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World of Warcraft: The evolution of the most succesful MMORPG to date
It's no secret that the World of Warcraft series has sold millions and millions of copies, considering they've launched 5 games (the original and 4 expansions so far), and not to mention the subscription fees and some other miscellaneous features, this game has produced A LOT of money. Sure, not all of it is revenue, since there are a lot of expenses to cover in order to keep this game up, but I doubt they have it that bad.
But anyway, how exactly did this game became the legend it is today? Well, it actually goes back to the Warcraft strategy games, back in the 90's, that set the foundations for WoW to emerge. Unlike its predecessors, WoW has a role-playing view and allows for extensive customization of the characters. So WoW is just based on Warcraft's universe, game mechanics and so on are entirely different.
The original WoW (known as Vanilla), is considered as the best so far, even after their four expansions. I personally think all of them have their pros and cons as everything, but I like them in general, whereas a lot of other people have completely stopped playing WoW due to the changes the game has gone through time. As always, it is just a matter of taste/opinion.
WoW Machinima - The Craft of War: BLIND
An amazing machinima video made by Percula back in 2008.
But it hasn't always been that bad. Their first expansion, The Burning Crusade, was very well received; it's the most loved one by players so far. After that Wrath of the Lich King came along, and it did fairly well, there was some disappointment among players but they hung in there. Things apparently started falling apart during Cataclysm, since a lot of people did not like some of the changes. And to finish it off, Mists of Pandaria enraged players so much that many of them quitted.
Now, all of that is based on what I've heard throught time in various places, and even games. WoW always comes up as a conversation topic even on other MMORPGs. Truth is, yes they do lose subscribers, most usually when they're on their last patch while preparing for another expansion, and so players have no new content and they're just bored of the same things over and over again. But everytime they launch a new expansion, both their sales and subscribers go up through the roof, and in general it stays that way for a while since they keep adding content.
Any way, bottom line is that despite the fact that some claim that WoW has lost its mojo, and it used to be better and all that, no one can deny that it is without a doubt one of the most succesful franchises in the history of videogames. If it was actually that dead like some players claim it is, then it makes me wonder why exactly Blizzard already confirmed they've planned another two expansions, and are already working in one of them (the 5th one).
So whether you love it or hate it, WoW is one of those games pretty much everyone knows about, or at least has heard about it.