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The company’s share price hit a nine-month high ($52.22) during trading on the Nasdaq before closing at $51.09 (+4.93%), its highest close since January 2019.
Announced in May and available to all World of Warcraft subscribers, Classic lets players relive – or experience for the first time – the early days of Blizzard’s MMO, with an authentic “re-creation of the pre-expansion game in its most feature-complete state, as it was during 2006’s ‘Drums of War’ update”.
As Blizzard had warned, many World of Warcraft Classic players experienced hours-long queues to access the game. Once they did, it was so congested some formed orderly in-game queues to complete quests.
“Blizzard has continued to bring WoW Classic realms online around the world to accommodate the more than two million players who have created characters in anticipation of today’s launch, and will work to add more based on player population trends,” the company said on Monday.
World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas also addressed complaints about the number of servers available at launch in a post on the Blizzard forums.
“I understand the frustration: Anticipating and planning around jumping back into this world we’ve all missed, only to be stuck in a long queue, is not the experience we want anyone to have,” he said.
“But from the start of planning for this launch, we’ve tried to prioritize the long-term health of our realm communities, recognizing that if we undershot the mark in terms of launch servers, we could move quickly to add additional realms in the opening hours.”
Hazzikostas continued: “But if we went out with too many servers, weeks or months down the line we’d have a much tougher problem to solve. While we have tools like free character transfers available as a long-term solution to underpopulated realms, everything about that process would be tremendously disruptive to realm communities, and so it’s something we want to avoid as much as possible.”
The excitement surrounding World of Warcraft Classic wasn’t confined to players, with its launch attracting over 1.1 million Twitch viewers.