MMO-Champion - WoW Loses 600k Subscribers, Diablo 3 Beta Q3 2011, Arena Passe, Blue Posts
WoW Lost 600k Subscribers, down to 11.4M
Activision Blizzard's earning call was today and we learned, among other things, that the WoW playerbase is down to 11.4M players. That's 5% less than before the expansion and it seems that players went through the Cataclysm content faster than expected.

Blizzard also promised faster release of new content and expansions during the call.

From Curse.com
During today's Activision Blizzard earnings call, World of Warcraft and its expansion Cataclysm were two very hot topics. Listeners asked a number of questions related to the game, more than any other title or franchise in the publisher's stable.

Of note, World of Warcraft's subscriber base has reached pre-Cataclysm levels, according to Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment. He then later stated an actual number, with subscriptions at the end of March clocking in at right around 11.4 million.

That's down by about 5% from the announced 12 million mark late last year. Interestingly enough, that was right before Cataclysm released. In fact, it's actually lower than the milestone reached in 2008 with the release of Wrath of the Lich King.

But one important thing to point out, and Mr. Morhaime touched on this as well, is that World of Warcraft's subscriber base does not change linearly. It fluctuates based on content consumption, which players seem to be doing a whole lot of -- at a more rapid pace -- with Cataclysm. "Subscriber levels have decreased faster than previous expansions," he said.

Surprising? Not really. We have to remember that when these numbers were pulled, Cataclysm was in a bit of a lull. The expansion had been out for close to four months, and most of its content had been consumed by a large percentage of the player base -- aside from heroic raids.



Diablo 3 Public Beta in Q3 2011
The 2nd big interesting thing from the earning call was the announcement of Diablo 3's public beta in Q3 2011, it looks like the summer will be busy between Patch 4.2 and Diablo 3 ... For more Diablo related news, head to Diablofans.com.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The 3rd quarter reference in the earning's call today was a calendar quarter, meaning that we're aiming to launch the Diablo III beta between July 1st and September 30th. Keep in mind that it's our current goal, and of course that can change as development continues.

2011 Arena Pass: Phases
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The 2011 Arena Pass is split into several different phases. To help you gain a more detailed understanding of how this year’s Arena Pass will unfold, you can find an explanation of the different phases in this article. You can also find out which matches are counted towards receiving a pet or title!

Registration Phase
4 May – 21 June (9pm CEST)
During this period you can register for the European 2011 Arena Pass Service. Registration will be closed outside of these dates.

Practice Phase
11 May – 8 June
During this period you will be able to enjoy the Arena Pass Realm and practice your setup with your friends. Matches played during this phase will not count towards the pet and title prizes.

Ranked Ladder Phase 1
8 June– 22 June
All Arena Rating points will be set to zero when this phase begins. Ranked 3v3 matches played during this phase will count towards the pet and title prizes. If a player switches from one Arena Team to another, the Arena Team that the player joins will have their Arena Rating reduced by 150 points.

Ranked Ladder Phase 2
22 June – 4 July (9pm CEST)
Ranked 3v3 matches played during this phase will count towards the pet and title prizes. During the Ranked Ladder Phase 2 of the Arena Pass Service, players cannot switch Arena Teams.

Prize Eligibility
Ranked 3v3 matches that count toward the pet and title prizes will start on 8 June 2011, (once the weekly maintenance has ended) and end 4 July 2011, at 9pm CEST.

Please note that phases begin once weekly maintenance has finished on the dates specified, and end at the beginning of maintenance on the dates specified (unless stated otherwise).

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Legendary Staff availability
It's actually easier to get started on the path to acquire this legendary; the journey itself is more difficult though. Regardless, players who have cleared the prior tier of raid content are the only ones eligible to begin the quest line -- any player who's part of a group which is capable of accomplishing that probably has a good shot at getting a staff for themselves. (Source)

Legendary Staff - Guild Pet Reward
We're doing something wholly unprecedented in the history of World of Warcraft, by making the acquisition of this Legendary result in a pet for the whole group responsible. Never before has an entire guild been able to acquire any kind of item for helping a member acquire an item or achievement.

We thought that was pretty cool. (Source)

Legendary weapons in 5-man instances?
At least for the foreseeable future, we’re shying away from the model where individuals or five man groups can acquire legendary items, because that could have several possible effects which don't mesh well with our idea of what these items should represent. The items might become common enough that orange becomes the new purple, or so random that the acquisition doesn’t feel particularly good, or we’d have to include a lot of artificial controls on how many of those items end up on a given realm despite a thin veneer of accessibility. Any way you slice it, we think that this would diminish the appeal of these items, and that’s not the way we want to go for now.

We do want the path to getting them to be more than a scavenger hunt though, and we’re continually trying to make the experience of acquiring a legendary weapon more… legendary. We learn as we go. For example, we’re unlikely to ever again do the Molten Core / Black Temple style legendary drops where sometimes you get lucky and more often, you don’t. We think that was really excessively random, and perhaps more importantly, it lost the entire sense of ceremony involved in forging your weapon. To return to the point of discussion that spawned this thread, Dragonwrath is almost the polar opposite of that. Sure, there is a “gated” portion of the quest line, which involves killing Firelands raid bosses, because we want this weapon to be something that a group has to work for and so that nobody is completing their legendary on the first week. But there is also a ton of other content as well: many new quests, legendary-specific raid boss fights, and a great personal challenge which evokes the spirit of those old classic World of Warcraft epic quests. The staff is really awesome in itself, and is rewarding for the whole group which completes it. I think that’s pretty cool, and I hope that those who get the opportunity to pursue the staff feel the same way. (Source)

Legendary items are only for people lucky enough to have a raid!
I'm not sure that you can call being a dedicated raider a matter of luck.

When someone plays a video game, they’re usually faced with a lot of choices. World of Warcraft has a ton of choices, and being part of a guild and choosing to raid is one of the more important choices one makes. World of Warcraft has also had a pretty clear structure of progression for a long time. There’s leveling content; all the quests, dungeons, and events which one can experience as they increase in power toward maximum level. Then, at the level cap, there are some new tiers of content. Top end daily quests, five man dungeons and heroics, battlegrounds, PvP zones and the like. This is all extremely accessible, and (we hope) all players who reach maximum level in World of Warcraft will experience all of it. Then, for the players who choose to pursue the necessary preparations and relationships, there are arenas, rated battlegrounds and raids. Those are the most demanding World of Warcraft experiences available, and we hope that most players will make the choice to take their skills there and see at least some of that content, since there are some very rich experiences to be had.

Raids in particular are intentionally challenging environments, and they are meant to stand up as obstacles to overcome, to reward players who are willing to develop the relationships and coordination with other World of Warcraft players to meet and beat the toughest challenges the game has to offer. They represent achievements to aspire to and we put a lot of time into that content and try to make it rewarding because we want you to want to see it.

Legendary weapons are legendary in part because of lore, and in part because of the grand adventure it is to achieve them. They are intended to represent a goal for an entire guild and raid group, and acquiring such a weapon reflects on the raid and guild as a whole. This helps us keep these items rare, which makes them more exciting and prestigious, which, in turn, allows us to make them more powerful. (Source)

The Daily Blink
I didn't post anything from The Daily Blink in a while and they said I can have my Garfield plush back only if I resume posting. I liked this one a few weeks ago but couldn't post it because of all the Patch 4.2 content, fixed!

This article was originally published in forum thread: WoW Loses 600k Subscribers, Diablo 3 Beta Q3 2011, Arena Passe, Blue Posts started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 453 Comments
  1. Pimenta's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Coldkil View Post
    Please, END THESE BAGS FULL OF CRAP ABOUT QUITTERS; if you don't enjoy the game anymore is perfectably understandable, but the fact you quit doesn't mean everyone should.
    this *
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    What's the fuss about? You think a constant rise in subscribers means the game is "okay" and it's doomsday when it drops? People might want to realize that when a game becomes this large, the playerbase will flactuate A LOT. And it's summer. Clueless whiners will just use it as some sort of evidence that the game as a whole is on the decline. Imbeciles.
  1. bigjenk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zatheyll View Post
    They treat their players less like cattle then any other developers I know, based on how many subscribers WoW has.

    Also, 5% is nothing, second place for a sub based MMO is what, 3 million? It is a lull in content, so anyone who thinks the sky is falling can gtfo until 4.2 hits and they release the numbers then.
    Discounting china which has growing sub numbers but lower sub costs, eu/na is looking at more of a 15-20 percent decline which is pretty large in less than a year. Also the last numbers they pulled were in the largest content lull outside of rs the game has seen so the content lull excuse is a bit null and void.

    ---------- Post added 2011-05-10 at 12:20 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    What's the fuss about? You think a constant rise in subscribers means the game is "okay" and it's doomsday when it drops? People might want to realize that when a game becomes this large, the playerbase will flactuate A LOT. And it's summer. Clueless whiners will just use it as some sort of evidence that the game as a whole is on the decline. Imbeciles.
    March/april numbers =/= summer

    And historically when mmo's start to decline they slowly keep declining without some huge change ala f2p switch. Wow had a great run and im sure it will be active for the next 3-4 years but i doubt 2012 more people will be playing than now.
  1. Gregwar's Avatar
    is this "Rift" propaganda?
  1. Verth's Avatar
    The sub loss isn't surprising at all. I can hardly see any interest in the game after playing it for so long. I tried resubbing and i got bored after the first week.
    Can't wait for diablo 3 though!
  1. Goretex's Avatar
    I'm sticking with wow could care less about D3 or Rift, made a mistake buying Aion a yr ago. WoW is where it's at!
  1. wordup's Avatar
    So, looks like rift took 600k subscribers.
    Hardly the "Half the playerbase" people said it would be. That they're calling this a victory is hilarious.
  1. Zhira's Avatar
    Some of the loss of subscribers is indeed due to the current content getting "old" - no question about that. Another reason is that Cataclysm in some way is WoW v2 (with all the revamped content). I think many feels that the game is entirely new and see it as a possibility to quit.

    Rift might have been the cause for some of the loss but as I understand that game seriously lacks endgame content?
  1. Kingbaby's Avatar
    Hm i think Blizzard is pretty happy about WoW his past and future, with WoW they could work on SC2 cause the massive MONEY income... they could work on D3 and also on TITAN, i mean all those games got the time in developement and like SC2 is a great game, so D3 and Titan will be good games aswell - so stop QQ about everyshit like little babys.. BORING.

    Also you ever seen Software which worked 100% when upgraded or whatever, its same like on patchdays blabla mimimi, this doesn´t work.. im sure everyone which knows atleast something about coding will agree... u can´t do it without bugs... WoW is a TON of algorythm, code and what not. And u know, no computer is developing the shit for ya sure some parts will be autogenereted but the devs are real persons doing a good job in what they do atleast better as in 1000 other games of that genre.

    Subs dropped, cause its getting to the summer, also most ppl which want to clear content did it already and are waiting for 4.2.Nothing special about it. U can also say many tried Rift and returned already to wow.
    (Rift release 4 march in europe, numbers from at the end of March clocking in at right around 11.4 million for wow subs.)

    Sooooo mimimi, QQ, blabla more. Blizzard is doing a good job to keep WoW alive, sure they could do better as always, but many ppl here are just tards which use these comments for their own QQing about shit maybe because they quit already or couldn´t archieve anything in the game, if u want to be successful in an MMO u may have to act atleast a bit social. WoW isnt a 3s PVP only game where your combo may suck, or a 1man Dungeons game, u have to play with OTHER ppl and thats the point where most of those QQ ppl here obviously fail.

    (yeah some parts are a bit offensive sorry for that.)
  1. bigjenk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by wordup View Post
    So, looks like rift took 600k subscribers.
    Hardly the "Half the playerbase" people said it would be. That they're calling this a victory is hilarious.
    How about when you consider that the loss na/eu side is more like 20 percent and many of the rift players have an active account in this quarterly report since rift didn't release until well into it.
  1. john67's Avatar
    Funny how blizzard said to the players that the content hasn't been cleared by enough people to warrant bringing firelands out yet, and now they say to their shareholders that the content is being cleared by TOO MANY people, causing them to quit. Which one is it?

    At least this will provide a wake up call to blizzard that they can't slack on raid content like they did for most of wotlk. If sub numbers continue dropping (and they will if firelands is not good enough) then the shareholders are not going to be happy.

    If wow's sub numbers do decline permanently it'll probably start off slow but grow rapidly as guilds fall apart, friends quit and servers begin to lose their community due to enough people quitting. If firelands doesn't bring the standard back up then the sub numbers will just decline further.

    I hope for everyone's sakes that Firelands will be Ulduar 2.0

    Interesting thought: I wonder how many of those quitters were PVPers. People always said that WOTLK was the lowest point in pvp, but what if cataclysm hasn't met peoples expectations of "fixed" pvp? Perhaps the state that 2vs2 is in could be part of the cause.
    So, looks like rift took 600k subscribers.
    Hardly the "Half the playerbase" people said it would be. That they're calling this a victory is hilarious.
    Take the most extreme opinion of your opponents you can, and then pretend that it's the norm and laugh at it.

    Well played. You and I both know that the people saying Rift would take half of wow's player base were:
    1. A tiny minority.
    2. Complete idiots.

    If Rift has taken 600k subscribers that is a huge victory for them. You can run mmo's on far less numbers..
  1. bigjenk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingbaby View Post
    Hm i think Blizzard is pretty happy about WoW his past and future, with WoW they could work on SC2 cause the massive MONEY income... they could work on D3 and also on TITAN, i mean all those games got the time in developement and like SC2 is a great game, so D3 and Titan will be good games aswell - so stop QQ about everyshit like little babys.. BORING.

    Also you ever seen Software which worked 100% when upgraded or whatever, its same like on patchdays blabla mimimi, this doesn´t work.. im sure everyone which knows atleast something about coding will agree... u can´t do it without bugs... WoW is a TON of algorythm, code and what not. And u know, no computer is developing the shit for ya sure some parts will be autogenereted but the devs are real persons doing a good job in what they do atleast better as in 1000 other games of that genre.

    Subs dropped, cause its getting to the summer, also most ppl which want to clear content did it already and are waiting for 4.2.


    Sooooo mimimi, QQ, blabla more. Blizzard is doing a good job to keep WoW alive, sure they could do better as always, but many ppl here are just tards which use these comments for their on QQing about shit maybe because they quit already or couldn´t archieve anything in the game, cause u know, if u want to be successful in an MMO u may have to act atleast a bit social. WoW isnt a 3s PVP only game where your combo may suck, or a 1man Dungeons game, u have to play with OTHER ppl and thats the point where most of those QQ ppl here obviously fail.

    (yeah some parts are a bit offensive sorry for that.)
    You realize these quarterly numbers are active accounts jan-march, hardly after content got old and stale or summer was even close.
  1. Shrymp's Avatar
    How about the fact that probably 80% of players are casual, and this tier of raiding is one of the hardest we've ever seen... and it requires a pretty dedicated raid team/schedule to clear...

    Maybe that turns people away?
  1. Ulgrim's Avatar
    Pretty much saw it coming, and it also doesn't take into account how many players still have an account but don't log on anymore. Oh well, here's hoping to D3.
  1. Joán's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bigjenk View Post
    How about when you consider that the loss na/eu side is more like 20 percent
    Any source for this absolutely massive claim?
  1. Kingbaby's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bigjenk View Post
    You realize these quarterly numbers are active accounts jan-march, hardly after content got old and stale or summer was even close.
    "old" in that way that ppl which wanted to clear the content, in normal/hc already did it around that time. + that rift came + it already gotten hotter around this time (atleast here in central europe) and the numbers are from end of march in total -600k so nothing special about it.
  1. Bahska's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Oztiks View Post
    um you missed the point either way and the sarcasm at the end....for Blizzard to announce 600k loss in subscriptions in less than 6 months but oh HEY! we have legendaries with pets! Come on please....yea by far its not a panick button time, but maybe it should be a wake up call to get back to what made Blizzard so LEGENDARY in LK. If not, and all you WoW lovers can QQ all you want but deep down in the depths of that muttled wow brain, you know those numbers of declind will keep rising even with Firelands coming out....
    Yeah LK was awesome!! Every raid was clearable in 1 night and dungeons in 20 minutes so much fun!! I quit in LK from pure boredom especially after we beat LK in the first 2 weeks (Im in a medium core raiding guild meaning we don't push for firsts but we do raid multiple nights and hours), then nothing for 10 months. (ToC wasn't fun either but i waited to see how icc was gonna be, wasn't really worth the wait)
    Not sure how dungeons and raids so easy a retarded monkey can clear it is fun?
    To be honest i would rather have hard content that lasts so if you have to wait longer for a patch atleast you still have stuff to do.

    Sorry but i play a game to have fun, healing while also watching tv and eating dinner cause all i had to press was rejuv a wild growth (The LK model) wasn't fun, it was mind numbingly boring.
  1. FrantACs's Avatar
    Well, this loss is still nothing compared what hit JoWood... This publisher has ruined a lot of good games - for example the Gothic series... I will never forgive them for that. So look arround you first, check out what's the stace of things elsewhere, then flame on Blizzard. Blizz cares for the player base (the community) unlike other companies/publishers. (Right JoWood?!)
  1. bloodwine77's Avatar
    It amazes me all the people vehemently defending Blizzard and making excuses as to why Blizzard lost 5% of their player base. I still think WoW is still overall a good game, but it does feel a bit stale now. I appreciate that they redesigned the leveling experience but there just isn't enough to do at level 85 compared to previous expansions. In short, Cataclysm is more boring than TBC and even WotLK.

    I have no plans to quit WoW, but I am to the point that I only log in a couple nights a week to raid with my friends. I don't play nearly as much as I used to play because there just isn't anything else worth doing in my opinion. Everything is too easy: rep is too easy, cooking/fishing skillups are too easy, not enough variation in daily quests, character slots already filled and don't feel like leveling more alts, and so forth.

    WoW has peaked and it will slowly be shedding customers. It doesn't mean that WoW sucks, but just that the golden days are over.
  1. FrantACs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bigjenk View Post
    March/april numbers =/= summer
    .
    March? April? It's May as far as I know and it's f*****g hot right now. May = Summer. A lot of my mates are going on holidays after we graduate in High school... and a lot has already canceled their subs 'cause of graduations and holidays. So this is a valid statement.

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