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. Repefe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by xanzul View Post
    I wasn't aware people playing in Asian markets don't count as people. Good to know.
    It's a matter of comparing apples to oranges ... Blizz amassed such playerbase, because they promote WoW on bazilion markets. If you compared WoW subscription with subscription of other MMOs based on regions, the difference wouldn't be so big.
  1. Toby451's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Scarzi View Post
    Well, in the Asian markets they don't use subscriptions...they use game time. Those numbers are a lie. NA above all has been hit big time, and the only way they stabilized the WoW subscriptions in NA was from the annual pass which was clever. But, people are now getting pissed because the WoW expansion and D3 might cross paths for game time, rather then what was expected, a first quarter release when Deathwing was old news and is a good time filler until the expansion hits.

    I did laugh about the DOTA drama. Blizzard has no right to DOTA when they made empty promises to Custom Map mods about making money on custom maps in Starcraft 2. People tend to forget that exciting feature which they were bringing to the Starcraft World....but quietly swept it under the rug. Something like the IRL auction house though, god forbid they can't release the game without that complete....need those micro transactions. Looks good on them, I hope they lose and have to rename their Blizzard DOTA.

    ---------- Post added 2012-02-11 at 06:55 AM ----------



    Because it is, they guess on subscription numbers in asian markets. They don't do subscriptions, they pay for TIME.
    I suppose simple math is too difficult to use for everyone who keeps repeating this? They pay for time, and not per month so lets use our heads a bit. Tally up the entire amount of profits gained each month from "time sold" and divide it by subscription cost (15 USD). The resulting number is roughly how many "subs" you have in the Asian market. What is so difficult to understand about that?
  1. Duallegend's Avatar
    am i the only one wondering how freaking busy the beta will be... with so many anual passes.
  1. Culexus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Repefe View Post
    It's a matter of comparing apples to oranges ... Blizz amassed such playerbase, because they promote WoW on bazilion markets. If you compared WoW subscription with subscription of other MMOs based on regions, the difference wouldn't be so big.
    Jeah, those competitors cant offer their product like blizzard does ... oh wait!

    Oh and while we're at it ... could you please provide the source you backup that claim on? Very interested to read it .
  1. Gratlim's Avatar
    This just show SWTOR 5% were a little bit more take that Bioware
  1. Sephiracle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Duallegend View Post
    am i the only one wondering how freaking busy the beta will be... with so many anual passes.
    That's why I believe it's going to be a very late beta access, similar to BF3 or TOR access. Get in for a few days, a couple weeks before release, get wiped anyways. They won't actually expect you to test things out, despite the name of 'beta testing'. It'll be a very very late build that you'll have access to. The idea of paying for a beta slot essentially means you can't expect to get bug reports, people are paying to play the game instead.
  1. Repefe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Culexus View Post
    Jeah, those competitors cant offer their product like blizzard does ... oh wait!

    Oh and while we're at it ... could you please provide the source you backup that claim on? Very interested to read it .
    It's a matter of localizing, modifying the game to fit the market if necessary and securing distribution channels to sell it. I assume it's harder to go for it if you don't have massive income you don't know what to do with. As for source I don't undersand ... it's common knowledge that WoW expanded to eastern and south america markets, locations that other MMOs often don't touch.
  1. Raunchy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Naynn View Post
    It's so annoying to see what kind of person the gamer of today has become. During the first 3 years of WoW only very few people cared about class balance, new content, the number of people playing wow or bug abuses. They played the game because they enjoyed it and that was it. Today it suddenly matters how many fucking people are playing wow/swtor or whatever, lots of people cry every day about class balance and how broken their class is and every bug gets abused. The way people are playing MMO's today is in my opinion the reason the games feel less rewarding and challenging (and obviously the fact that most people have played this game for several years). In the beginning of WoW there wasn't much content offered but the people had fun doing random stuff like fighting each other in Hilsbrad etc. Another thing that bothers me with the player base today is the mindset of most people. Many of them think that they have paid Blizzard their money and now they owe them the fucking game they want. But Blizzard owes them nothing the only thing they are trying to do right now is hold as many players as possible(Which are the casuals just look at the raid stats posted on MMO) to make money. They wont put in any brand new additions to WOW nowadays because of titan. ( why would they fucking hinder their next mmo anyways) So just get over it and play another game or keep bashing a game just to boost your high and mighty ego for absolutely nor reason. In the end I hope that WOW will lose more subs so only the people that want to enjoy the game play it and have fun doing so and everyone else is gone doing something else so I can enjoy the game I like. In short in my opinion it's not Blizzard destroying the game the people playing it are destroying it. (Obviously i don't agree with every decision made by Blizzard)
    because we were happy with what blizzard was doing with the game.
  1. Fodizzle's Avatar
    Even with the annual pass going out AND xmas happening they still lost 100k subs? And they are happy with that?? Please tell me they see an issue with this ...
  1. Gely's Avatar
    Even though DS normal was for casuals i think the HM are though... And i think ppl that are talking about that the game are for casuals tend to forget that there are parts in wow that are for the hardcore player aswell... But please don't make MoP a n00b fiest cuz then wow will probly loss so many members...
  1. Raunchy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mewmew111 View Post
    Even with the annual pass going out AND xmas happening they still lost 100k subs? And they are happy with that?? Please tell me they see an issue with this ...
    losing players consistently is normal and "good" to some people.
  1. BrerBear's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by cateran100 View Post
    Plus..losing almost 2 million subscribers from the 12 milllion in a year..that`s an epic failure..no matter how great fan you are, that`s roughly 16%...huuuge from every aspect (especially financially...) This shows, the direction where the WoW moved was wrooooong:P
    Apparently WoW is an "epic failure" if it does not continue to grow its subscription count forever.
    At least that puts it in good company... with every other game.
  1. Nefastus's Avatar
    Surprised it didnt lose more. The announcement of world of pandamon didnt do well to their game.
  1. Sammyspudd's Avatar
    That's why I believe it's going to be a very late beta access, similar to BF3 or TOR access. Get in for a few days, a couple weeks before release, get wiped anyways. They won't actually expect you to test things out, despite the name of 'beta testing'. It'll be a very very late build that you'll have access to. The idea of paying for a beta slot essentially means you can't expect to get bug reports, people are paying to play the game instead.
    Idd, I think there was some interview with a leading games designer (might have been GW2 dude) who said that beta testing (well, what USED to be beta testing) isn't really worth it anymore because (especially) with WoW you just get people who playing the game to get a head start (realm first whatever) and dont acctually try to find bugs. Its like the star wars "beta test" where every tom dick and harry could get in, in reality it was just a stress test..

    Anyway, Im glad I was one of those 100k BF3 ftw
  1. runeb1980@hotmail.com's Avatar
    I wasn't aware people playing in Asian markets don't count as people. Good to know.
    /facepalm, yeah it's racism, that's what it is... A player is not a subscriber. Money talks. Not people getting a free ride. By Blizzard's definition, RuneScape, CityVille, FarmVille etc. are the largest MMOs. Chinese pay *UP* to 1$ USD per month. Subscribers pay 15$ USD. Bragging about having 6-7 million chinese players playing your aging MMORPG is sort of like SWTOR invoking everyone who has paid to see Star Wars at the movies or bought the DVDs into their subscriber count. It's all about marketing.
  1. Kameis's Avatar
    I wonder how many subs theyll lose after the year for annual pass is over...
  1. xanzul's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    /facepalm, yeah it's racism, that's what it is... A player is not a subscriber. Money talks. Not people getting a free ride. By Blizzard's definition, RuneScape, CityVille, FarmVille etc. are the largest MMOs. Chinese pay *UP* to 1$ USD per month. Subscribers pay 15$ USD. Bragging about having 6-7 million chinese players playing your aging MMORPG is sort of like SWTOR invoking everyone who has paid to see Star Wars at the movies or bought the DVDs into their subscriber count. It's all about marketing.
    Active paying accounts are active paying accounts regardless of the manner in which they pay. Period. Simple as that. End of story. I really don't understand why this is constantly up to debate here aside from twisting reality and facts around to push an anti-Blizzard agenda.

    ---------- Post added 2012-02-11 at 05:24 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Kameis View Post
    I wonder how many subs theyll lose after the year for annual pass is over...
    Most people that got the annual pass were intelligent people who realized they were getting a bonus for doing what they were planning to do anyway. They never intended on quitting the game in the first place and that was never what the annual pass was meant to prevent but I can see why the Blizzard haters like stating otherwise despite how idiotic and nonsensical it is.
  1. Bromius's Avatar
    Hi all ....may I ask something? If y pay with 6 x prepaid card can i have anual pass or need valid card for this offer? pls tell me im confuse!?
  1. Kanjee's Avatar
    This info is a real fake.
    Several reasons are there to prove it and it just takes common sense and a bit of memory to understand this.
    First of all if you all put yourselves for a moment in blizzard's pants,would you even admit to have lost something like 2 millions of subrscribers?Its funny to see how latercomers from wow would sell their mothers away before admitting the truth,and when i see them defending the game reacting to this fake new with " long live to wow!" or stuff like that i just go srsly how could you take all the shit they're giving you and still you're so retard that you cant see how for a company to admit say a 30% loss would mean going for the full hundred loss JUST by admitting it,because of a huge number of critical consequences that will happen after that 30% loss statement?
    Let's say you're a wallstreet guy and the last new you just heard about a company says that 30% of employees went away.Would you even dare putting your money in support of that company?
    Point is admitting a huge loss which im sure happened to blizzard this last quarter would mean not only to lose players but also to lose money from different other sources and a general disbelief from players who would start to see the enviroment differently and maybe go like "oh this server is freaking empty imma quit cba rerolling/transfering" well maybe that server is not that empty,but still,just a statement like that would cause randoms to think that way.
    That -800k subscribers that happened before was justified as a "chinese market problem" while we all know it wasnt true:that instead was exactly the time when wow started to fall apart while new games started to come out and a single game i wont mention which one (guess most of you know) was responsible for the greatest portion of that loss,but again admitting that what would have meant to people?everyone would have rushed away playing that game instead.
    I couldnt help smiling when i've seen people talking absolute nonsense like " they decided to make pandarens because they wanna get back subscribers in China" now thats the real bullshit,cause blizzard keeps on claiming that pandarens made their first appearance in warcraft3 so what they were made for what reason? maybe a chinese programmer was in the staff at the time? maybe a Ranma 1/2 fan? pandarens will be in the next expansion because this is what the game is becoming: a cartoon stylized game that can attract people from all ages especially children(don't get me wrong im not getting polemical im more than happy about it),forget about "blood gore alchool and violence +12 pegi" this game is changing people,wake up.

    In short,swtor and all other mmos that came up ever since aion went up got their players somewhere,that is undeniable;most of these games are made on ex wow players and you can easily verify it by checking guilds websites or by asking around if you have time to spare and an open mind for trying out whats new.Also admitting a half defeat always means admitting a bloodbath carnage for a company;if you just sum that up with this question "was blizzard EVER honest when claiming things that were supposed to happen,answering to questions about future features and such?".
    Rift and Swtor made the half defeat leave to Tera and GW2 the killing blow,this game wont be for a mature audience from Mop onwards.
  1. Sephiracle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by xanzul View Post
    Most people that got the annual pass were intelligent people who realized they were getting a bonus for doing what they were planning to do anyway. They never intended on quitting the game in the first place and that was never what the annual pass was meant to prevent but I can see why the Blizzard haters like stating otherwise despite how idiotic and nonsensical it is.
    Have you talked to 'most' people? They might have known they would've subscribed anyways, but did they know there wouldn't be any new content past DS? Did they truly know 4.3 was the last of the expansion? I have a feeling they didn't considering that information was brought out less than a month ago.

    Even if you don't think it makes any sense it's a very wise business move. Blizzard already knew the following things when they announced the annual pass:
    1. 4.3 was the last major content patch for WoW
    2. SWTOR, GW2, and Tera will likely be released during the gap between 4.3 and MoP's release
    3. Subscriptions are already going downhill, they need something additional to entice people to stick around, which:
    a. The annual pass allows them to still 'count' in their subscription, even though they may not play again during the year pass, especially if the MoP beta doesn't even occur during the period.
    b. Provide incentives to stay, i.e. D3 and a MoP beta slot(which I believe most people have different impressions of what access this means).

    If you think everyone or even a good chunk of the people that are looking negatively on this annual pass business are blizzard haters, maybe you need to take a step back from your fanboyism.

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