WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

May 10, 2011 -

During its post-earnings call this week, Activision blizzard revealed that World of Warcraft subscriptions are down by about five percent. In October 2010, the popular MMORPG had around 12 million subscribers. Now the game enjoys about 11.4 million subscribers. To deal with the drop off, Blizzard's president Michael Morhaime said that the company has to release future expansion packs in a more timely fashion to contain player drop-off.

"As our players have become more experienced playing World of Warcraft over many years, they have become much better and much faster at consuming content," said Blizzard president Michael Morhaime during a conference call. "And so I think with Cataclysm they were able to consume the content faster than with previous expansions, but that's why we're working on developing more content."

"We need to be faster at delivering content to players," he added. "And so that's one of the reasons that we're looking to decrease the amount of time in-between expansions."

"What we have seen so far is that people have been consuming this content very quickly, and so the subscriber levels have decreased faster than in previous expansions," he concluded.

Source: Blue's News, Gamasutra


Comments

Re: WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

The game needed a face lift problem was the end game content really sucked and it was just too hard.

Ghostwalker wanted to go away from Wraith of the Lich King and that it was too easy though most people liked it now people are leaving or finding another game to play well this is a cause and effect moment. Basically you have an elitist staff member who wants to impose his views on a game. Thats like making a Forum Nazi in control of a game development.

Go back to the way Wraith was done and people will come back, right now I see no point in playing WoW as is.

Re: WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

I suspect we'll see some more drops in subscriptions when Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic release.  They both look excellent, and they appeal to a crowd that isn't obsessed with raiding grinds.  There are a lot of more casual players in WoW that only stay there because there are no really viable A-list titles to migrate to.

Re: WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

I don't doubt it, although I doubt either will oust WoW from the #1 spot just yet. There's definitely room in the market for major competition though.

Re: WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

Is new content no longer included in the subscription fee? It sounds like they add new content only through expansions :(

Re: WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

Content is still released regularly in between expansions. I think Morhaime was trying to say that 2 years between expansions was too slow for the market, which they've been saying since the first expansion.

I don't think they've ever been anywhere near 20 million active. 12 is closer to the mark. They've been fairly stable over the last few years, with fluctuation to the tune of +/- 5% being pretty normal. We're just hearing more detail now as Activision stockholders are learning how significantly tied to WoW's success their investment is.

 A note: they're speaking only of active subscribers. Thats accounts that are currently paid for (by the month in North America or hourly services in Asia that have been active within the last 30 days). These numbers do not include dormant accounts, unused game cards, or free trials.

Re: WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

With optional microtransactions, free-to-play, buy-once-to-play and various combinations of these business models now gaining rapid popularity amongst the online gaming market, I can only imagine the pressure is really on Blizzard to make sure that monthly fee is value for money for its customers.

Re: WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

Given the number of big-name titles coming out since the past couple months and within the next few (Duke Nukem Forever included), I'm not surprised to hear this. Probably many gamers whom are suspending their subscription to play something else for a while.

Re: WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

Call me crazy, but a dropoff from 20 million to 11.4 million strikes me as a tad more than 5%.  Through some totally complicated mathematical wizardry (11.4 divided by 20, subtract result from 1), I'm pegging it at 43%.  So which number is the wrong one?  Was it a 43% drop from 20 to 11.4?  Was it a 5% drop from 12 to 11.4 (this would be my guess)?  Or 5% from 20 to 19?  Enquiring minds want to know.

Re: WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

Looks like the 20 was just a typo and the real number is 12.

E. Zachary Knight
Divine Knight Gaming

Re: WOW Subscriptions Down 5 Percent

This is the first place I've ever heard of WOW having anywhere near 20 million subscribers. I remember about a year or 18 months ago hearing they had somewhere around 11 so I seriously doubt they doubled their subscriptions since then. I would guess that should be 12 down to 11.

 
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