World of Warcraft by the Numbers

A World of Warcraft player loves few things in this world more than numbers. Stats, gold, achievements, and phat stacks of loot: numbers drive serotonin levels in the brain of any WoW enthusiast. Catering to their audience, Blizzard Entertainment Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Product Development Frank Peace and Production Director J. Allen Brack shared some of the MMO’s real-life stats at the Austin Game Developer’s Conference.

World of Warcraft has:

  • 5,500,000 – Lines of code
  • 1,500,000 – Art assets
  • 33,681 – Production tasks
  • 70,167 – Spells
  • 37,537 – NPCs (non-player characters)
  • 27 – Hours of music
  • 2600 – Quests in the original World of Warcraft
  • 2700+ – Additional quests in WoW: The Burning Crusade
  • 2350+ – Additional quests in WoW: Wrath of the Lich King
  • 7650+ – Quests total (how many have you finished?)
  • 4,449,680,399 – Achievements earned by players since their implementation (this figure is already a few days old, and therefore outdated)

Patches:

  • 4.7– Petabytes (4700 terabytes) of data delivered to players through patches
  • 126 – Different versions issued of every patch, including those streamed to players and issued as self-extracting executables
  • Half – Of every patch’s size is audio

Servers:

  • 13,250 – Server blades running WoW servers, with a total of
  • 75,000 – CPU cores, and
  • 112.5 – Terabytes of RAM
  • All the hairdryers at Wal-Mart – purchased to dry off server blades after a storm hit a server facility during Beta 5

Support:

  • 179,184 – Bugs tracked by Blizzard (most of which have been fixed, according to the presenters)
  • 2,056 – Game masters
  • 340 – Employees in the billing department
  • 2,584 – Total customer service employees

International:

  • 10 – Languages into which WoW is translated
  • 1,724 – Employees working in international offices

BlizzCon / Blizzard Events / Marketing:

  • 28,000+ – Attendees to BlizzCon 2009
  • Every Blizzard employee – Still has to pay to get in to BlizzCon. Despite this, the con is still a huge loss of money for the company
  • 100,000+ – Participants in BlizzCon 2009, including viewers of Direct TV coverage and online streams
  • 1,604 – Official competitive events featuring Blizzard games
  • 400 – Licensed WoW products, including apparel, plush dolls, cards, books, manga and comics
  • 10,000,000+ – Views of World of Warcraft TV commercials (Night Elf Mohawk!)
  • 10,000+ – Press articles featuring World of Warcraft (10,001+ now)

Blizzard Online:

  • 12,000,000+ – Battle.net accounts
  • 900,000+ – Files on WorldofWarcraft.com

When World of Warcraft launched, the company had:

  • 60 – Developers on the World of Warcraft team
  • 400 – Employees total

Now, the company has:

  • 4,600+ – Employees worldwide
  • 221 – Current job openings at Blizzard
  • 20,000 – Computers
  • 1.3 – Petabytes of total storage
  • 1 – Unannounced MMO being developed currently

The message behind all these numbers from Peace and Brack is that operating an MMO requires far more than just game development. Servers, staff, marketing, infrastructure, and licensing make World of Warcraft much more than that dirty little secret you’re afraid to talk about at parties.

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