World of Warcraft’s 6th Anniversary – November 23, 2010

Next week, it’ll be six years since World of Warcraft hit store shelves, launching an empire that’s expanded across three expansion packs and over 12 million subscribers and growing. The game is still the defining title in the MMO genre, and it’s easy to forget that when the game launched there were questions over whether a subscription game could ever be popular, even if it was from a game developer with other successful titles under its belt like Blizzard.

The debate over subscription versus free-to-play seems to be a long ago echo in the past now, and there’s no doubt that even today MMOs copy the most successful elements of World of Warcraft to power their own titles and draw in subscribers or free-to-play players looking for an alternative experience. Even so, our beloved WoW wasn’t entirely original in its own right – it relied on tried and true methods of gameplay and mechanics, visuals, and techniques borrowed from the MMOs that went before it in order to become popular.

To celebrate, everyone who logs in gets a feat of strength achievement to celebrate the birthday – but if you didn’t play last year, where we all got the Baby Blizzard Bear for logging on for the 5th anniversary, you’re out of luck – there’ll be no anniversary pet this year! According to a blue post on the forums, Blizzard wants to reserve the pets for the special, significantly numbered anniversaries and occasions.

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