MMO-Champion - WoW Down to 9.6 Million Subscribers
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WoW Down to 9.6 Million Subscribers
Activision Blizzard's press release states that World of Warcraft is down to 9.6 million subscribers as of December 31, 2012. This is lower than the amount of subscribers from the "over 10 million" announced for Q3 2012. A few other interesting points:

  • Mists of Pandaria was the #3 best-selling PC game at retail.
  • Diablo III was the #1 best-selling PC game at retail, breaking PC-game sales records with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide through December 31, 2012.
This article was originally published in forum thread: WoW Down to 9.6 Million Subscribers started by chaud View original post
Comments 963 Comments
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidone View Post
    People have the attention span of goldfish these days concerning games so no wonder. I'm as casual as it gets, but i still play, and enjoy it. I still need 4 MoP factions at exalted, but i just do them on occasion. I don't need them to progress "my" game. Lately enjoying pet battles. I just changed. I don't NEED everything at exalted day one, and 90000 elder coins. I did the normals i killed without the VP items u get from rep. I just play my own pace. If only half the playerbase and the people who quit, did that.
    Yeah I pretty much do that now days have fun doing other things and when the mood gets me I play WoW.. As getting burnt out too soon can really kill the fun of the game for anyone..

    Like one week I will do two rep factions and another week something else learnt long ago that doing everything at once can end up being bad.
  1. Krob's Avatar
    I've seen alot of people come back to play, raid for a while, be unreliable, quit again. Those 500k lost are not what makes the game interesting from a social point of view imho, they are just a chunk of players that should be never accounted for at the end of expansions, because they don't stay for long..

    Of course from Blizz's point of view, it's a big loss but they probably know their customers by now
  1. Duster505's Avatar
    Im very dissapointed in those numbers. But it could have been worse.
  1. Killyox's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mondroc View Post
    500k is more then most other P2P mmo's have in active players. Give me a break.
    Doesn't matter. It still is a huge drop. Blizz will have problems if it loses ~25% of total subs because of how costs etc are counted for. I would have to into too great detail to write it all but fact is, 500k is a lot.
  1. ZeroWashu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Courierrawr View Post
    So what? A decline is a decline, WoW's "golden age" is long over, the game is going to keep losing players, will you still be using that defense when it's down to 3 million players?
    Get back to me when they lose a fourth of their subs across a year. Otherwise your just seeing normal churn. Their churn just happens to be more than most games have/ever had.

    WOW is unique, most games only get a honey moon, wow had a, in your terms, "a golden age"
  1. Coolit's Avatar
    No surprise, the expansion is well done but the amount of daily grind was ridiculous for an expansion launched in 2012 and undoubtedly has had an effect on the numbers.
  1. Pacster's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lios View Post
    On another note: OMG I will quit!!! My whole game has changed now when I log in. There might be 10 people who quit on my server too! Doing what I always do is no fun when people quit!! The game is dead! *sigh*
    Get yourself a char on a dead server(which was once average populated). Then come back and we'll talk about the 100 really active players remaining...
    With your ignorant comment you just show that you have absolutely NO idea about the situation on some servers.
  1. whirlwinds's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Immitis View Post
    you do know all you have to do to get out of the pass is either call blizzard and ask them or just take the credit card off your account right?
    well i called them in the past and it cost me a fortune i would pref it to just pay the last of the pass then remove card details and tbf the main reason i quit is due to there inability to fix the dead servers the server i was on is deff not the worst out there but with only 5 guilds raiding now and most being bulgarian its kinda hard to find raids and screw paying them retarded prices to xfer
  1. Tekkommo's Avatar
    Good to see the game still doing great. Still having fun in raids, very fun tier.
  1. Pacster's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroWashu View Post
    Get back to me when they lose a fourth of their subs across a year. Otherwise your just seeing normal churn. Their churn just happens to be more than most games have/ever had.

    WOW is unique, most games only get a honey moon, wow had a, in your terms, "a golden age"
    They lost about 1/4 already in 2 years...and given what the result on some servers is, you really don't want to see that going even faster. The main attraction of WoW is the huge player base and that fact that many already have an account(tho in many cases inactive). If the player base keeps going down then WoW will lose exponentially...wow is a bit like facebook there. As long as many have it, they will attract many more(although their features or service is not better or even worse and mor expensive than that of the competitioners)....but when it gets "uncool" it may go down in a very short time(your 1/4 per year is pretty possible then).
  1. Giledhel's Avatar
    A loss is a loss. Being it bigger or not. 500k compared to the 9.6M they still have is a small loss imo.

    And the fun thing is that those 500k will be back at the next expansion. They always do even when they shout and scream that they will never be back.

    And as a small note, when blizzard launches a new mmo we will be all playing it and that includes those 500k that just left from wow. And the bitching about the game will be the same as it is now on wow.
    Human nature i guess....
  1. Senathor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mondroc View Post
    Yup, because it's true. You say that 9.6 million is a game dying.. What does that say for every other mmo out there? Already dead? Or is it purely on how fast you're going down not total numbers? Or are you just scewing things so you have an arguement? Hmm?
    Don't be ignorant child
  1. Baracuda's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Furbolger View Post
    I completely agree.
    A telling example is the new Bnet system. Back in the day my friends and I could all play Starcraft at my house, sometimes with up to 6 players, just because we burned the cd's, and even though that might seem like bad business this meant that guys that had never played could join in every once in while. Most got hooked and bought the game for themselves and Starcraft quickly spread through my circle of friends.
    Now, even though we're all still huge Starcraft fans we don't play SC2 and don't plan on buying it, simply because we would all need a BNet account, pay for the game and all that without knowing if it's even much fun. I myself and some other friends are willing to buy it and have faith that it would prove to be fun, but the fact would remain that none of our other friends could just join in every once in a while.
    I liked the WCIII system much better, because there is still incentive to buy the game for the online play, but even friends that don't own the game can join in for a lan-game every once in a while.
    Of course no company would allow you to play for free, that would be stupid. A trial is the best you can get.
  1. Ausr's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pacster View Post
    They lost about 1/4 already in 2 years...and given what the result on some servers is, you really don't want to see that going even faster. The main attraction of WoW is the huge player base and that fact that many already have an account(tho in many cases inactive). If the player base keeps going down then WoW will lose exponentially...wow is a bit like facebook there. As long as many have it, they will attract many more(although their features or service is not better or even worse and mor expensive than that of the competitioners)....but when it gets "uncool" it may go down in a very short time(your 1/4 per year is pretty possible then).
    Most of the losses were Chinese players anyway, which according to the NA/EA players, don't matter. Well, they don't matter when WoW increases subs there but they matter the most when they lose those subs, apparently, to people who have a hard on for this "ah mah gawd subssss" crowd WoW seems to attract.

    I know Chinese aren't technically "subs."

    All games loses subs, all gain. Constant flux. They lost a lot at the start of Cata, lost a little more, evened out, gained subs, then lost after the initial launch of an expansion (which is typical). I just don't see the hard on people have on WoW's numbers, though. I mostly attribute it to rage mostly. Game didn't die after they threatened to unsub like they said it would.
  1. Gray_Matter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Giledhel View Post
    A loss is a loss. Being it bigger or not. 500k compared to the 9.6M they still have is a small loss imo.
    When looking at the 500k figure you need to put it in context.

    First, it's likely that more were lost than the 500k because that did not include all of the people who would have signed on in China for MoP.

    Secondly, 500k is the biggest loss that they have had 3 months after the release of an expansion. The only other expansion that lost customers shortly after release was Cataclysm and that lost about 300k/400k after 3 months. It's definitely not normal churn.
  1. Tyraena's Avatar
    From the minute we are born we are "dying". It is all about perspective, really. I love the game, but no longer sub 2 accounts because I am tired of it. However, I also have yet to find anything in the last year that is equally enticing for both myself and my wife and friends, which is pretty key, so WoW it is.
  1. Gray_Matter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ausr View Post
    Most of the losses were Chinese players anyway, which according to the NA/EA players, don't matter. Well, they don't matter when WoW increases subs there but they matter the most when they lose those subs, apparently, to people who have a hard on for this "ah mah gawd subssss" crowd WoW seems to attract.

    I know Chinese aren't technically "subs."

    All games loses subs, all gain. Constant flux. They lost a lot at the start of Cata, lost a little more, evened out, gained subs, then lost after the initial launch of an expansion (which is typical). I just don't see the hard on people have on WoW's numbers, though. I mostly attribute it to rage mostly. Game didn't die after they threatened to unsub like they said it would.
    That argument doesn't make sense. If most of the lost subscribers were Chinese subs and the 10.1 million was before the release of MoP then that would imply that China lost subs despite the release of an expansion. If you use the Cata figures as a template, WOW could lose as many as 2 million subscribers in the 12 months following MoP.
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    I hate how these threads inflate. It's like sub numbers are anything new.
    And as soon as there's a sub loss, for whatever reason, it validates the whiners who's going to attribute the decline to whatever part of the game they aren't enjoying.

    Especially hilarious are those who claim to have played since classic beta, and whine about the game being boring for them. No shit?

    These quarter numbers hurt the community. They hurt it because it validates opinions often based on nothing but subjectivity. "I don't like t14 therefore the raids are bad".
    And then a minor sub loss is registered, which is to be expected as MoP brought people back, some quit because they didn't feel like they'd like to start playing regularly again, some left because of dailies (ya know, those that Blizzard forces you to do, even though you only get 1000 valor per week max) and some has moved on.

    By the way, the game is 8 years old, and you still think subs must go up to show the game is doing good? Despite pretty much everyone who were interested in Warcraft has already tried WoW? Doesn't matter how good the game is, when a game has exhausted it's hype among potential new players.
    Like it or not, the game is arguably in the best state it has ever been in, perhaps not for those who were lucky to get a stable guild in classic/bc (which had broken progression anyway), but now we have more players seeing more content than ever. If you can't accept that, it's time to move on.

    The game sure didn't get any worse by losing those who didn't like the state of the game, but apparently 95% thought it was worth to keep subscribing.
    The subs WILL continue to decrease, because a game cannot attract players forever, regardless how much it improves.

    As soon as people get that through their skulls, maybe the forums will be a better place.

    If you use the Cata figures as a template, WOW could lose as many as 2 million subscribers in the 12 months following MoP.
    Luckily, Blizzard aren't going back to Cataclysms failed design of letting people progress/cap too quickly, get bored and quit.
    --

    Also, can people stop with the goddamn conspiracy theories? Lying about subs would be devastating to Blizzard, and they count subs the same way they ALWAYS HAVE.

    ps
  1. Gray_Matter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    Luckily, Blizzard aren't going back to Cataclysms failed design of letting people progress/cap too quickly, get bored and quit.
    I hope so. The problem is that Cata lost 1.7 million over 12 odd months. It lost 400k of those in the first 3 months. MoP is already above that.

    Bliz made quite a few mistakes in cata (and MoP) and I am sure that they will be working furiously to fix those. It already looks like they are pushing out content faster. The problem will always be about keeping people interested without too much grind and without content (which takes time to create). Their focus seems to be on raids at the moment. LFR helps to make raids accessible to everyone but there are a lot of people who don't raid and RNG has this way of driving people nuts. I would love to see WOW change it's looting to be like GW2 (with the exception of organised raids). Everyone has their own loot. You each loot the boss/creep and what you find is yours. Similar to LFR, just for everything, LFR, LFD and casual kills.
  1. Febreeze's Avatar
    Big drop? Yes
    Expected drop? Yes

    Many people (including myself) had the annual pass, simply to get D3. Annual pass runs out, people tried MoP, some liked it, some others didn't.

    Without the constraint of the annual pass they could feel free to cancel at any time once it ran out, so I think overall this is kind of where Blizz would probably expect it to settle.

    As for the game dying - hell no! My realm is going down the pan (Turalyon EU), but going to be transferring over to a higher pop realm that I have been messing about with, and it is busy 24/7. The game will die only when Blizz decide to stop making content, which will be for a good few years yet!

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