Although World of Warcraft launched 15-years ago, fan nostalgia for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game has seemingly not dwindled in the intervening years.
Reboot World of Warcraft Classic, released yesterday afternoon, drew in over one million concurrent viewers on Twitch ousting mainstays Fortnite, Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto V, and League of Legends from the top spot.
Top World of Warcraft streamer Asmongold was responsible for nearly a third of the million viewers capping out at 300,000 yesterday evening. Sodapoppin, another regular WoW streamer accounted for over 100,000 while the predominantly battle royale-focused Twitch mainstay Shroud racked in 30,000 showing the cross-genre pull of the title.
The popularity of World of Warcraft Classic is such that developer Blizzard has opted to open a slew of new servers to accommodate the high demand. The most popular servers had over 10,000 players queuing to jump in when the game launched at 3 pm PDT on Monday with many waiting hours before playing.
Is World of Warcraft Classic The Fortnite Killer We’ve Been Waiting For?
Much of the appeal taps into the nostalgia many gamers retain for the title that is arguably responsible for popularizing the MMORPG genre. Further bolstering interest, is a cluster of the game’s biggest streamers and players battling to level their characters to 60. Many have embarked on a week-long World of Warcraft marathon, foregoing sleep, to sit glued to their screens to be in with a chance of bagging the coveted title of the first to do so.
Community backlash against the vastly overpowered BRUTE mechs implemented into Fortnite with the launch of Season 10 earlier this month, and Epic Games’ slow response to curb the problem, have also helped to funnel players away from the battle royale shooter.
As of writing, World of Warcraft Classic stills tops the Twitch charts with just shy of 500,000 viewers, while Fortnite lingers at a comparatively measly 50,000 viewers.
Whether nostalgia for World of Warcraft can secure long term interest and permanently oust Fortnite from the top of the Twitch directory remains to be seen, but current numbers suggest it’s in with a good chance.
Thomas is a UK-based video game writer with an unhealthy obsession for everything weird and wonderful about the world of gaming. Email: tbardwellfreelance[at]gmail[dot]com