World of Warcraft (WoW) is by far the biggest Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) video game in the world, with over 11.5 million subscribed players and around 800,000 people playing at any given time.
According to Blizzard, there are an estimated 5000 - 7000 active WoW subscribers in SA. Of course these numbers only refer to the players that Blizzard is aware of. wow gold According to an industry source at iGame, there are around 20,000 users currently playing on private illegitimate local servers. At one stage, there were reports of around 40,000 registered players on these servers.
Private WoW Servers
Private locally hosted World of Warcraft servers present two primary benefits to their users. Firstly, they are free, where as official WoW servers cost around R160 per month to use.
Secondly, they offer far lower latencies than the legitimate servers which are hosted in Europe and the US. With international latencies of between 500 and 1000 milliseconds, many WoW players resort to seeking out local alternatives.
While they may deliver much lower latencies and are free to use, private servers are known to be buggy and unstable. Reports of bugs and broken quests are regular, wow gold with a number of players leaving the servers due to technical issues.
Ultimately, players are left with a choice between paying to play on the official servers along with the handicap of high latencies, or playing locally and illegally, enjoying low latencies but being stuck with a buggy game.
Will Blizzard ever come to SA?
Rumors of an official locally hosted WoW server being in the pipeline have recently surfaced, and upon further investigation we have discovered that iGame in partnership with Megarom are currently in talks with Blizzard.
iGame, iBurst's gaming department, is offering to host the server using their own staff, equipment and resources. All they need is permission from Blizzard.
The discussions with Blizzard however have not been as smooth as iGame would like.wow gold The problem is that Blizzard has identified and red flagged South Africa as a piracy hotspot because of the strong illegal WoW server presence.
While Blizzard is holding off on green-lighting a local WoW server, negotiations are at least underway. An insider at iGame informed MyGaming that they are ready to go live with a server as soon as Blizzard gives the go ahead.
Local World of Warcraft server a possibility