MMO-Champion - WoW stabilizes over 10M subscribers, down 100k in Q4 2011
Diablo 3 - Activision Blizzard Q4 Conference Call - Diablo III Planned for Q2 2012

WoW stabilizes over 10M subscribers, down 100k in Q4 2011
Activision Blizzard latest earning call revealed that World of Warcraft lost 100,000 subscribers last quarter, following the loss of 800k subscribers announced last quarter and 300k loss from the quarter before that. The game lost 1.8M Subscribers over the year but the number seems to stabilize over 10M and it wouldn't be surprising to see it go back up with the release of Mists of Pandaria this year.

World of Warcraft now has 10.2M active subscribers.


  • World of Warcraft lost 100,000 subscribers, down to 10.2 million. This was a total lost of 1.8 million for the year.
  • Diablo III should launch in Q2
  • More than one million Annual Passes have been sold in the West.
  • Blizzard is happy with how the subscription numbers held up during the most competitive quarter ever.
  • When asked about churn since the competitor's launch, "December was a good month for us."
  • There are ~50 million active Battle.net, Call of Duty multiplayer, Call of Duty Elite, and Skylanders WebWorld users.

This article was originally published in forum thread: WoW stabilizes over 10M subscribers, down 100k in Q4 2011 started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 583 Comments
  1. Herecius's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Asatru View Post
    Blizzard enticed players with a "Tyraels Charger" WoW mount, FREE Diablo 3 (Which is bullshit, you've already paid for it in full 2x with the Annual Pass) and Guaranteed MoP Beta Invite, 2 of which cost Blizzard absolutely NOTHING to give players (In-Game Mount and an Email) only as a ploy to bloat the Subs for the Q4 data. Now, in order to keep the Mount, Invite, (Free?) Diablo 3 you need to keep yourself locked into the Annual-Fees which only proves to feed the Subs #. If you were to cancel it at any time before a payment installment is made, you lose everything.

    Admiral Akbar, where were you in the Players Time of Need?!
    Of course it's 'not for you' if you're planning to quit WoW. It's meant for people who would have stayed subscribed anyways in which case, yes, we got Diablo 3 completely for free. /dealwithit
  1. Landin55's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Verus View Post
    10M but a majority is in asia. How many subs do they have left in the west ?
    Idiot...
    Majority lost was in Asia (China). West still pumping in money, nice try though.
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rexxigg View Post
    If you know you are going to play WoW for a year you will be saving $60 I don't understand how that is not logical.

    I was talking about the mythical people everyone keep talking about that signed up for the Annual Pass because of getting Diablo 3 for free. I was saying that if that's why you signed up, you're a moron. Keep your monthly fee in a cookie jar, buy D3 when it comes out, and don't stay locked into a game you say you hate. Signing up for the Annual Pass because you intend to keep playing WoW is perfectly logical.
  1. Uthur's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bathory View Post
    10 MILLION! WHELP, I better pack my bags. I'm gonna go find an MMO that isn't dying. Now lets see, which MMO has more than 10million subs......
    Ding ding ding your the champ. best quote i have seen. I love reading the forums just to see how many are so bored of the competition they have to troll WoW.
  1. Bantokar's Avatar
    So how are these numbers effected by annual pass, play free for x amount of days, people going to TOR but their sub not running out til end december etc? Will probably be a bigger number for Q1 2012.
  1. Mpif's Avatar
    BAHAHAHAHA!!! I love how they feel succefull, both the developers and the fanboys - especially the latter - after loosing more than one million subscribers. I mean yeah ok, they lost about 1 tenth (1 out of 10 or 1/10) of their subscribers but hey!!! No one made mention of how the game sold in China! As far as I remember their subscribers base increased during Lich King (in Us and Eu) and that's the expansion the Chinese got during 2011! Only in a more polished version than ours I guess... Anyway. The press and the fanbase is having much faith on Guild Wars 2 which will use the free to play model (bye bye, 13 eu/month), and TERA which has an amazing set of graphics and based on previews it seems to offer at least the same experience other MMO deliver and last but not least The Secret World has come to be a much anticipated game due to its originality in the theme (it strays from the paths of medieval or space era of the average MMO).

    Q1 and 2 will sure be enlighting and fun for the MMo genre and its fans!
  1. Weep's Avatar
    WoW is limping to the grave and everyone knows it. Those sub numbers are outrageously inflated by the asian market. Now the only people playing wow are people new to MMOs or people that begrudgingly play because they have so much time put into their characters that they feel trapped. Sorry, but the truth hurts and no matter how much you want to avoid it...eventually you'll come to your senses and realize that there are much better things to play out there.
  1. bob0001's Avatar
    They lost 1.8 million subs during a year with 3 tiers of raid content in it.

    There is no new content until MoP at the end of this year.

    That means at least nine months of just playing DS over and over again.

    People be crazy but one thing they are not is dumb.
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Asatru View Post
    Blizzard enticed players with a "Tyraels Charger" WoW mount, FREE Diablo 3 (Which is bullshit, you've already paid for it in full 2x with the Annual Pass) and Guaranteed MoP Beta Invite, 2 of which cost Blizzard absolutely NOTHING to give players (In-Game Mount and an Email) only as a ploy to bloat the Subs for the Q4 data. Now, in order to keep the Mount, Invite, (Free?) Diablo 3 you need to keep yourself locked into the Annual-Fees which only proves to feed the Subs #. If you were to cancel it at any time before a payment installment is made, you lose everything.

    Admiral Akbar, where were you in the Players Time of Need?!
    Yes, Diablo 3 is free if you fully intended to play WoW for the next year before ever even knowing the Annual Pass existed. As I've noted, if you signed up for an Annual Pass ONLY for free Diablo 3, you fail at personal economics.
  1. Thuran's Avatar
    Interesting. While it is still a decline compared to last quarter, it seems that WoW fared a lot better than what was predicted, which saw them losing around 300.000 subs.However, the real test will be how it fares during the next two quarters it will have to go through before MoP, especially with swtor hopefully hitting it's stride after the march patch.
  1. aggression's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bantokar View Post
    So how are these numbers effected by annual pass, play free for x amount of days, people going to TOR but their sub not running out til end december etc? Will probably be a bigger number for Q1 2012.
    Maybe, but then SWTOR will be the big loser as they go play D3 instead. Pretty sure that from that 1M subscribers, then the bigger part will for sure play WoW or D3...if I'm wrong, then remind me of taking my own life...because I bet my life it will be like that.
  1. Landin55's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Weep View Post
    WoW is limping to the grave and everyone knows it. Those sub numbers are outrageously inflated by the asian market. Now the only people playing wow are people new to MMOs or people that begrudgingly play because they have so much time put into their characters that they feel trapped. Sorry, but the truth hurts and no matter how much you want to avoid it...eventually you'll come to your senses and realize that there are much better things to play out there.
    WHAT?!? You know you can barely buy WoW in china!?!?
  1. Wattsbo's Avatar
    Some of the arguments used in this thread have been pretty hilarious tbh... "Subs were going up for years, clearly the changes in Wrath/Cata have caused the drop"...Have you considered that the game has been around for SEVEN YEARS, and it could just be that more people have "finished" with the game for whatever reason? Whether it be changes in real life situation, feeling like they've "done everything" and everything new is just the same old with new skins, or whatever. How many people play any other game for over 2 years? 3 years? 4 years? The list of games with that sort of longevity is pretty short. So the longer the game goes, the more "old" people stop. Unless you've got equal numbers of "new" people joining on, subs will decline. And since WoW isn't the "new shiny" that it once was, it's less attractive to new players - especially with all the anecdotal media-covered stories of how it destroys lives etc. "BC was the best time ever, people raved about the raids etc, now they say how much they suck"...How about back in BC times, raids were, in a lot of ways, relatively new. I mean, high-end raids back in Vanilla were 40-man affairs, and there were only so many guilds that could actually GET that many people together at once, let alone a capable group. BC with it's reduced raid sizes, made the raids a lot more accessible. More people were able to see them, and because they hadn't necessarily seen anything of the scale of raiding before, minds were blown. Also, Blizz learnt a lot from Vanilla raids, so of course BC were going to be better. But as time goes on, there's only so many things that can be done that are "new", so again, people who've been playing for a length of time, start to see where things are re-hashes - "This is just like x fight, but with green fire, and lasers"...I don't think ANYTHING they release could possibly re-ignite the fire in these people, unless it was a completely new way to play the game (that's not gimmicky like the upcoming Pokemonz)... Me personally: Don't care how much the numbers drop, because I'm still playing and enjoying myself. But it's nice to see that (hopefully) WoW hasn't reached that point where a critical mass of people are leaving/have left, that results in the rest leaving. I don't think we're at that point yet. I've been playing since a month after release, but never "serious business". Always mucking around levelling alts, pvp, dungeons, etc. Wrath was when I first started doing dungeons (LFD), because I couldn't commit to times for guilds, and never knew if I was "good enough". Cata was when I first did a raid (LFR), for the same reason - by this time, everyone expects that you have raid experience, and if not, good luck getting into raids (not that I could commit to 4 hours/night, 3 nights a week like it was back in the Vanilla days). I'm still interested in the game, because I didn't burn out on doing all the content, every which way, in the beginning - so I'm still experiencing new ways to play the game. Heck, two nights ago was the first time I've ever seen Onyxia, when me and a mate went in there to see what kinda old content we can clear between the two of us. However, I know far more people who have quit, than who are still playing - most of them being people who started in Vanilla/BC, and have just grown tired of the game. For me, with young kids that necessitate being home at night while they're sleeping, I find WoW far more entertaining than TV, so I keep playing. But there's not many people like me left (hence the dropping sub numbers). Don't know why people have to fight over the state of the game based on sub numbers, when really, the game is still great, it's just that more people are "done with it" than excited to start it. Was always going to happen at some point! I just hope it holds out a while longer, until there's something else that can be a reliable, interest-holding time-sink...
  1. Vehemence's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aahz View Post
    Also to people who are saying my mmo is better then your mmo, one question, are you five?
    I think I'll signature this.
  1. mrwingtipshoes's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Black_One View Post


    nuff said ... I'd like to see what's going to soften THAT blow xD
    A PVP focused F2p game is going to hurt a PVE/PVP sub based game? Really? REALLY?
  1. Asmodian's Avatar
    WoW still the best mmorpg in the market. TOR just an awful bugfest. Q1 subs will probably go up after people play free month.
  1. Asatru's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Herecius View Post
    Of course it's 'not for you' if you're planning to quit WoW. It's meant for people who would have stayed subscribed anyways in which case, yes, we got Diablo 3 completely for free. /dealwithit
    Players were promised "the Most Epic Raid, we've EVER done!" Players bought into the hype and bought the Annual Pass. When in fact what we got was even more recycled content riddled with bugs and glitches (See Paragon, Ret Paladins, Vial of 1shot etc...) Everyone I know feels like they were lied to and feel cheated now that they got the Annual Pass.

    They still LOST 100,000 Subs during the release of Final-Tiered 4.3 Patch ON TOP OF the Sub-bloat of the Annual Pass when it was supposed to curb the SubLoss all together. 100,000 subs might not seem as much when you look at it in terms of 10,0000,000 still active players but if you picture it geographically...that's like 5% of the entire City of Chicago getting up and leaving on top of the already 1,7000,000 people that have left. Chicago is now nearly a Barren Wasteland with only 1/5th it's former population within a year.
  1. PuffY187's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Boubouille View Post
    it wouldn't be surprising to see it go back up with the release of Mists of Pandaria this year.
    It wouldn't be surprising either to see even more people stop playing when the stupid panda expansion comes out.....
  1. Jedek's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mrwingtipshoes View Post
    A PVP focused F2p game is going to hurt a PVE/PVP sub based game? Really? REALLY?
    Please research Guild Wars 2 before you comment. While pvp is important it is a pve centric game much as guild wars 1 was.
  1. Racia's Avatar
    Can't say how many times i've regretted signing up for that damn annual pass. Sure D3 costs about 3-4 monts game time, but still.

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