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. thelordpsy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbugga View Post
    Could someone clarify if WoW's hayday with the 12.x mil subs was before the game was released in China? I can't remember. Anyway 8.5 mil which includes China means that the drop is even more significant if that is the case.
    Ahahaha, no. WoW has only ever been just over 5m in the west. http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/Subs-1.png

    8.3m subs puts them at JUST over double the peak of the next most popular MMO.
  1. FixDestruNow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Frakchaw View Post
    They don't care based on... what exactly?

    Oh... that right, you're just talkin smack.
    They don´t care because they are more into making it a moneymachine instead of taking care of it as a game. If they listen more to the community they wouldn´t have done all these changes with the game. These changes they made now really seems to have paid off?
  1. Oldbugga's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by thelordpsy View Post
    Ahahaha, no. WoW has only ever been just over 5m in the west. http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/Subs-1.png

    8.3m subs puts them at JUST over double the peak of the next most popular MMO.
    Thanks for that...a good piece of info. Would be interesting to see it fully updated.
  1. jbombard'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?
    You do of course realize that most of the players are from China soooo... So let's say hypothetically there was a flat 10% drop in every region, guess what? Most of the losses would still be from China because they have more players. Blizzard likes to make statements like that without providing releasing any by region statistics.

    Also to whoever said next comes plan B, plan B was LFR, dailies, farmville and pokemon, I think we are on plan C now.

    What killed it for me? The focus on dailies, the killing of alt play, and the removal of the talent tree.

    I actually enjoyed the narrative the dailies provided but the linkage to raid gear made players feel like they needed to do it, which in my case led to burnout, and very little time left to play alts... which is kind of a double whammie for me since alting is probably my favorite way to prevent burnout. The removal of the talent tree, and the addition of the meaningless(since you can change them anytime you want, your choices mean nothing) talent toggles. Instead of ripping out the traditional level up mechanic because not all of the choices were interesting, they should have fixed the system they had. Plenty of games have great talent trees that work, look at rift. Also talent trees are not about every fracking item/choice being interesting, the interesting choices are do I want to go down this branch to get a talent and the sacrifice of all the points you spend getting there versus doing the same in other branches. The entire system is based on sacrifice and working towards a goal, concepts which no longer exist.
  1. Ins0mnia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Celista View Post
    All of the people I know who still play started in wolk or prior. I don't know anyone who started in cata or mop. A few people came back from vanilla for MoP.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-08 at 04:27 PM ----------


    I was wondering this too.
    I was, ive played since day of release. Heck, was in the USA beta as an euro dude. but recently stopped after all those years? Why.. the fucking daily grindfest is just.... ugh....

    I had the most fun from Vanilla till WolTK tbh.
  1. Osmeric's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by wowsucks View Post
    An assumption that forums are not representative is just as bad, if not worse
    Not at all. There are obvious reasons why a casual player would use the forums less than a hardcore one. He has less time to post; he has less interest; he is threatened by the hardcore forum heroes.
  1. Ivvs's Avatar
    China stuff, me thinks it is complete bullshit. In fact, US and EU are their main targets because from this areas comes the trusted costumer, the one that subscribe the longest time. The core. If they admit they are losing the core numbers it is clearly a big sign that WoW finally starts to go down slowly (in reality it is already happening). To me that statement it is pure damage control, yes someone has to get the fault.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ringpriest View Post
    His point was that forums are representative.
    And they aren't.

    Quote Originally Posted by ringpriest View Post
    It's a rule of thumb that for every one customer who complains there are another 10 that feel the same way aren't complaining (yet). Are there better ways to get info on what players want?
    Yeah, so for the 0.01% that complains, there are 0.1% that thinks the same, which brings us to 0.11%. Woot.

    Quote Originally Posted by ringpriest View Post
    Probably, but as a previous poster on this thread (or maybe it was the other sub thread?) pointed out: Blizzard likes to get all smug about "knowing" what players want, but they do basically no research. Most companies with billion-dollar revenue streams would be horrified at the degree of ignorance and assumption that Blizzard has towards its customers.
    And you base this on some internal knowledge or pulling the data from somewhere else?

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 02:48 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by wowsucks View Post
    An assumption that forums are not representative is just as bad, if not worse
    Forums are not representative of the whole community, what is so surprising about that fact?
  1. vizzle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by warcraftmew View Post
    didnt they make pandaria to try and get there lost chinese players back tbh the less chinese people on wow the better means less god damn goldsellers, so wow has lost about 700k-1 million people cos last time it was 9.3 million it had
    This argument always makes me laugh. Chinese subs are on CHINESE SERVERS, so it doesn't affect the chinese gold sellers on your servers at all. Just because they're from the same country doesn't mean they're playing on the same servers.

    Really, how people can get so far as to even make that argument without realizing that simple rule just makes me laugh.
  1. tenzing21's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    "90% of all statistics are made up on the spot" (c)
    EVERY metric, which means, if YOU go look to see yourself, instead of straw maning it up, you'd have a better appreciation of reality. They have not even sold 5 million Mops, how can there be 8 point whatever subs? I can do a /who <?> 90 and see way fewer than 100 per ?, and so can other people, and so can ALL of the sites that track Mop figures, the number of 25-mans that have killed a Mop boss is like 1000 or 1100; so it's way more believable that that represents a population base around a million than it does 8 or whatever. That only one in 275,000 people is in a 25-man capable group is not believable.
  1. FixDestruNow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivvs View Post
    China stuff, me thinks it is complete bullshit. In fact, US and EU are their main targets because from this areas comes the trusted costumer, the one that subscribe the longest time. The core. If they admit they are losing the core numbers it is clearly a big sign that WoW finally starts to go down slowly (in reality it is already happening). To me that statement it is pure damage control, yes someone has to get the fault.
    Just hope Ghostcrawler get´s the boot. Atleast if there is some sense left at Blizzard.
  1. Ivvs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by vizzle View Post
    This argument always makes me laugh. Chinese subs are on CHINESE SERVERS, so it doesn't affect the chinese gold sellers on your servers at all. Just because they're from the same country doesn't mean they're playing on the same servers.

    Really, how people can get so far as to even make that argument without realizing that simple rule just makes me laugh.
    You should have also told him that it is impossible to transfer gold trough zones like asia/us or asia/eu^^
  1. ringpriest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    And you base this on some internal knowledge or pulling the data from somewhere else?
    I've worked at four national or multinational companies. Every one of them was polling, surveying, quizzing, analyzing, and requesting feedback from anyone who was a customer, had been a customer, was thinking about maybe becoming a customer, or lived next door to a customer's cousin's college room-mate. I was a WoW subscriber for years and the only time I ever saw any sort of interest in feedback from Blizzard was when I quit.
  1. Sensa's Avatar
    A 1.3 million loss of subscribers, mostly in the East (Asia), can only be considered a colossal failure when you consider that the theme of the entire expansion was a blatant attempt to appeal to Asian gamers, in the first place, and prevent exactly what has occurred.

    WoW's biggest problem is instead of continuing to do what made them successful, in the 1st place, they tried to be all things to all people and ended up totally pleasing no one.

    They compounded the problem above by constantly trying the impossible feat of putting the genie back in the bottle (Cata - heroics that lived up to their name in difficulty, Mists - vanilla type grinds to slow content consumption). Whether you prefer such challenges or not you just can't keep changing direction like that and expect the player base to respond positively. Even many hard core players were spoiled by the changes to the content that the above mentioned changes were meant to correct and newbies basically had no concept and/or the skills to succeed in such a "new" world.

    Will WoW go on for many years? Yes. Will Activision invest as much resources into the game as the player base continues to decline? No. Has WoW jumped the shark? YES...it actually did several years ago.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tenzing21 View Post
    EVERY metric, which means, if YOU go look to see yourself, instead of straw maning it up, you'd have a better appreciation of reality.
    If only we had a way to appreciate it with the right tools, but we don't. Next question.

    Quote Originally Posted by tenzing21 View Post
    They have not even sold 5 million Mops, how can there be 8 point whatever subs?
    I believe in China you buy time cards.

    Quote Originally Posted by tenzing21 View Post
    I can do a /who <?> 90 and see way fewer than 100 per ?, and so can other people, and so can ALL of the sites that track Mop figures, the number of 25-mans that have killed a Mop boss is like 1000 or 1100; so it's way more believable that that represents a population base around a million than it does 8 or whatever. That only one in 275,000 people is in a 25-man capable group is not believable.
    What are you consuming at breakfast? WoWprogress only tracks raiders, which are not a majority. Furthermore, it does not track China. Other sites such as realmpop have a problem with their tools leading to incomplete and/or outdated data.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 02:57 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by ringpriest View Post
    I've worked at four national or multinational companies. Every one of them was polling, surveying, quizzing, analyzing, and requesting feedback from anyone who was a customer, had been a customer, was thinking about maybe becoming a customer, or lived next door to a customer's cousin's college room-mate. I was a WoW subscriber for years and the only time I ever saw any sort of interest in feedback from Blizzard was when I quit.
    Because they don't need to. Every step you take is in the database and the logs. What you did, where you went, what you purchased etc...
    So there is no need to ask stuff like "do you prefer PVE or PVP" or "what class do you play the most", all the data is already there it is "only" a matter of exploiting it.

    Other companies simply don't have access such a luxury, because I doubt that you would accept a gps tracker in your car or a camera in your fridge
  1. wowsucks's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Osmeric View Post
    Not at all. There are obvious reasons why a casual player would use the forums less than a hardcore one. He has less time to post; he has less interest; he is threatened by the hardcore forum heroes.
    Thats an assumption too. Here
    http://www.mmo-champion.com/poll.php...do=showresults
    http://www.mmo-champion.com/poll.php...do=showresults

    Seems that these forums are pretty casual, which goes against your assumption.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 01:01 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    Forums are not representative of the whole community, what is so surprising about that fact?
    And how is that a fact?
  1. hieronymus's Avatar
    Wow is like a 10 year old car. Make the most out of it while you can. ThAt iis the the problem with this baby. The era of subscription based gaming is over. Wow has to go f2p if it wants to survive the competition. Bookmark this comment and read it again after the next quarter. Wow will be down to 6 million players. A tip for blizzard. Milk those players while you can.
  1. FixDestruNow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by hieronymus View Post
    Wow is like a 10 year old car. Make the most out of it while you can. ThAt iis the the problem with this baby. The era of subscription based gaming is over. Wow has to go f2p if it wants to survive the competition. Bookmark this comment and read it again after the next quarter. Wow will be down to 6 million players. A tip for blizzard. Milk those players while you can.
    Last line made me laugh!! =D
  1. Zdrasti's Avatar
    Ouch that's gotta hurt. Is that the biggest quarterly drop so far?
  1. FixDestruNow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zdrasti View Post
    Ouch that's gotta hurt. Is that the biggest quarterly drop so far?
    Biggest I can remember atleast.

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