Blizzard Entertainment’s online game service, Battle.net, continues to gain momentum as the world’s largest Internet playing venue.
Since the beginning of the year, the number of active users has surged to more than 2.1 million and usage has increased by 50 percent.
The worldwide dominance of Battle.net was recently highlighted by a weekend of record-breaking activity during which more than 675,000 games of “StarCraft: Brood War,” the company’s “StarCraft” expansion set, were logged. Over that weekend, nearly 500,000 gamers spent more than 2 million hours playing online.
Since “StarCraft: Brood War” shipped in December, more than 4.7 million games have been played over Battle.net, with peak hours topping more than 50,000 players competing simultaneously.
The success of “StarCraft” in 1998 added to Battle.net’s rising usage numbers. “StarCraft” was 1998’s biggest-selling PC game, according to PC Data figures released last month. Since the release of “StarCraft,” Battle.net has grown 800 percent, both domestically and internationally.
Internationally, much of Battle.net’s global popularity can be attributed to the influx of Korean gamers. With approximately 400,000 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.
In all, Battle.net in Korea has grown by approximately 2,000 percent in the last six months, from 15,000 game hours per day to 300,000.