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Star Trek Online vs. World of Warcraft: Fun With Numbers

At the end of the launch day, Star Trek Online had registered over a million player accounts.

That’s an incredible achievement by any measure. But I’ve seen some commentators responding with, “yeah, but World of Warcraft has 11 million active accounts”, as if to relegate STO to some niche beneath the notice of a WoW loyalist.

Let’s set the record straight. WoW has over 11 million active accounts AFTER six continuous years in operation. How many accounts had it registered on launch day, back in 2004? It took a bit of digging, but the answer is: somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000.

And THAT was an incredible achievement at the time for a massive multiplayer game. Give WoW its props; it didn’t just dominate the market, it expanded it into new territory and brought in legions of people who would never have considered an MMO prior to that time. It earned its place as king of the mountain.

STO is doing the same; bringing in a fresh horde of non-MMO gamers into the MMO fold. It’s not competing with WoW as much as it is helping draw fresh meat into the mix… something all the subscription titles ought to be applauding.

Only time will tell if Cryptic can hold onto and expand upon that remarkable start. But of all the games launched in recent years, I think Star Trek Online has the greatest potential to not only surpass the WoW peak, but to push the “Massive” in MMO to a new quantum state.

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