Blizzard entertainment, the makers of World of Warcraft has said that the MMORPG game now has over 8 million paying subscribers worldwide.

Breaking down the figures, Blizzard has said that World of Warcraft has also achieved new regional subscriber milestones, with more than 2 million players in North America, more than 1.5 million players in Europe, and more than 3.5 million players in China.

Since debuting in North America on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has become the most popular MMORPG around the world. Today, World of Warcraft is available in seven different languages and is played in North America, Europe, mainland China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

World of Warcraft will soon see the launch of its first expansion; The Burning Crusade. The new add-on pack will add a tremendous amount of new content to the game, including an entire new continent to explore; an increase in the level cap up to 70, complete with new talents and abilities; flying mounts; new quests, creatures, and items; new dungeons; two new playable races; a new profession; and more.

In China the game has spawned an entire industry with companies paying gamers to play characters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and then selling them to rich Westerners who don't want to start at the bottom of the pecking order.

Last year one WOW gamer killed another gamer over the ownership of sword, which has been won in the game.

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, will be available in North America and Europe on January 16, 2007.