Over a million people tuned in to watch the launch of 'World of Warcraft Classic' on Twitch (ATVI)


WoW Classic World of Warcraft

  • More than one million people were watching “World of Warcraft” at the same time on Twitch yesterday for the launch of “WoW Classic.”
  • “WoW Classic” is a re-release of the game that plays exactly the same way as “World of Warcraft” did in 2006.
  • That means that many of the updates that have made “World of Warcraft” easier to play in the last decade have also been reverted, including the game’s graphics updates and additional matchmaking services.
  • Regardless, gamers and casual viewers are enjoying a wave of nostalgia as Twitch streamers revisit the original aesthetics that made “World of Warcraft” a cultural phenomenon.
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More than 15 years after the game’s release, there’s a new peak viewership record for “World of Warcraft” on Twitch, the most popular platform for video game streaming. Blizzard Entertainment is currently celebrating “World of Warcraft’s” 15th anniversary with the release of “WoW Classic,” and more than 1.1 million concurrent viewers tuned in to watch “World of Warcraft” streams on Twitch.

Viewers are enjoying a wave of nostalgia as Twitch streamers revisit an old version of “World of Warcraft” that influenced a generation of gamers.

Twitch streamer Asmongold reached more than 284,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch on Aug. 26

Watch CLASSIC WOW from Asmongold on www.twitch.tv

“World of Warcraft” is an enduring cultural phenomenon, captivating millions of players with a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that has dominated the genre for more than a decade. “WoW Classic” is a separate version of “World of Warcraft” that reverts the game to the way it was played in August 2006, the final update before the game’s first major expansion, “Burning Crusade.”

That means that nearly all of the changes made to the game in the last 13 years are removed in “WoW Classic,” including upgrades to the game’s graphics. Standard “World of Warcraft” features 13 races of characters while “WoW Classic” has just eight. It will take players more time to improve their characters in “WoW Classic,” and the maximum level will be capped at 60, whereas in the modern version of “World of Warcraft” characters can reach level 120.

“WoW Classic” will still make use of the game’s updated social features to make communication a bit easier though.

“World of Warcraft” launched in 2004 and sold 1.4 million copies prior to the release of “Burning Crusade” and more that 100 million accounts have been made to play “World of Warcraft” since 2004. Despite its rough patches, the original version of the game became an iconic realm of fantasy for many of those players and their friends. Other nostalgic players appreciate the struggle of playing the original game and building relationships with other players online without the simplified features of the more recent “World of Warcraft” updates. 

How to play “WoW Classic” for $15 — or try “World of Warcraft” for free

Regardless, “World of Warcraft” is having a moment right now, and more than a million people are interested in sharing it, even if they can’t play themselves. If you’re curious, you can give “WoW Classic” a try for a $15 per month subscription, which also includes access to the standard “World of Warcraft.” You can play regular “WoW” for free up to level 20 too.

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