Blizzard has revealed future plans to merge smaller World of Warcraft servers with the more populated ones. This news came after their announcement where they revealed that they will be “following a comprehensive study of realm populations for every realm in the world for the next two to three months.” These studies are set to take place during scheduled maintenance times until “they’ve connected every low-population realm in every region to a larger population of players”. In that same forum, the developers then go on to say,
World of Warcraft is best when you have a community of other players around you, and while numerous ways to participate in cross-realm play have been added to the game over the years, there re still many aspects of the experience that are realm-based.
The forum post goes on to confirm that current players will not be hindered by the mergers as they happen. This shift could possibly be because the more active a server is in World of Warcraft, the more engagement it gains with fans and the stronger the monetization will be for it.
While this isn’t the first time Blizzard has combined servers to increase player engagement, this is the first time that they will be combining many servers in a short period of time. In the past, however, these movements of servers have been met with positive feedback from players and fans alike (and also helping to pave the way for other World of Warcraft expansion launches in the past). At the same time as these mergers, Blizzard will also be setting up forums for those servers that combined spaces (along with a notice in advance for those that might foresee issues in the future due to the merging servers).
This plan to merge servers came out after the release of the World of Warcraft board game, which sold out on its release date and has since been in high demand ever since its release.