Okay, so I did some investigative reporting, and managed to dig up this interesting little tidbit of information.
There's this web site called Onecle
, which is run by a lawyer and provides legal education online. As one of their free services, they provide sanitized "sample" copies of legal contracts
in a variety of fields, to server as helpful guidlines and educational tools for the legal and business professions.
So, I was not too surprised when a copy of the contract between Vivendi Universal and China The9 Interactive
appeared, documenting their agreement regarding the operation of World of Warcraft in China. Of course, most of the key details have been removed, but it appears one little tidbit slipped through the sanitization process:
For in-game support, Licensee shall ensure that there is at least one game master for every 2000 concurrent users at all times, or otherwise as determined by VUG/Blizzard.
Now, I'm making a lot of assumptions here. That this is an actual (although sanitized) copy of the contract, that VUG/Blizzard didn't later specify a different number, and that the ratio of 1:2000 is going to be about the same for the US and EU servers as it is for China's servers. But if that's accurate, then that seems to me an low number of GMs for a game like WoW.