The New York Times writes about the online game’s dominance:
Since November, World of Warcraft has signed up more than four million subscribers worldwide, making for an annual revenue stream of more than $700 million. About a million of those subscribers are in the United States (with more than half a million copies sold this year) and another 1.5 million are in China, where the game was introduced just three months ago. By contrast, EverQuest II now has between 450,000 and 500,000 subscribers worldwide, with about 80 percent in the United States.
Just a year ago, numbers like that would have classed EverQuest II as a big hit. The original EverQuest topped out at around a half-million players, and many, if not most, game executives came to believe that the pool of people willing to pay $15 a month to play a video game had been exhausted. The conventional wisdom in the industry then was that there could not possibly be more than a million people who would pay to play a massively multiplayer online game.
Now, World of Warcraft has shattered earlier assumptions about the potential size of the market.