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Blizzard's Remains Largest Online Game Service in the World; Dominates Online Gaming Industry With 2.1 Million Active Users; Korea Becomes World's No. 1 Market.

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 4, 1999--Blizzard Entertainment's(R) online game service,, continues to gain momentum as the world's largest Internet playing venue.

Since the beginning of the year, the number of active users has surged to more than 2.1 million and usage has increased by 50 percent.

The worldwide dominance of was recently highlighted by a weekend of record-breaking activity during which more than 675,000 games of "StarCraft(TM): Brood War(TM)," the company's "StarCraft" expansion set, were logged. Over that weekend, nearly 500,000 gamers spent more than 2 million hours playing online.

Since "StarCraft: Brood War" shipped in December, more than 4.7 million games have been played over, with peak hours topping more than 50,000 players competing simultaneously.

The success of "StarCraft" in 1998 added to's rising usage numbers. "StarCraft" was 1998's biggest-selling PC game, according to PC Data figures released last month. Since the release of "StarCraft," has grown 800 percent, both domestically and internationally.

Internationally, much of's global popularity can be attributed to the influx of Korean gamers. With approximately 400,000 games of "StarCraft" played per day, Korea has become the fastest- growing market on and has overtaken the United States as the No. 1 market in the world.

In all, in Korea has grown by approximately 2,000 percent in the last six months, from 15,000 game hours per day to 300,000. provides an arena for Blizzard customers to chat, challenge opponents and initiate multiplayer games. is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Blizzard charges no hourly or monthly fees to connect to Users do need an Internet connection at their own cost to access

Best known for blockbuster hits including the "Warcraft(R)" series, "StarCraft(TM)" and "Diablo(TM)," Blizzard Entertainment(R) ( is a premier publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes three consecutive No. 1- selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 4, 1999
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