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. APKMNPVE's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucarocks92 View Post
    Serves them right for releasing 3 fail expansions in a row. This is what happens when you cater to the bad/casual players. Players have no targets any more all the content is consumed in LFR and people dont have the motivation to kill the same boss 3 times on different difficulties.
    Most people I know consider WoW a hardcore game at the moment. Where did Blizzard cater to casual players? Did they ever? Even LFR is just another version of normal/heroic. That's clearly a problem to keep casuals from the news of today. Bad players? You mean people who don't know what their doing because the game inst' casual enough to teach them and the player base over all isn't showing casual interest in helping?
  1. Osmeric's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sqicychiqotles View Post
    I'm not noticing any less people playing than when it was at it's peak.

    Did anyone actually read this? Most of the decline in subscribers came from China.

    Yes, but if you listened to the actual call, they said they also lost in the west.
  1. jbombard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by THoyt View Post
    I'm pretty sure Blizzard could get by with just a few million subs, I wouldn't imagine this as a "thing", and definitely not a trend. I am with the others though, Blizzard don't need to really change anything, just keep doing what they are doing... I doubt another "BC" or the like would get players back... look at the big picture, they don't really need to -- (cough, upcoming mmo)
    Actually scaling down an MMO is pretty hard and expensive. Their costs don't automatically decline in tandem with their subs. And they can't simply cut a lot of those costs because players may return. They would need to fire a lot of people and get rid of a lot of servers and storage to reduce their costs to the point they could stay profitable while continuing to provide players with new content. A few millions subs or even 1 million subs is more than enough for a new niche game to be profitable because they don't have all that overhead to begin with.
  1. Blasphemie's Avatar
    - No support from Blizzard for competitive pve scene, even when people are playing their game all day every day competing for world first.

    - More casual friendly approach on pve is fine as long as it doesn't mess with hardcore player, but in this case it does. > removal of realm first title, exclusive tier mount... everyone and their mothers has all the title now...

    - Excessive amount of grinding contents, rep farming, dailies, coins etc.

    - Hard core player ruining the competitive scene by raiding too much and Blizz has done nothing about it. Creating a huge gap between real hard core and semi hard core guilds/players and reduce the motivation to raid competitively to some of those players since they won't be able to compete with those who raid 24/7.

    - So many new F2P mmo games in the market.

    I'm not surprised to see the number going down this much. Will definitely get worse and worse. The game is not going to die though, but it won't be the same. This is a good chance for another mmo to shine. It's good for the mmo market in general to be fair.

    Overall, it's not such a bad thing. Blizz will have to work harder to improve the game. And that's what benefit the players the most.
  1. jbombard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sqicychiqotles View Post
    I'm not noticing any less people playing than when it was at it's peak.

    Did anyone actually read this? Most of the decline in subscribers came from China.
    The largest portion of their player base is in China so it only makes sense that most of the losses would also be from China.
  1. A Ninja's Avatar
    I got many many... days and weeks and months out of this game, I lived to raid, but with the changes that have come with this expansion I really have found it tiresome to continue playing, I have quit raiding but continue to level new characters in the hopes of finding a new experience in the game that I enjoy, I think it's likely I too will have quit by the end of this year. Personally I just cannot stomach the valor system, the dailies, the tokens. It's unplayable
  1. Osmeric's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Blasphemie View Post
    - No support from Blizzard for competitive pve scene, even when people are playing their game all day every day competing for world first.
    The number of people involved in competitive PvE is more a rounding error than any significant fraction of the player population.
  1. F-Minus's Avatar
    Bottom line is the fact that the game is old, thus the enthusiasm is diminishing.

    They can make whatever changes they want and the game will still be essentially the same. Throne of Thunder is an amazing raid instance, it's up there on par with Ulduar, but it's the exact same thing I've been doing for the past 8 years the game is out in Europe.

    It's not that they are catering to anyone, all the content in the game is optional, if people don't want to do daily quests, they don't have to, if they don't want to do LFR - they don't have to etc. etc., the game is just old, thus numbers are falling it's like with every other game. It's not the end of the world, people just get tired of doing the same things over and over, they unsub, maybe re-sub in half a year play for couple of months and unsub again.

    The novelty of equipping your characters only gets you this much excitement, when this is all the game has to offer past leveling for 8 years, may it be PvE or PvP wise, and I don't mean this bad, it's just the way things are.
  1. Grevie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sqicychiqotles View Post
    I'm not noticing any less people playing than when it was at it's peak.

    Did anyone actually read this? Most of the decline in subscribers came from China.
    I don't think so, as you can see most of the post is about how they feel about the game, therapy i can recall,
    the phenomeno that you describe there is called "selective reading" that include forget about key elements in order
    to back uo their "facts". look what i did there? i didn't even said theories.
  1. tenzing21's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    I believe in China you buy time cards.
    Well, stop believing and start acquainting yourself with the facts. In China, you lease an account from a national distributor. If you play Wow there, you buy time on an account, without having to buy or own or install any disks. Why are you disrupting this thread when you haven't the foggiest notion what is going on?
  1. Firebert's Avatar
    I try to do this every time the subs go down:

    (It says Patch 2.0.5)
  1. Fullmetal89's Avatar
    I know I'll get hounded for this but the best model was the Wotlk model. It was the most accessible version of WoW, when they moved to Cataclysm they did a complete 180 and that hurt them big time. MoP was a shift in the right direction but not enough. The gating of content at the start and the ridiculous dailies/rep grind was a pretty bad idea. Its only going to decline further from here on out. That said WoW will still be the MMO king, nothing has ever come close or ever will. Titan might be Blizzards new big hit, or it might not if Diablo 3 is a taste of whats to come; consider me disgusted.
  1. walkingtall's Avatar
    I'm gonna go out on the limb and guess that they won't be trying extra hard to ban bots any time soon.
  1. F-Minus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Blasphemie View Post
    - No support from Blizzard for competitive pve scene, even when people are playing their game all day every day competing for world first.

    - More casual friendly approach on pve is fine as long as it doesn't mess with hardcore player, but in this case it does. > removal of realm first title, exclusive tier mount... everyone and their mothers has all the title now...


    - Excessive amount of grinding contents, rep farming, dailies, coins etc.

    - Hard core player ruining the competitive scene by raiding too much and Blizz has done nothing about it. Creating a huge gap between real hard core and semi hard core guilds/players and reduce the motivation to raid competitively to some of those players since they won't be able to compete with those who raid 24/7.

    - So many new F2P mmo games in the market.

    I'm not surprised to see the number going down this much. Will definitely get worse and worse. The game is not going to die though, but it won't be the same. This is a good chance for another mmo to shine. It's good for the mmo market in general to be fair.

    Overall, it's not such a bad thing. Blizz will have to work harder to improve the game. And that's what benefit the players the most.
    What kind of support for hardcore players are you asking for, I'd just like to know, a medal for killing it first, a mention on the official WoW site or what?

    There's achievements for server first, could be titles, I don't care bout that wishi-washi things, but I agree it could be acknowledged better to see who was the first to kill this and this boss.

    As for the game being too grindy, well I'm casually doing the lotus dailys (for the mount shards) maybe twice a week, if I feel like it and I got way over 2k coins which can be turned into the bonus roll runes, so really not grindy at all. Flasks, pots & food has never been cheaper in the history of this game, in every single expansion up to now, I had to grind herbs and food, today I just go to the AH and buy everything cause it's so cheap.

    If people want to invest all their free time and then some into the game it's their decision why should Blizzard interfere in their play style, I don't even know what you're asking for there honestly, should blizzard just lock you out of the instance once you're past 5 hour limit or what?
  1. Mech's Avatar
    It's to be expected when you consider most of the 9 million was in China and how much F2P games are picking up there with a new game coming out seemingly every week (and shutting down at the same pace). Even with the 8 million I'd wager only about 3-4 million are in the West.

    I do think Blizzard shot themselves in the foot a bit with MoP when they tried so many 'draw out the content' tactics such as the dailies, how long it took to get the initial rep, having the rep connected to so many items, making said items then cost VP/JP, slow LFR loot acquisition, and overall not much PVE side outside dailies, dailies, dailies, LFR with 30 minute queues to run a instance for 30 minutes to get zero items, scenario's which are unrewarding outside the initial VP and 8 month old 5 mans with no additional ones added. I expect the next expansion to take a complete 180 from a lot of design decisions of MoP as Blizzard is going to have to come to terms that drawing out the content just frustrates people.

    I think another big part may just be MoP itself. Pandaria is beautiful and the effort into the lore has been great but I think over doing the Asian aesthetic and feel with everything on the continent hurt them and the player reaction to adding the pandaren whether what many said was true or not (there is a reason why you don't see many pandaren post 5.0). I kinda feel that Pandaria was chosen almost for the sole reason of trying to save their subs in the East. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'd have preferred the South Seas expansion they probably were originally working on and I can't wait for the next expansion which hopefully takes us back to the more 'normal' feeling WoW that has been lost ever since Wrath.
  1. balatro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucarocks92 View Post
    Serves them right for releasing 3 fail expansions in a row. This is what happens when you cater to the bad/casual players. Players have no targets any more all the content is consumed in LFR and people dont have the motivation to kill the same boss 3 times on different difficulties.
    That's a poor argument. In terms of actual gameplay - raids being formed that cater to all crowds, things to do, general social life within the game, the appeal and knowledge of WoW in outside media and social circles. With all of that considered, I'd argue that Wrath of the Lich King was the greatest expansion this game has ever had. I've never seen as many people in Burning Crusade or Cataclysm have as much fun raiding as they did in WotLK.

    Part of that is because during that time a lot of classes had streamlined rotations, healers didn't have to worry about mana as much while there were still mechanics that would punish you for tunnel visioning, and tanks were held to a higher pedestal than they are now on top of being active participants.

    Many people seem to lose focus on the fact that for many, if not most WoW players, that this is a game. It's a way to unwind after work, school, or the general bullshit we all go through staying alive. Not everyone wants to hit up forums, do hours of homework crunching out the perfect rotation, gem choices, min/maxing glyphs, running a simulator for every piece of gear you get to maximize your output, etc. They want to sign in and blow shit up, be social, be virtual tycoons, etc - whatever WoW is to them.

    What we as a player base and Blizzard need to reconnect on is that this is a game. There's already avenues that cater to the diehard raider and the dates on their achievements are their trophy. If we want WoW to regain some of its old glory, we need to get people out in the world again and explore every option possible to get people involved in the game again and out of the cities. I'm fine with neutral cities like Shatt or Dalaran that serve as the trade hubs but remove permanent portals (make people talk to a mage and ask for one), bite the bullet and remove flying across the board (it's going to be painful but a year down the road, I think we'll all be thankful for it), create fun weekly social events like the STV fishing contest that encourage World PvP, scale dungeons from the get-go without groups asking for it so they're as challenging on Day 1 as they will be the night before the next expac launch, etc

    TL;DR - Blizzard does not hold the fault in WoW dropping nearly 4 million players, we all do. Blizzard gave us this world and we fucked it up just as much as they did. In fact, I say we're more responsible than they are.
  1. Misuteri'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.
    This is pretty much my biggest gripe with the game right now.

    The ques for LFR are so bad that I'll message tanks/heals to que me then leave just so I get a slot. I haven't gotten a token roll in my favor for current content for a month. The system seems to think I need tier gloves every week but a chest or helm is out of the question.

    I haven't seen a mount drop from world bosses, bags or warbringers this entire expansion.

    During Cata 70 twinking was my #1 non-main activity. I had 4 of them. MoP killed that. Despite playing by every rule Blizzard set for us, XP off, same gear availability to all, not being able to farm levelers in BOA gear or greens/blues they found a way to kill us off. We were a small community by 10 million as a user base but we were much bigger than the world first/heroic progression scene.

    As much as I can praise many aspects of the game right now that right there makes me hope they'll see that for every improvement they're making they're taking a step back and for zero benefit.
  1. Magemaer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by balatro View Post
    TL;DR - Blizzard does not hold the fault in WoW dropping nearly 4 million players, we all do. Blizzard gave us this world and we fucked it up just as much as they did. In fact, I say we're more responsible than they are.
    I just read the TL;DR but damm, it gave me cancer
  1. worsthitmanNa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by crakerjack View Post
    I'm sorry but Idc what your view on the game is... I really don't. I played at 2500~ mmr, i raided hardcore during TBC... I played the game when it was amazing... I played it when it offered a real challenge. What you claim to be good is what I'd consider crap. Raiding is nothing but recycled mechanics.... trust me, I've been watching streams on twitch of all the raids, they don't look hard at all. PvP is utter crap now... blizzards illogical idea of balancing classes was a prime example of retardation. "Oh hey guys, lets balance the game by removing every unique ability in the game that other classes don't have... bloodlust? Time warp w/ speed boost. Totem buffs? Every class has equivalent 30 min buffs. Windfury totem? Too diverse. Kick? Hell, give one to everyone and a silence too." Not to mention that certain comps are too overpowered and it doesn't matter how well you play, a slight slip up will give them the easy kill because it's effortless. You might like the game for some reason, but anyone who played hardcore can concur with me that the game is nothing but an exoskeleton of what it used to be. Just because you sprinkle glitter on a piece of poop, doesn't mean it's going to look any better than a piece of poop. WoW is poop if you didn't get what I was saying.
    Certain comps have always had the edge go play on the cata, wotlk, or tbc arena tournament realms. Every expansion had problems tbc was rng based as fuck spell reflect metas, random chances to resist cc, random stuns. Like 9 out of 10 classes had a random chance to stun on their main abilities. Bm hunter having cc immunity during bestial wrath and a majority of classes had no answer for it. Tbc and wotlk had legendary abuse as well. Mop has had no legendary abuse so far and pve gear wasn't a factor in pvp for a while(they are trying to fix it atm). Name every class with blood lust I am waiting it will be funny. Feral finally got a kick and were viable rather then having to be carried almost every season of arena they have ever been in. Ret have a kick and snare but still struggle. honestly its better in some ways and worse in others.
  1. Incandio's Avatar
    The novelty of equipping your characters only gets you this much excitement, when this is all the game has to offer past leveling for 8 years, may it be PvE or PvP wise, and I don't mean this bad, it's just the way things are.
    This is it for me. The "level up / gear up" cycle is just getting old. With every new XP the zero to hero cycle is reset. It's classic Sisyphus. People are addicted to progress that is actually fruitless labor.

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