World of Warcraft is an online multiplayer role-playing game (MMORPG), that was released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2004. World of Warcraft is set in Warcraft's fantasy world. It takes place approximately four years after Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. It was first announced in 2001 and released on November 23rd 2004 to celebrate the 10th anniversary the Warcraft franchise. World of Warcraft launched with eight major expansion packs: Wrath of the Lich King (2008) and Cataclysm (2010). Mists of Pandaria (2012), Warlords of Draenor (2012), Legion (2016), Battle for Azeroth (2018) and Shadowlands (2020).
The game is similar to other MMORPGs in that players can create an avatar to explore the open world. They can also interact with other players and non-player characters (NPCs). Although the game encourages players working together, they can also enter dungeons to engage in PvP combat. However, you can also play the game solo. The game's main focus is character progression. Players earn experience points to upgrade their characters and purchase and sell items using in game currency.
World of Warcraft quickly rose to prominence after its 2004 release. It was a huge commercial and critical success. In 2010, it reached 12 million subscribers. It had more than 100 million registered accounts in 2014, and had earned over $9.23 trillion in revenue by 2017. Gaming journalists have referred to the game as the best MMORPG and the most popular video game of all time. It has also been recognized for its longevity, which has seen it continue to receive support from developers and expand its offerings over the 15 years since its original release. A vanilla version of World of Warcraft Classic, which allows players to play the original game before any expansions were released, was released in 2019.