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World of Warcraft(R) Surpasses 1 Million Customer Milestone in North America; Total Worldwide Population for Blizzard Entertainment(R)'s Massively Multi-Player Online Game Now More Than 4 Million Players.

IRVINE, Calif. -- Blizzard Entertainment(R) Inc. today announced that World of Warcraft(R), its subscription-based massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG), has reached more than 1 million paying customers in North America. This brings the total population for Blizzard's critically acclaimed game, the largest MMORPG in the world, to more than 4 million paying customers.

"It's very rewarding to see so many new and returning players logging in to play World of Warcraft daily," said Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. "With the continued support of our retail partners, World of Warcraft has reached more than 1 million paying customers in North America well before its one-year anniversary in November. We would like to express our appreciation to both the players and our retail and license partners for helping us make World of Warcraft one of the most popular online games in the world."

To support World of Warcraft's expanding population, Blizzard Entertainment continues to release content updates on a regular basis. These updates continually evolve the game, rewarding subscribers with new experiences and enticing prospective players to join in on an ever-growing number of adventures.

World of Warcraft has been the No. 1-selling MMORPG in North America since it launched in November 2004. Reaching the 1 million customer milestone in North America further solidifies World of Warcraft's position as the biggest and most popular online RPG by far in the region.

Since its North America debut, World of Warcraft has steadily grown in popularity around the world. Following launches in Australia, New Zealand, Korea, and Europe, World of Warcraft recently released in China on June 7, 2005, and quickly garnered over 1.5 million paying customers in its first month. Shortly after the China launch, World of Warcraft made its debut in Singapore. The game is currently scheduled to launch in the region of Taiwan later this year.

For more information on World of Warcraft, please visit the game's official Web site at www.worldofwarcraft.com.

World of Warcraft's Paying Customer Definition

World of Warcraft customers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or purchased a pre-paid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the installation box bundled with one free month access. Internet Game Room players having accessed the game over the last seven days are also counted as customers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or canceled subscriptions, and expired pre-paid cards. Customers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.

About Blizzard Entertainment(R) Inc.

Best known for blockbuster hits including the Warcraft(R), StarCraft(R), and Diablo(R) series, Blizzard Entertainment(R) Inc. (http://www.blizzard.com), a division of Vivendi Universal Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard's track record includes nine No. 1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's free Internet gaming service, Battle.net(R), reigns as the largest in the world, with millions of active users.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 29, 2005
Words:509
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