So World of Warcraft launches today. Terranova is picking it as the possible first US MMO to break 1 million subs. With 41 servers at launch, it’s certainly possible! I’ve heard rumors (scurrilous, mind you) of 200k preorders and 600k expected accounts the first week.

I like World of Warcraft. It’s very polished, and the MMO industry could use a good dose of polish (evidenced by a stable client and a very well-thought-out user interface). What remains to be seen is if the WoW live team can live up to the hype. Their tasks:

1) Keep the servers up and running.
2) Keep the servers up and running.
3) Keep the servers up and running.
4) Get more raid/high level content up quickly.
5) Get a PvP structure up quickly.

If they can do that, WoW could be a long term contender. If they miss 4 and/or 5, it will be an excellent “introductory MMO”, but lacking an appealing “elder game” that keeps subscribers over the long term.

And if they miss the first three, heaven help us all. Because the entire industry will be judged by how well the network team handles their task. Don’t blow it guys, we’re ALL counting on you. Really.