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Discussion > WoW > WoW ClassicMay 30, 2024 8:00 am CT

Why is World of Warcraft still going?

World of Warcraft will have its 20th anniversary this year, meaning that the game is only one year off from being able to drink in the United States (and has been able to in Europe for a few years now) and this interests me. Today, MMOs  tend to either die quickly — alas, poor Wildstar, I never got to try you — or they hold on for quite a while. Hi, EverQuest, how you doing? It’s been a long time since we first met in 1999.

But it must be said that World of Warcraft is one of the titans of the MMO landscape, and all these years later the game still trucking along. The game is (probably) from its peak — Blizzard doesn’t release subscriber counts anymore. But like EverQuest, an MMO doesn’t need market dominance to endure, it just needs to be sufficiently profitable to keep the lights on (and the corporations that run them happy).

But in the gaming space, we live in the era of engagement, which MMOs are great at — players end up on the treadmill one way or another. And while some of us (like me) think that Battle Passes and Seasons have gotten out of hand, it’s hard to argue that they don’t keep people coming back. We’re all still playing.

So here we are. WoW is 20 years old and still going, with at least three expansions planned for the future. The game has endured through level squishes and gear crunches, content droughts and the strange truncated case of Warlords of Draenor.

What do you think is essential to the game’s longevity? What keeps you playing? Or if you don’t anymore, do you ever feel the pull to come back? And do you count WoW Classic as a separate game, when it’s accessible through the standard WoW subscription? Heck, has the duration of the subscription (the fact that it hasn’t really gone up much in quite some time) kept it going? The WoW Token? What would you say is the secret to WoW‘s endurance?

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