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. Sensa's Avatar
    so, so few intelligent and/or objective comments in this thread.

    A 100,000 subscriber loss in a Holiday quarter with the final tier boss of an expansion is NOT good news.

    Having to giveaway $50 million dollars (1,000,000 annual passes x cost of Diablo III) to still lose 100,000 subs is NOT good news and shows how desperate Blizz was to avoid a massive subscriber loss in the 1st quarter of 2012 (and not in the 4th quarter of2011 which many of you simply fail to comprehend). In fact, they really don't care if you play, and whether or not you're servers are dead, for the next 6 months as long as they can still claim you are a subscriber as a result of the annual pass

    There is absolutely no evidence that super easy mode LFR is responsible for this so called "stabilization". In fact, in the first quarter of 2012 it is as likely that being able to burn through the nerfed content at an exceptionally fast rate will lead to more cancellations than new/re-newed subscriptions (and this was another reason they implemented the annual pass because they knew the majority would burn through easy mode content and, if not locked into a year long contract, cancel there subscriptions pending the release of MoP).

    Diablo III being delayed to the 2nd quarter of 2012 is NOT good news. It also probably means that MoP's release date will be later than most anticipated since it is quite obvious they are stretched to the limit at the moment. If its not delayed it may will be rushed/buggy. In the process they will have pissed off a lot of the annual pass subscribers who are essentially getting less for their money. Many annual pass subscribers made a rational economic decision, based on suggested release dates, that paying for WoW even if they weren't playing due to being done with Cata content would have Diablo to play for X months of their annual pass and that MoP would be out for more months of their annual pass period. Neither of these is likely to be true now and thus the economic rationale for signing up the annual pass becomes less justifiable.

    Bottom line - The delays and continued subscriber losses are nothing to cheer.
  1. Repefe's Avatar
    If MoP is not to release in 2012 as it looks from the financial report ... the whole annual pass will really be a big fuck you, from Blizz, to players, with <3, for money. 100k lost in the quarter that WoW got new content ? Imagin 4 quarters when it will get no content ...
  1. Lumocolor's Avatar
    Blizzard deserves a medal for the annual pass scam. Instead of people paying 39.99 for Diablo 3 they paid $150 for diablo 3 and the same WOW raid for 8 months. When the annual pass expires, pandaria will release and you'll have to start paying again having gotten nothing but a copy of diablo 3 for your years sub and that is a genius move by blizzard and deserves a nobel prize for business IMO.
  1. Raven's Avatar
    Don´t really understand those that dont like Wow anymore and are playing Swtor instead and wants Wow to fail and the hole just becouse i played Wow and now i play Swtor the other game most die and keeping hoping that Wow will die.

    The best thing for you as player is that Wow is going good, that keeps the pressure up on Bioware to keep improving and come up with new things for Swtor and same for Wow, the best thing for Wow players is that Swtor and Bioware keep the pressure on Blizzard to keep improving and come up with new things for Wow. and that they get ideas from each others games. so Wow or Swtor dying would be the worst thing that could happen for the other games players.

    And call the annual pass a scam is kinda dumb to, it is a treat for those that knew they would play wow for a year forward, and the treat being a copy of Diablo III, a ingame mount, a spot in Mop beta, and sorry for saying it but if you signed upp for a annual pass just becouse you wanted Diablo III then your stupid and that is not Blizzards fault.
  1. Arsi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
    I still think that if many people wouldn't have bought the annual pass, the numbers would have gone down even more. I can only speak for myself and my friends, but 9 out of 10 people who got the annual pass are not even playing anymore (2 months or longer offline on real ID). Of course their sub is still active since they paid for a whole year.
    Same. I entered pre-paid 60 days code, never logged in. For the MoP beta!
  1. Repefe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lumocolor View Post
    Blizzard deserves a medal for the annual pass scam. Instead of people paying 39.99 for Diablo 3 they paid $150 for diablo 3 and the same WOW raid for 8 months. When the annual pass expires, pandaria will release and you'll have to start paying again having gotten nothing but a copy of diablo 3 for your years sub and that is a genius move by blizzard and deserves a nobel prize for business IMO.
    Don't forget you will have to pay for MoP as well ...
  1. mvallas's Avatar
    Look - I'll admit it's a POSITIVE sign for WoW - but that headline is wrong. WoW is NOT stable - it's looking like it might be STARTING to stabilize - that is more accurate. But it certainly has NOT stabilized 100%. As others have said, the real test is next quarter's earnings.
  1. Repefe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    And call the annual pass a scam is kinda dumb to, it is a treat for those that knew they would play wow for a year forward, and the treat being a copy of Diablo III, a ingame mount, a spot in Mop beta, and sorry for saying it but if you signed upp for a annual pass just becouse you wanted Diablo III then your stupid and that is not Blizzards fault.
    This is what Blizz does best ... they promise, they hint, players believe them and then nothing. A lot of ppl who bought pass did so because Blizz advertised it as big package of stuff to do ... you get D3 and beta and then even MoP. Now they postponed D3 and MoP and half of the annual pass that was supposed to be filled with new stuff to do will be empty.

    Yeah, it's players fault ... they should know better than to believe Blizz.
  1. ohmygosh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by dendaros View Post
    well china has around 6.5 mill subs brazil around 700k(min) so i say around 2.8 mill
    Brazil has over 1 million players, and that number will rise since Blizzard teamed up with GVT, an internet provider owned by Vivendi. The GVT subscribers receive the Vanilla+BC pack for free, and wow subscription drops from the current $8,00 (aka around R$ 15,00 brazilian currency) to around $5,50 or $ 6,00 (aka R$ 12,90 brazilian currency)
  1. Collected's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Repefe View Post
    Now they postponed D3 and MoP and half of the annual pass that was supposed to be filled with new stuff to do will be empty.

    Yeah, it's players fault ... they should know better than to believe Blizz.
    When did they delay MoP exactly? Just wondering, because I've seen no evidence or news that MoP has been delayed? I don't see where Blizzard ever promised that your annual pass would be filled with new content, just that you get D3 and MoP beta, and I see no reason why both of those events won't happen before this October which is when the annual pass started. So relax.
  1. chemicader's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bigjohnburger View Post
    The only reason these numbers are so low is because they tricked the dumb player base of wow into buying that year round plan which includes diablo 111. I love watching how stupid most people are on the forums .

    In other words, wow would probably be down another million subscribers.
    You are aware that the people buying that save money quite a lot if they actually play wow.
  1. adimaya's Avatar
    I don't get everyone complaining about the annual sub.

    you got D3 for free. you got a mount as well if I don't remember wrong, FOR FREE.
    and for what price? the same price you otherwise would've paid to play world of warcraft.

    if you weren't planning on playing more WoW then don't sign up for a year, you're the retard in that case not them.

    and, SWTOR launched! c'mon, it's literally the biggest MMO competitor WoW has ever faced! and they're down 100k subs. sure a lot of those might be people tied down with the annual sub, but I promise you that the mainstay of the annual sub subscribers would've played WoW anyway.
  1. Collected's Avatar
    Does anyone know how populated previous beta tests were? 1 million people playing MoP on a couple of beta servers is going to be fun.....
  1. Repefe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Collected View Post
    When did they delay MoP exactly? Just wondering, because I've seen no evidence or news that MoP has been delayed? I don't see where Blizzard ever promised that your annual pass would be filled with new content, just that you get D3 and MoP beta, and I see no reason why both of those events won't happen before this October which is when the annual pass started. So relax.
    According to the financial report Activision expects Blizz to release only 1 more new game after D3 this year and it's more likely SC2 HoS than MoP. Also when annual pass was announced D3 was aimed at Q1 2012 and MoP was expected to land somewhere at the end of Q2, which would lead to 4.3->D3->MoP beta->MoP content packed in first 8 months of the annual pass. Now it looks like you be lucky to get D3 at the end of Q2.

    But yeah ... Blizz didn't commit to that timeline, stupid players believed them to keep it.
  1. Tarazai's Avatar
    Not suprising to see certain people mentioning SWTOR and attempting to bash it down like it was the devil incarnate or some shit. As for the subscribers lost it's not a suprise as blizzard said themselves that christmas time is usually when they see the subs go up, alas they didn't go up they went down by 100k but thats not nessecarily a bad thing considering the previous losses.
  1. Collected's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Repefe View Post
    According to the financial report Activision expects Blizz to release only 1 more new game after D3 this year and it's more likely SC2 HoS than MoP.
    Where does it say that? If there was even the slightest hint that MoP was going to be in 2013 in this call don't you think Boubouille might have pointed that out? If MoP came out in 2013 it would be the longest expansion pack development time in WoW history.. they've never taken that long. Also they're holding the big press tour in March, the one that Boubouille pointed out typically happens 1 month before F&F alpha starts. All signs point to a 2012 release.
  1. Ril-gania's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Collected View Post
    Does anyone know how populated previous beta tests were? 1 million people playing MoP on a couple of beta servers is going to be fun.....
    good question. i've got the pass but i'm not sure whether i'll be playing beta a lot, for this wasn't the reason to take it in the first place. i don't like spoilers much, but on the other hand, i'd like to see the evolution of my class, hunter. it probably will depend on when the progress of my raid ends (7/8 H now), which will probably be before beta start.

    as for the sub losses - i don't see an issue there. wow is uber successful, but it couldn't grow endlessly. obviousely it's nigh impossible to create a game that everyone likes. so yeah, i believe the numbers will decline a bit further but eventually stabilise at a few millions (still). it would need a way more massive sub loss to actually "kill" the game as a 90% loss would still keep the game going easily (1 mio left after all).
  1. mirodin's Avatar
    So WoW losses 100k more even with 4.3 and the Anual Pass. So what can be expected for Q1 with no patches? Anyway i expect WoW to stabilize at around 8 mil.
  1. Zagnaphein's Avatar
    D3 was supposed to be released in Q1 now in Q2... So frustrating...
  1. Granyala's Avatar
    Previously: "Lawlz WoW is gonna bleed huge subscriberz in Q4... idiotz lol" After Q4... "GOD DARN IT! YOU WASCAWY WABITS WAIT UNTIL Q1, THEN SHIT HIT FAN!"
    Hehe made me laugh.On a more serious note though: It will hit the fan in Q1/Q2 because it always hits the fan between the last raid and the release of a new XP.

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