MMO-Champion - WoW Down to 8.3 Million Subscribers
WoW Down to 8.3 Million Subscribers
Activision Blizzard's press release states that World of Warcraft is down to 8.3 million subscribers. This is a loss of 1.3 million, down from 9.6 million last quarter. Most of the loss came from the East once again.

  • Blizzard expects to have less subscribers at the end of the year than they do today.
  • Most of the decline in subscribers came from China.
  • There has been less engagement by casual players.
  • Blizzard is going to work on improving the experience for returning players.
  • Blizzard All Stars and Titan will not be released in 2013 according to the slide below.
  • Heart of the Swarm was the #1 PC game of the quarter, selling 1.1 million copies in two days.
  • There has been increased competition with F2P games in Asia.
  • Players consume content faster and subscribe and unsubscribe as new content is added.

This article was originally published in forum thread: WoW Down to 8.3 Million Subscribers started by chaud View original post
Comments 913 Comments
  1. Taftvalue's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Granyala View Post
    Sad news indeed.


    Constant DAILY rep grinds.
    Frustrating drop rates from LFR.

    Sorry but giving a casual player that, by definition doesn't play on a schedule, DAILIES is just retarded beyond belief.
    I have a casual friend. He sometimes plays 8hrs on a Saturday and then he doesn't do a thing for 2 weeks. He'd like to make progress in MoP but all he sees are friggin dailies he can do ... once .. per Saturday. Back in the day he would have put on a tabard and grinded dungeons like madman when he had the time.
    Now, it'll take him the better part of a year to get even ONE faction to exalted

    He ran a few LFRs and was severely frustrated by the constant gold bag + the knowledge that his chances for loot didn't even improve for the next time around. He literally said to me: "LFR is boring as a healer and with that terrible drop rate it just feels like I'm wasting my game time."

    So, witnessing the effect of MoP on him I'm not surprised in the very least that lots of casuals just surrendered to the daily brick wall.
    pretty much this, also it took way too long to get to 90 in the first place, and imagine doing all what your friend despises on multiple characters
  1. unrealeck's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Durandro View Post
    I guess most people are ignoring the most important part.

    Most of those losses were in CHINA. CHIIIIIIIIIINA. Repeat, CHINA.

    These numbers mean nothing to anyone else. Sub figures in the US, Europe and everywhere else are going to be relatively stable. The sky is not falling, get over yourselves, calm down and enjoy the game. And if you don't, then why are you still on a WoW oriented site?
    Bit racist there. China is as important as anyone else. Yes, including America.

    I know, the irony, right?
  1. ringpriest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Durandro View Post
    I guess most people are ignoring the most important part.

    Most of those losses were in CHINA. CHIIIIIIIIIINA. Repeat, CHINA.

    These numbers mean nothing to anyone else. Sub figures in the US, Europe and everywhere else are going to be relatively stable. The sky is not falling, get over yourselves, calm down and enjoy the game. And if you don't, then why are you still on a WoW oriented site?
    Schadenfreude?

    Seriously though, there's more to the Warcraft universe than just WoW. And some of us would like to play World of Warcraft again, if Blizzard would deign to actually let us. (Current WoW is a looooong way from classic WoW in terms of game design. I really would love to play if I could, say, actually have talent trees again instead of talent stumps.)
  1. Absintheminded's Avatar
    If Blizzard wants to 'improve the experience for (returning) players,' they could start by giving us meaningful glyphs, and a larger selection of style changing, useful talents.
  1. pluuv's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by unrealeck View Post
    Bit racist there. China is as important as anyone else. Yes, including America.

    I know, the irony, right?
    Racist? China has a different model for WoW subscriptions than the Americas and Europe, I would hardly call observing that fact racist.
  1. Vongimi's Avatar
    Honestly the game is just getting old. I personally still see MoP as easily the best expansion, yet i recently quit. Its just old.
  1. Merp's Avatar
    50-70% of that 8 million are non-subscribers in Asia though ? (that blizzard counts as subscribers)

    So what does that mean for the US and EU... about 1-1.5 millions each. 2-3 mill total ?

    Very close to other mmo's that are not in the Asia market.
    First, this is true. People should really stop to be so delusional to think that WoW is BY FAR the most popular MMO around. In EU and US alone, GW2 sold more than 3 million copies (not much less than MoP in the same regions) and 6 months after release it was registered having an increasing playerbase since launch (it requires no subscription fee and it's still to be released in China, so there aren't directly comparable numbers of that kind). Same can be said even for SWTOR, which despite its problems had its numbers growing after going with a F2P option.

    I am not interested in opening a useless debate about what's game is better, who cares, to each his own. But people should realize that if they actually really love WoW they should become more vocal with Blizzard, instead of jumping to the throat of anyone who DARES to make critical remarks about the game.

    That said, let's face it: MoP isn't "the best expansion WoW ever had", as someone is still claming. Come on, open your eyes, it isn't, it never was. Those who were critical were right. That's it.
    Sure, it may have some features which are better implemented than they were 5 years ago (I mean, one would hope so!) but that's too less too late. The quality of an expansion has to be compared with the context, the demands and the competitors. I mean, come on, it's MAY 9th and they have still to release the THIRD content patch since September. SERIOUSLY? They are still saying that they don't know when they'll be able to update the player character models, that it takes more time... SERIOUSLY?
    I don't know if you guys had a look around lately, but the gaming market has changed, significantly so. The monthly subscription models is pretty much dead everywhere. Why on earth people should pay every single month if not because they are hardcore players who are very attached to this game glorious history and personal story? There's plenty of games around who offer more content for less money, that's a matter of fact. It's almost 8 months MoP launched, Patch 5.3 is still not out and you are paying every single month for it! Blizzard's report states very clearly that people don't stay subscribed, but just come for content: that's because this is the new trend people are getting used to. Why should they pay every month if they can play other online games and receive monthly content for free?

    You should ask for more, ask for it now and ask for it free. It's not only feasible, it's already the main trend in online gaming. It has been for at least a year now. Time to rise up in Azeroth as well. Should that happen you can be sure that tons of players would come back, gladly. Me included. But as it is now, things are just going down, more and more so.
    Or you can keep jumping at the throat of those who raise a voice about the problems of this game. But realize this very clearly: by doing so, you are just harming yourself, not them...
  1. Woakerio's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by unrealeck View Post
    Bit racist there. China is as important as anyone else. Yes, including America.

    I know, the irony, right?
    Saying a drop in subs from China not being very important is not 'racist'. China is not a race. Also, no one said anything about America being more important, he said subs in the US and Europe were relatively stable. The loss being from China is looked upon as unimportant because it's subs are most likely gold farmers, and the fact that their subs aren't even on a monthly basis iirc.
  1. segoplout's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Durandro View Post
    I guess most people are ignoring the most important part.

    Most of those losses were in CHINA. CHIIIIIIIIIINA. Repeat, CHINA.

    These numbers mean nothing to anyone else. Sub figures in the US, Europe and everywhere else are going to be relatively stable. The sky is not falling, get over yourselves, calm down and enjoy the game. And if you don't, then why are you still on a WoW oriented site?
    I guess you are not looking at the bigger picture here. As I stated elsewhere, as a western European:

    from all my friends in real life that I played with in vanilla and up till the last expansion, none still play the game. NONE.
    from my guild, that was the oldest guild on my realm that started in March 2005, there is only one person left from the raid crew (was 60 in Cata)

    It's not just a case of saying China is not relevant, the stats are widely applicable, there is a problem now. I predicted by the theme they chose for this expansion, Pandaren, and Pandaria. I am oldskool Wow fan, no interest in playing Pandaren whatsoever.

    Yea the game gets old so ppl leave. But the genre is still alive?

    Blizz need to up the their game.

    I think they will. Hope so.
  1. FixDestruNow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vongimi View Post
    Honestly the game is just getting old. I personally still see MoP as easily the best expansion, yet i recently quit. Its just old.
    Doesn´t matter if a game is old or not if it´s still fun to play. If it´s no fun to play people quit!
  1. Predator128's Avatar
    gief new expansion and np
  1. haloa's Avatar
    Numbers presented are irrelevant. WoW never had 12 nor 10 nor 8 million subscribers. Blizzard's definition of subscriber in China is something like "anyone who farted in general direction of Blizzard hq in past 4 months". If they were honest they would present numbers breakdown showing American and European subscriptions separate from Asian customers who often pay per session in internet cafe.
  1. Xihuitl's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Brakthir View Post
    What player base? You do know that the people that post on forums and twitter are the vast, VAST minority of the player base, right?


    well, how about the 1.3million who just left?

    The forums may be a small %, but dont ever think they are not significant, if the forums are bitching about a change, you can bet the ingame population is too.

    Bliz seams to think that because people do content, its good. Thats BS. You either do content or fall behind, its not a measure of how good content is, just what is available.

    The forums, for all their faults, is a sample of the vocal playerbase, who are likely to be vocal in game and in guilds, and "set the tone" as it were. Ignore the vocal minority at your peril, they may not truely represent the majority, but they are usually a pretty good indicator of current trends.
  1. Yakuchin's Avatar
    this is only natural after 8 years. I think the game is better than ever, it's just getting old and people try out other stuff. Can't blame them after so many years. I'll keep playing, as always. It gives me all the fun I need <3
  1. Duster505's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vongimi View Post
    Honestly the game is just getting old. I personally still see MoP as easily the best expansion, yet i recently quit. Its just old.
    Its old because Blizzard has not been focusing on the right things to upgrade for years. They had a chance with Cata t remake the game and leave the expansion format of forcing players to play outdated old expansions. And what did they actually do with Cata? Horrendous changes to classes to make them more linear that was pushed over the edge in MOP. Then the linear content was taken to totally new levels... not because it benefitted the players or the world... but the designers that focused on making quantity over quality....


    And then lets not forget that BLizzard has been putting more and more of their focus on ANOTHER game called TITAN.... taking money from WOW to develop that game when every subscriber should have had every right to expect their money to go straight back into WOW.

    Blizzard has let their players down once more.... Its becoming a habit.
  1. walkingtall's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Collected View Post
    I think that's pretty accurate. It is for me. I bought MoP, dinged 90, did some dungeons, did some heroics, did a few days of dailies, and quit. It's the same with any game that people have "quit" who dip their toes back into the water.. it's very difficult to keep their attention. Will I repeat the above with the next expansion? Maybe. If it looks good and I have hopes it might entertain me again.

    I've been playing WoW since 1.10. The days of daily play are long gone for me. But expansions do still spark a little interest. But sadly it doesn't last long.
    Same here, including the start date, more or less. I quit late November of last year. I'd made all the gold I needed, did a few dungeons and was mostly just running randoms in pvp. But, pvp was either a bot fest, or, cc-cc-cc-dead, so it didn't hold me either. It just wasn't compelling enough and I found myself spending games going to LM just to blow people off the ledge on my druid.

    Ironically, I'm downloading the client (at 10%) and was going to sub for a month, just to see how it felt, and maybe stick around for 5.3. But, I can't see anything more than that. I've made so much progress doing some career related things that other than using WOW for a few days mental break, I can't see sticking around.
  1. Calibar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mimee View Post
    Of course they are losing subs..

    1 hour long queues for LFR.
    1 hour wasted killing bosses and all you get is bag of gold. *rinse - repeat next week same results*
    Everything having a horrible drop rate... SPecially mounts.

    And to fix the subs.. Maybe create Vanilla/BC servers? That would bring people back.
    I believe they need to start going back to BC/Wotlk days but with all the new changes like dungeon journal, great quest lines that didn't mind you having to travel between zones to complete, less gimicky dungeons. Dungeons in wrath were done right... no dumb bunny rat things, no gimicks other than occulus that everyone hated. WoW used to be really good. This is the first time since I started playing in BC that I can't bring myself to get onto WoW and stopped paying my subscription.

    Sure they did a hell of a lot of things right with mop but they also lost a whole lot of what wow was. I thought this to be my own opinion for a while but I guess some people a lot of people are agreeing with me maybe

    Also LFR loot system is the worst most unrewarding thing ever. At least in cata I felt as though I had a chance and it was the players that screwed me over for taking my drops and not the game.
  1. FixDestruNow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Calibar View Post
    I believe they need to start going back to BC/Wotlk days but with all the new changes like dungeon journal, great quest lines that didn't mind you having to travel between zones to complete, less gimicky dungeons. Dungeons in wrath were done right... no dumb bunny rat things, no gimicks other than occulus that everyone hated. WoW used to be really good. This is the first time since I started playing in BC that I can't bring myself to get onto WoW and stopped paying my subscription.

    Sure they did a hell of a lot of things right with mop but they also lost a whole lot of what wow was. I thought this to be my own opinion for a while but I guess some people a lot of people are agreeing with me maybe

    Also LFR loot system is the worst most unrewarding thing ever. At least in cata I felt as though I had a chance and it was the players that screwed me over for taking my drops and not the game.
    Totally agree!!!!
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Xihuitl View Post
    The forums may be a small %, but dont ever think they are not significant, if the forums are bitching about a change, you can bet the ingame population is too.
    You need a stat class, fast

    Quote Originally Posted by Xihuitl View Post
    The forums, for all their faults, is a sample of the vocal playerbase, who are likely to be vocal in game and in guilds, and "set the tone" as it were. Ignore the vocal minority at your peril, they may not truely represent the majority, but they are usually a pretty good indicator of current trends.
    Of current trends among a minority.
  1. tenzing21's Avatar
    Since every metric out there shows Wow with 800k - 1M or so subs, and we know they haven't sold 8 million Mops, I'm gonna call shenanigans on this one. 330 or so NA servers, 250-3000 90's per, out there, the math simply doesn't add up.

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