day?

At its core, World of Warcraft is a game about numbers. Your healer needs to have his or her healing numbers high enough to keep your tank alive, whose hit points and defense skills need to be high enough to survive massive attacks from enemies, and your damage-dealers need to do enough damage to kill the enemies before your healer's magic power runs out. You beat the enemies, and collect items to make your other numbers increase - obviously, it's more complex than that in reality, but that's the core of everything.

The folks at Video Game Design Colleges have compiled a bunch of information into a handy infographic that discusses the numbers behind WoW: How many people play it, where they're located around the world, and how much money changes hands, just to name a few.

For instance, did you know that WoW's servers (presumably for the North American market, though it's vague) are comprised of approximately 20,000 computers running 75,000 CPU cores and possessing a combined 1.3 petabytes of data? These servers run through 5.5 million lines of code almost all day, every day, with a maintenance cost of $136,986 per day - and that's just on the hardware side of things! When you add salaries for technicians and the hundreds of in-house customer support agents, the financial cost of WoW is simply staggering.

It's hardly the first WoW infographic, but there's some interesting stuff there that shows more attention to detail than normal - it breaks down the number of world-first raid boss kills across expansions by the top guilds in the world, as well as world-first acquisitions of rare legendary items.

image

I remember those guys in Immortality from back on my early WoW days when I played Horde on Skullcrusher. I think they ganked me a lot. What a bunch of jerks!

Catch the full, high-res thing here.

(Via VG247)

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All of this is amazing and all.. but the only thing that stood out to me was that 1 in 5 players are female. I no a few female players but I really didn't expect that many.

Funny. I didn't expect there to be that few. I think the weekly time distribution is amazing.

It truly is amazing to see the enigma that WoW is in terms of numbers.

It's just quite amazing really/

Staggering amount of power it takes to run WoW. I mean.. 20.000 computers? Do Blizzard have their own little power plant or something?

It really is interesting to see all of this info.

One thing I've always wondered though is the number of players of WoW has. I mean I have a WoW account, but I haven't played in years. Am I still count as one of that 11.5 million? It'd be interesting to see how many of these accounts are actually active.

We Americans sure do like to Horde our legendary items don't we?

Everyone's keen on these chart breakdowns lately, aren't they? Also, did someone really pay nearly $10,000 for a WoW account? That seems a bit... excessive.

1.3 petabytes of storage. Petabytes!?

Wow, actualy a neat bit of information. Chances are, even if people knew the entirety of how WoW's operated, they'd still find ways to complain about the smallest of things.
Ah the internet.

Umm. They made a mistake 1.1 billion Yuan is (according to current exchange rates) 169 MILLION USD not Billion.

Big numbers though :)

LavaLampBamboo:
It really is interesting to see all of this info.

One thing I've always wondered though is the number of players of WoW has. I mean I have a WoW account, but I haven't played in years. Am I still count as one of that 11.5 million? It'd be interesting to see how many of these accounts are actually active.

No, you aren't. That number represents active, non-trial accounts.

According to Rob Pardo, the total number of non-trial WoW accounts that have ever been made is somewhere from 22-33 million, probably closer to the higher end of that scale (and that was back in 2009).

It's not staggering once you realise that they're receiving 15 dollars a month directly from close to 6 million active users. From subscriptions alone. Even doing some extremely slanted to their side calculations as to not seem too biased, they still come out at a solid 60
million a month in pure profits. Again, on subscriptions alone.

Or is this not a thread to show us how hard Blizzard is working in order for the people to be able to play their game, and one to just share some numbers? Bah, how easily impressed kids are these days.

World of Warcraft.
A name that will last long on the interwebs. So many records broken, such a colossal thing-y.
Those stats are very impressive.

Daym. We won't see a game like that for a long, long time. Well, that's what i think, anyways.

As staggering as that is, in twenty years time I'll probably be reading the internet on a PC with 1.3 Petabytes of storage and 75'000 cpu cores, bet it won't cost $136k a day either.

It is amazin that, but it begs the question how Activision can post such tiny relative profits when that behemoth seems to print more almost $2billion a year.

Bigsmith:
All of this is amazing and all.. but the only thing that stood out to me was that 1 in 5 players are female. I no a few female players but I really didn't expect that many.

They usually pretend to be male or hide from public. And you know really well why... Gaming world isn't the friendliest place for a woman to be in, which is so fucking sad as a fact.

But It always got me wondering; Why does insulting and pushing women away from your surroundings so you are left surrounded by men, reinforce you heterosexuality? Doesn't seem logical to me. Or insulting women and acting all sexist, you piss them off and drive them away. How does that reinforce your heterosexuality?

GOsh... I hate this world.

But anyway on topic:

Interesting numbers indeed, only if Blizzard wouldn't be fucking up and losing things because of their changed attitudes of ruining content so "everyone could see it"... Oh Well...

Bigsmith:
All of this is amazing and all.. but the only thing that stood out to me was that 1 in 5 players are female. I no a few female players but I really didn't expect that many.

I'm not at all surprised. About half of the guild I was in was female, and I ran into female players a lot more often than I expected. Ironically, most of the female players I knew played male characters.

Hammeroj:
It's not staggering once you realise that they're receiving 15 dollars a month directly from close to 6 million active users. From subscriptions alone. Even doing some extremely slanted to their side calculations as to not seem too biased, they still come out at a solid 60
million a month in pure profits. Again, on subscriptions alone.

Or is this not a thread to show us how hard Blizzard is working in order for the people to be able to play their game, and one to just share some numbers? Bah, how easily impressed kids are these days.

I would *love* to see Blizzard's banksheets some day. I mean, the numbers we see here are just for WoW's upkeep, but I've visited the campus and there is no WAY that thing is cheap to maintain. I think that, with employee salaries, hardware costs (PCs to code on, etc) and even something so simple as utilities like power and water, game development studios have a lot of costs that most gamers don't even realize - let alone something the size of Blizzard.

That's not to say that WoW isn't a hugely profitable game, because it is. The infograph has it right there - the only thing more staggering than how much it costs to run WoW every day is how much it makes :P

SinisterGehe:

Bigsmith:
All of this is amazing and all.. but the only thing that stood out to me was that 1 in 5 players are female. I no a few female players but I really didn't expect that many.

They usually pretend to be male or hide from public. And you know really well why... Gaming world isn't the friendliest place for a woman to be in, which is so fucking sad as a fact.

But It always got me wondering; Why does insulting and pushing women away from your surroundings so you are left surrounded by men, reinforce you heterosexuality? Doesn't seem logical to me. Or insulting women and acting all sexist, you piss them off and drive them away. How does that reinforce your heterosexuality?

GOsh... I hate this world.

Dude, you speak the truth. I never understand it, as soon as some one in almost any game is found it, or announces, they they are female it turns into a fest of "Tits or GTFO", whilst a minority of people, my self included, desperately attempt to shut them up.

Seriously, they have just the right to play the game as you do. Wanna no why. They fucking paid for it. Just like you did.

OT: Impressive figures. Very. Tis a shame I doubt we'll ever, ever see a game with these kind of figure for a long, long time.

fix-the-spade:
As staggering as that is, in twenty years time I'll probably be reading the internet on a PC with 1.3 Petabytes of storage and 75'000 cpu cores, bet it won't cost $136k a day either.

Sorry, you wouldn't own that computer though, that computer would own you.

Those figures for "Legendary" seem completely wrong. I'm pretty damned sure there's more than 8 Legendary items floating about, especially when one factors in Karazhan.

coldalarm:
Those figures for "Legendary" seem completely wrong. I'm pretty damned sure there's more than 8 Legendary items floating about, especially when one factors in Karazhan.

I was going to say. I remember when I played vanilla wow i know i saw at least a couple of people with Sulfuras on my server alone, same goes for thunderfury. Maybe those are the guilds that were first to get the legendary items?

All that for a grind of a game...

It's kind of like the amount of money people pay for Pollock paintings.

what really stood out to me is that about 48% of WoW players are based in Asia.

and with the news that people get forced to farm gold in chinese work camps, you can probably guess what's going on in that 48%...

Azaraxzealot:
what really stood out to me is that about 48% of WoW players are based in Asia.

and with the news that people get forced to farm gold in chinese work camps, you can probably guess what's going on in that 48%...

WoWs also about 3rd or 4th in the MMO market there with huge home grown MMOs beating them back.

a fact most people in the west completely blindside simply because they don't know of those games at all.

i had a titter at the suggestion NetEases profits are down to WoW as NetEase also runs some of the biggest Chinese MMOs like Fantasy Westward Journey.

well at least they had the wherewithal not to mention Asian subscriptions...because there aren't any...

Raiyan 1.0:
Sorry, you wouldn't own that computer though, that computer would own you.

Bet it won't be appreciably smarter than my current computer.

The first PC I had had 166Mhz on a single core, 32MB of RAM and a HDD of less than 500MB. The next one I'm going to build will have 4.8Ghz on four cores, 32GB(!!!) of RAM and around 10TB of memory space. Whilst it's oing to be infinitely better and rendering and cutting video than that grand old Atlantic it's still just going to be a calculator with a user interface.

You watch, our kids will be sat around wondering how such a massive undertaking as an MMO could possibly operate on so little horsepower.

And they actually recognized the conquest of the ultra-hardcore guilds in this? Score. And they didn't even mention Blood Legion? Double score.

Running the servers is chump change compared to paying the near thousand employees that develop, do localization, and customer service for the game.

John Funk:

LavaLampBamboo:
It really is interesting to see all of this info.

One thing I've always wondered though is the number of players of WoW has. I mean I have a WoW account, but I haven't played in years. Am I still count as one of that 11.5 million? It'd be interesting to see how many of these accounts are actually active.

No, you aren't. That number represents active, non-trial accounts.

According to Rob Pardo, the total number of non-trial WoW accounts that have ever been made is somewhere from 22-33 million, probably closer to the higher end of that scale (and that was back in 2009).

Ahh, that's really interesting, thanks for that, John =)

1 of 5 players is female, you think THAT was mindblowing?

1 of 3 porn viewers is female, comprehend that brain.

Wonder what their carbon footprint looks like?

fix-the-spade:

You watch, our kids will be sat around wondering how such a massive undertaking as an MMO could possibly operate on so little horsepower.

And each of them will run their own... weather forecasting system, I guess? And they'll have vicious arguments about who's prediction on the rate of precipitation is more accurate?

Its the most mediocre game to ever achieve such success! All because of the name. It'd be interesting to see the exact same game released but by another company under another name. I bet it would have disappeared long ago.

Clive Howlitzer:
Its the most mediocre game to ever achieve such success! All because of the name. It'd be interesting to see the exact same game released but by another company under another name. I bet it would have disappeared long ago.

If it was released when WoW was released and WoW didn't exist it'd do pretty well, not as well as WoW but back then, it really was pretty damn good compared to the competition.

John Funk:
snip

They have said that running WoW for the first 5 years cost 200 million dollars including all the support and maintenance staff, and they've also said last summer that the development up until then (meaning something like ten years) cost them 100 million. Now, I know the costs are steadily rising because they have to keep hiring new staff for the maintenance side at the very least (development, I'm not so sure. They've become really sluggish on that side), but they couldn't have risen nearly enough to double since 2009 and are hardly a dent in their money flow. And power and water, along with the other much smaller development teams they have, can not come anywhere close to the numbers WoW 'costs' them.

That statistic they have on your infographic is pretty weird. If it means the total money received from subscriptions, it can't possibly be that low. Or am I misunderstanding something?

Clive Howlitzer:
Its the most mediocre game to ever achieve such success!

It's the only game to ever achieve such success. I'd wager there's not going to be another one like that for the next 20 years.

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