World of Warcraft Classic has officially launched, taking players back in time fifteen years to a simulated version of the original MMO classic.
Announced in 2017 after many years of statements that ‘vanilla’ servers would never be made, Blizzard went on to create a separate version of World of Warcraft that attempts to emulate the feel of the original game.
Originally released in 2004 in the US and 2005 in Europe, World of Warcraft exploded beyond all expectations, reaching a player base of over a hundred million account creators and hitting a record-breaking 12 million active players in 2010.
World of Warcraft Classic received a global launch last night at midnight CEST, and although the start was predictably bumpy, Blizzard have continued to bring more realms online allowing players to get their hands on some classic action. Whilst we don’t have information on numbers playing World of Warcraft Classic right now, on Twitch there were 1.1 million viewers watching a variety of streamers play the 15-year-old game for the launch, and at the time of writing some ten hours later, it continues to hold the number one spot on the streaming platform.
In addition to the launch of World of Warcraft Classic, Blizzard have released a short video and song titled ‘A Toast to 15 Years’, which celebrates not only the launch of the new version of the game but also reflects on the time players have spent in-game and the memories they have made over the intervening years.
World of Warcraft Classic is available to play right now, with no direct purchase required, though players will need an active subscription to the retail version of World of Warcraft.