Blizzard's flagship titled has tightened its grip on the online gaming market over the past 12 months with subscriber numbers for the fantasy-based virtual world growing steadily throughout the year.
But according to many observers, the recent surge in competing titles could spell the end of the WoW legacy as gamers gleefully anticipate the release of such titles as Age of Conan and Warhammer Online.
Both games adopt the same winning formula that has made WoW such a phenomenal success, but they bring with them recognisable and proven brand names and story plotlines that are expected to garner immediate support among many gamers.
Originally slated for release in 2007, both games are now expected to come out shortly before next summer as programmers strive to iron out any remaining bugs in the title.
Previous attempts to curb WoW's market dominance have largely failed as gaming pundits accused titles such as Lord of the Rings Online of being rushed into stores.
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