The latest expansion for World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King, attracted a staggering 2,000 people to its Oxford Street launch – more than turned out for launches like the PlayStation 3 or Apple's iPhone 3G.

World of Warcraft is one of the most played games on the planet, with in excess of 10 million active accounts – paying a monthly fee for access to the virtual world of Azeroth.

Although a whole wealth of competitors have sprung up including key names in the same fantasy arena that Warcraft uses – including Warhammer, Lord of the Rings and Age of Conan – it is Blizzard's game that has completely dominated the MMO market.

New WoW

The expansion, focusing on Arthas Menthil, the titular Lich King, brings new continent Northrend for the mass of high-end players as well as a welter of new equipment, a Death Knight class, a new trade 'inscription', siege weapons and takes the level cap from 70 to 80.

One confirmed fan told TechRadar: "I've been waiting for this for months – now there will be a race to discover the new items, get the best equipment, hit the new level cap of 80 and become the best on the server; at least until the next expansion arrives!"

WoW launched in 2004, but after becoming an immediate hit it has actually gathered momentum as people rush to pay the £8.99 subscription and £24.99 for expansions which give them access to whole new areas.

Many have publicly asked just what can rein WoW back in, but there are major games developers with big names behind them attempting just that; including a new Star Wars MMO recently announced by Bioware.