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. EqualWin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by A Challenger! View Post
    I really do NOT want to sound like a doomsayer or a dick here, but no matter what the WoW sheep (yes, sheep. I mean the people who are so devoted, they will tear down anyone else not in love with WoW) say, two million subs lost over a year is not good whatsoever. They need to stop puffing this up as "WELL, IT IS ONLY TWO MILLION" and realize that two million is huge compared to the subs WoW GAINED through Wrath of the Lich King, Burning Crusade, and such.

    Does no one remember how Activision-Blizzard made commercials about their millions sold? They gained subs then, they hemorrhaged them now. Again, not doomsaying here, but realistically speaking, that is not good.

    EDIT: Also, a bit off topic, but goddamn do I like your portrait.
    idk maybe ppl get bored of wow , but still wow is still the best MMO for PVP and PVe. not grinding like before but its still teh best mmo for most ppl
  1. littlewisp's Avatar
    Did 2011 pass super fast or is it just me ? I'm having flashbacks to the Q1 announcement of last year, and I was like 'wait Q4, what do they mean by Q4?' . . .I'm not even 30 yet wtf is this?! In other news, I and my guildies are still enjoying WoW and plan to continue enjoying WoW, panda jokes aside. We'll be expanding the guild to include D3 when that comes out.
  1. Slowpoke is a Gamer's Avatar
    100k? I was right.
  1. Locruid's Avatar
    Personally the information is GREAT news from a MMO Historical standpoint

    DAOC at its peak had about 300,000 players. 5 yrs laters it had about 3,000

    EQ Lasted about 5 yrs at its peak.

    ALL the MMORPGs have peaked and damn near died in about 5 yrs.

    WOW peaked at 12million....and 7yrs old sitting at 10 mil



    Personally I think its great news
  1. Schmilblick's Avatar
    No news on MoP till 19/03 ? O_o
  1. topfer's Avatar
    small tidbit of information left out of the front page post

    http://www.gamespot.com/news/diablo-...-again-6350086

    "Activision pushes action RPG to April-June quarter; company not expecting to ship both Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm and WOW: Mists of Pandaria this year."

    "Additionally, Activision today said it is expecting only one other title from Blizzard this year. The company has a number of announced projects, including Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria."

    Deathwing is gonna be real stale by the time 2013 rolls around...
  1. javen's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bombkirby View Post
    Remind me again why we even care how many subscribers there are? O_o That was the least of our concerns a year ago.
    I know, right? Based on responses like "Suck it TOR" it seems like people use it as a definitive way to say "My game is better than your game." Which is childish, but understandable to an extent, since it's been happening since Atari and Colecovision. It's the console wars, essentially, with everyone getting super heated and those of us who do both just sitting in the middle and wondering what the hell is going on.

    Personally, I'm currently subbed to both, so I don't really matter statistically, but I will say that while either company mostly just cares about my 15 bucks a month, I tend to spend way more time in TOR than I do in WoW, currently. I still like WoW, but the only time I log in nowaddays is for our weekly 2 hour Dragon Soul clear.

    I will say, though, that Bioware seems way more eager to please. Their upkeep and maintenance methods I find much preferable to WoW, mainly on account of the whole "smaller, more frequent content patches" that Blizzard mentioned a year ago, seems to actually be possible with Bioware. To me, it seems like TOR is the game with the more advantageous position going forward, but that's also pretty much implied, considering Warcraft's age.

    And as far as losing subs goes, it's a foregone conclusion that once you reach a certain market share, it's far easier to lose customers than it is to both retain the ones you have AND gain new ones. All this doomsaying just comes across as irrelevant at best.
  1. Awarewolf's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mrwingtipshoes View Post
    Really tired of seeing this.

    The annual pass IS NOT a legal contract, is NOT binding and you are NOT required to continue to pay for it.
    The annual pass IS possible to opt out of.

    Call blizzard, write a ticket and ask all you have to do to opt out of it is STOP PAYING. The only penalty for not paying is?

    Losing your mount
    Losing your free D3
    Losing your MoP beta invite.

    That's it. That's all there is too it.
    QFT and reiteration.

  1. daburton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoukyaku View Post
    The subs arent "stabilizing". And stop picking a timeframe of one month in comparison to an entire expansion. Ill repeat what i said once again because i can see youre just trying to argue for the sake of arguing. During Burning Crusade when their philosophy wasnt catered towards the casual playerbase their subscriptions started soaring and continued to do so during Cata. They have done NOTHING but bleed subs this ENTIRE expansion. Losing 100k subs isnt "stabilizing". Once again, this ENTIRE expansion theyve done nothing but lose people. Did i say it enough times? Now gtf outta here and take your boat back to denial land.

    All I can say is apparently BLIZZARD is happy with how things are going. Regardless of the ranting about how great BC was. Its gone, over, done with, put out to pasture. Not sure how many different ways we can say it. WELCOME TO THE NEW NORMAL. Quite frankly, if you cannot and refuse to accept that this game has moved to catering to the casual playerbase, its time to leave. This is how it is, this is how it will remain for the foreseeable future. Apparently Blizzard came up with that decision and they are content with it. I guess 10.2 million other people agree with it.
  1. peggleftw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Locruid View Post
    Personally the information is GREAT news from a MMO Historical standpoint

    DAOC at its peak had about 300,000 players. 5 yrs laters it had about 3,000

    EQ Lasted about 5 yrs at its peak.

    ALL the MMORPGs have peaked and damn near died in about 5 yrs.

    WOW peaked at 12million....and 7yrs old sitting at 10 mil



    Personally I think its great news
    indeed, wow is doing amazingly well for a 7year old game, no other mmo had even nearly this many subs
  1. smelltheglove's Avatar
    i have 2 things on my mind here

    1: wow has been losing subs since the day it started, it just had more coming in than going out. the cost of starting from scratch right now is probably daunting to some. it would be to me

    2: why do games have to "die" for people to be happy?!? i'd rather see improvement. pac-man was a fun game in its time, but what if development had stopped there? i see competitive mmo's as a good thing for the genre, which is getting a bit stale for me tbh. which is sad, as it really is my favorite genre
  1. Venteus's Avatar
    Good fight to all the haters. WoW is still going strong ^_^.
  1. Alayea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmilblick View Post
    No news on MoP till 19/03 ? O_o
    Hey, it's not so bad. That's only 39 days away from now. Tomorrow it will be 38.
  1. Deadanon's Avatar
    I did not expect it to loose subs in 4Q. But Im pretty sure that ALOT of ppl have quit over the past month so the 1Q 2012 will be huge loss. The current raids are a joke - just lazy work IMO.

    Lets not forget either than we could be seeing a whole year of no Expansion in WOW. There is no news of beta - there is no estimate timeframe for release and BLizzard only talked about ideas at BLizzcon. We could be in for a very very very long wait. And maybe over 2 million ppl quitting the game in that time.

    Blizzard needs to sit down and really rethink the encounters now. THey also need to REALLY rework the class talent system cause the current idea will kill the game on so many levels. Talent points are REWARDS that give ppl freedom to custimise their character. So now we have 90 levels with everything automatic and they expect new players to play that junk ? New stuff...... every 5 levels? Oh no ... PPL will just walk away from such badly design junk.

    Personally - I've got annual pass. I will test MOP but if I dont like it I will simply not buy it. ATM the chance of buying it is very slim based on what I have seen and heard so far.
  1. Stevegasm's Avatar
    100k subs is still 1.5 million. That's enough to pay the salary of about 30 workers per year. All the recent numbers are so short term though. I'll be more interested to see how things hold up at the end of the summer.
  1. PhearMark's Avatar
    All the people talking about current loss rates, just wait till you see the numbers for 2012 Q1. I can almost guarantee those numbers will be closer to 2011 Q2 and Q3 numbers if not higher. Also, you can't say "oh they only lost 100k in Q4 that's their new bleed rate!". You would have to look at all their previous data (which they won't release) so currently we can only look at 2011 numbers which means they would have a prospective bleed rate of around 1.5 million per year meaning the game would "die" in 6.8 years assuming the rate stays 100% constant (which it won't) and that the game gets no better or worse (which it won't). The reason you have so many WoW doomsday naysayers is because you have so many more people leaving now than ever before.
  1. javen's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Awarewolf View Post
    QFT and reiteration.

    I guess I should call again, then. You can cancel online and when I tried over the phone the rep said I was locked in and they couldn't do anything about it and if I cancelled the card or anything my credit would take a hit. Maybe she just lied because she didn't want to get in trouble or something.
  1. Wartide_ysera's Avatar
    I find it sad how much people care about sub numbers.

    wow only lost 1.8 million players, but tell me, had it lost like 5 million players, would that change the way you feel about the game? so a game that has 10mil+ subs is ok for you, less then that its a dead game and you shouldn't waste your money on it.

    and you know, I only see this in the US, other countries really dont care how much people are playing the game but in the US if you are not the biggest mmo in the market ur a dead game or going to the grave, and thats pretty stupid in my opinion.

    My point is, the number of subs shouldn't interfere on how much you like the game, or if your going to play it or not, but to some people it does matter, go figure.
  1. Deadanon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Venteus View Post
    Good fight to all the haters. WoW is still going strong ^_^.
    "STILL" sounds the perfect word for it. We are in for long 8-12 months with no new content. I would be surprised if game was not down by at least 2 millions in EU/US in that time.

    And thats coming from a player that thought BLizzard would not loose any subs in 4Q.
  1. wg15's Avatar
    In your face haters. Even if I am one of those 100k, I'm happy and I only can laugh about other MMOs who lost his half playerbase in one month.

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