'World of Warcraft' Subscriptions Soar 223 Percent After 'Classic' Release

World of Warcraft Classic tripled subscriptions in August, according to new research from SuperData. The original release of World of Warcraft from 2005 brought old players and new ones back into the realm of Azeroth, with subscriptions growing an estimated 223 percent from July to August. The amount of players is still lower than what they were during last August's Battle for Azeroth expansion, but retail WoW updates tend to pull in lots of players in general.

world of warcraft classic players
World of Warcraft Classic is more popular than many expected Blizzard

The success of World of Warcraft Classic has caught those out of the WoW loop off guard. Why is a game that's reverted to a simpler, and arguably more frustrating, mode more successful? Part of it stems from the simplicity and nostalgia fans have for the original build of the game. There wasn't a Raid Finder to help you locate allies or even quest markers to show you where to go. Everything was up to the player to uncover. This made the game feel less like a virtual slog and more like an achievement simulator. There's very little fast travel and ways to skip content, so grinding is the only way.

Despite its current popularity, the game's developers at Blizzard were apprehensive about the concept of WoW Classic. In an infamous Blizzcon 2013 panel, a fan asked if legacy servers would ever be added to the game. J. Allen Brack, the production director for World of Warcraft at the time, responded "you don't want to do that. You think you do, but you don't." He then listed the bugs and problems early versions of World of Warcraft had as a reason they would never make a legacy servers. Six years later, and WoW Classic servers are completely full, with players waiting in hour-long queues to get into the game.

World of Warcraft Classic will roll out updates to the game at a slow pace, giving hardcore grinders enough time to finish raids like Blackrock Depths before adding challenges. A lot of content fans have been clamoring for is still not added, like gaining rewards for killing enemy players. Still, with Classic's first month into the wild going so strong, the sky's the limit with regard to what might come next. We are already getting a completely remastered Warcraft 3 in the coming months, and there's no telling what other projects Blizzard could be working on behind the scenes.

World of Warcarft Classic is available now on PC.

Are you still playing World of Warcraft Classic? Tell us in the comments.