A few days ago, Blizzard announced that there are 8 Million subscribers playing the World of Warcraft. At $12-$15 a month (USA pricing), this is A LOT of revenue that they are bringing in.
This Tuesday, the much awaited expansion pack (Burning Crusades) is being released. In an attempt to make sure that the game is ready, Blizzard forced the second patch in a week today (Sunday). This means that instead of me jumping into the game this morning, I instead sat drinking my coffee and watching the ever-so-slow "Downloading Updates" screen. 15-20 minutes later, the game was patched, and I logged in.
Or, I attempted to log in. Again.... and again.... and again...
"Ok, the authentication servers must just be busy because everyone patched at the same time, and now they're all trying to get in," I thought.
After maybe an hour of this insanity (trying the same thing over and over, expecting different results), I finally noticed a message from Blizzard on the login screen:
[8:10am PST January 13th 2007]
The 2.0.5 client-side patch has caused issues with our authentication system. These issues can cause players to be suddenly disconnected from the game, as well as prevent them from logging in to the game. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible and will provide you with updates as soon as they are available.
Nice! So, what they were probably doing is updating WoW in the 11th hour preparation for BC's release on Tuesday with some new top-secret authentication/anti-piracy system, but instead, they managed to lock out 8 Million paying subscribers!