When Blizzard announced World of Warcraft Classic, the developer had no idea it would become the hit that it is now. The developer thought bringing back the OG WoW would be something appealing to hardcore fans but not many more than that. As it turned out, that wasn’t the case, and the game is now gigantic, with an expansion, The Burning Crusade, on the way this year.
Executive producer John Hight told GameSpot at BlizzConline that the community for WoW Classic is “as large” as the modern WoW community, but he declined to share any further details about specific numbers when pressed. Still, what’s clear is WoW Classic is a huge hit, and it’s changed how Blizzard as a studio approaches its ongoing development and support.
“It certainly surprised us. When we put out Classic, we weren’t sure is this going to be a big deal or not. We kind of thought, ‘Our core fans are really going to love this, so let’s do this for them.’ And then, no, it became a whole big community of WoW players. As large as our modern WoW community. That surprised us,” Hight said. “We realized, ‘Oh gosh we have to support two communities. How do we do that?'”