Battle.net dominates on-line gaming with more than 4.5 million active accounts; international markets spur growth.
Blizzard Entertainment’s online game service, Battle.net, continues to gain momentum as the world’s largest Internet playing venue. The number of active users has surged to more than 4.5 million active accounts that log more than 1.3 million games daily. Peak concurrent usage tops more than 70,000 players daily.
Much of Battle.net’s increase in popularity can be attributed to the influx of international gamers. For example, with approximately 700,000 games of StarCraft played per day, Korea has become the fastest growing market on Battle.net and has overtaken the United States as the No. 1 market in the world.
To further its success in international markets, Blizzard will be expanding the Battle.net network later this year with the release of its next game Diablo II.
The company plans to setup servers in Europe and Asia to provide optimal connections to customers in those regions.
Battle.net’s success proves Blizzard’s play-for-free strategy is capturing the attention and loyalty of consumers worldwide. Instead of focusing on
pay-for-play pricing structures, the service is offered as a value-added feature to help drive retail sales of Blizzard products. Blizzard is able to cover
all Battle.net’s monthly operating expenses with revenue from banner ads.
Battle.net provides an arena for Blizzard customers to chat, challenge opponents and initiate multiplayer games. Battle.net is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Blizzard charges no hourly or monthly fees to connect to Battle.net. Games playable on Battle.net include Diablo, StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War. Later this month, Warcraft II will join the list;
Diablo II following by year’s end; and Warcraft III will be available by the end of 2000.