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. LeginNoslen's Avatar
    Thats nice, now where is the real news article for today?
  1. Nitrax's Avatar
    This is good! WoW finally has competition, and Blizzard acknowledges it... I hope they realize they have to take the game in another direction, when they get rid of LFR I will resub!
  1. Ermahgerd's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rogas View Post
    1. introduction of LFR - made practically everybody a casual ...
    2. Blizz greedy refusal to do something about low populated servers ... i can imagine pp rather quit that paying a fortune on server transfers...

    3. Once you've geared up a main, levelled up some alts, maxed you professions, explored the world, did arena's, did bg's, joined a decent raiding guild, raided serveral raid instances, .... what else is there left to do??? At some point you have done it all, and it's time to move on...
    1. Before LFR I was motivated to start raiding for the first time, which was during Firelands when I first raided. After it came out I lost all drive to continue.
    2. I've seen a steady decline on my realm, even though it's the most populated realm on EU (Outland), as Horde player on Outland, I still see a steady drop in players.
    3. I've leveled up 4 90s from scratch (Even while having 9 lvl 85s), maxed Engineering 2 times, leatherworking once and enchanting once and seen all of the world already due to all the chars I've leveled. But trying to find a decent raiding guild is actually really hard on Outland-EU as Horde. Or at least to find players who are interested in raiding.

    What I'd like to see is some long lasting content that doesn't get outdated after one expansion/patch. Idk what, perhaps more challenge mode-type of stuff.
  1. Firebert's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Redblade View Post
    Same as you conclusions...
    Not really, as LFD and LFR were basically the only big technological additions to the game for those patches, and hence had the biggest effect on subs.
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Firebert View Post
    Not really, as LFD and LFR were basically the only big technological additions to the game for those patches, and hence had the biggest effect on subs.
    Got any source to back that up, there was content added with those patches as well, something that as far as I'm aware of always increased subs in the short term.

    Even if LFR did stop subs from going down as you say, and it had nothing to do with the content, how many of those casuals stayed longer than 2 months, how many core player where lost over it's addition, how do those numbers relate to each other, and so on, without that knowledge your conclusions are just sa flawed.
  1. Greyvax's Avatar
    I blame all the wasted resources on pet battles.
  1. squidbear'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.
    did a little audit on you buddy, didn't make for good reading. seems your 2500~mmr and hardcore raiding experience actually means you didn't break 2.2k in 3s and didn't even clear Karazhan until Cataclysm was released.

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/characte...kerjack/simple

    so you don't have the experience, you were never any good at the game (bloodlust? time warp w/speed boost... what does that even mean?), you don't know what you're talking about but you still log onto the game (you were PvPing in March) and you still come onto a WoW forum.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 12:13 PM ----------

    I don't know why people care what the sub numbers are. I could care less if WoW lost 5million subs, as long as my guild didn't lose enough members that we couldn't raid on Sunday.
  1. Xihuitl's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    You need a stat class, fast


    Of current trends among a minority.
    I know the limitations of using forums as a representative of the wider gaming population, but to just dismiss it as irrelevant is highly ignorant.
  1. Kryos's Avatar
    If WoW stuck to the "we only create content for 3% of the players" formular they had at the end of vanilla and begin of Burning Crusade the game would be down to 1-2 million right now. The game got most subscriptions when it was easy to raid for the first time. Wrath of the Lich King. That was the expansion that changed the whole system. That was when WoW peaked. Casuals are the majority and bring most of the money. But they are also not very loyal and bored fast. So Blizzard was and is forced to add more and more casual content to please the masses that pay most of the money. The 3% hardcore progress raiders are loyal and still play, they do not bring the big money. But they are very vocal in the forums. Fact is, Blizzard did most things right and they still have 8 million people paying for their game after nearly 9 years. Show me another game that was able to keep more than 8 million PAYING people for such a long time.

    PS: Eve Online was always there - but they only did content for the hardcore players. So they never managed to lure in million. Now Eve starts to open up a little bit to casuals and their subs grow. No surprise there. They will soon find out that casuals are bored very quick and need new entertainment every few months or they just leave.
  1. Duster505's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ashblond View Post
    Not surprised AT ALL. There is just too much competition in Chinese game market. Players have too much choice, and much less loyalty. They switch games as soon as they feel bored.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 10:01 AM ----------



    The reason people quit is that wow is old and staggering. And chinese players always prefer to play MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games like LoL, Dota which is F2P, less time consuming, and more entertaining for them, instead of playing MMORPG. It is 100% sure that Blizzard All-Star (F2P MOBA) will have more players than wow as soon as it is released in China.

    And always remember, even during wow's peak, they have only 6-7 million subscribers in china, which is a tiny tiny tiny proportion of whole player base. It was never a popular game in China as it is in EU/US.

    Creating Vanilla/BC servers will NEVER bring people back. It just won't work. And i can assure those lost Chinese players will never come back. The best thing blizzard can do is to get new players.[COLOR="red"]
    Blizzard can not get new players with the current state of the game. Every game that releases today offers BETTER leveling experience for less money and much more RPG variety with talent trees and choices. WOW can not expect to get new players in unless the take a big U-turn on how they release content. They need to get the expansions out of the main leveling experience and create a word where ppl can get to max level without playing the most outdated content that hasn't even been looked at in 6 years. Even tho ppl are still paying money for those expansion packs....
  1. Xihuitl'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.

    lol.

    in todays internet absorbed age, you think that even a casual player finds it troublesome to posts on forums, esp a player of an online MMO? really?

    There are much better considerations to do with the type of person who posts on forums, bias towards negativity and of course confimation bias within forums to take into account, but access to fourm availability is pretty damm minor.

    No one denies there are limitations in using forums as indicators fo player attitudes, but as long as you are aware of them, it can still be useful data.
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryos View Post
    If WoW stuck to the "we only create content for 3% of the players" formular they had at the end of vanilla and begin of Burning Crusade the game would be down to 1-2 million right now. The game got most subscriptions when it was easy to raid for the first time. Wrath of the Lich King. That was the expansion that changed the whole system. That was when WoW peaked.
    Wrong, WoW actually peeked late TBC and early Wrath and has since declined with the very short exception of Cata launch that made it spike up to similar levels if I recall correctly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kryos View Post
    PS: Eve Online was always there - but they only did content for the hardcore players. So they never managed to lure in million. Now Eve starts to open up a little bit to casuals and their subs grow. No surprise there. They will soon find out that casuals are bored very quick and need new entertainment every few months or they just leave.
    Can't compare EvE with WoW, just can't not even on the plane you are trying to, no really, you can't.
  1. DreamCast's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Redblade View Post
    Wrong, WoW actually peeked late TBC and early Wrath and has since declined with the very short exception of Cata launch that made it spike up to similar levels if I recall correctly.
    In terms of the playerbase increase this is true , WOLTK the game did plateau with a slight increase.

    I still remember our GM back then saying towards the end of WOLTK that blizzards implementation of making 10s and 25 man guilds equal will kill a lot of 25 man raiding guilds and a lot of communities those big guilds supported. I think we are now seeing the ripple effects of that change.

    Every realm/faction where 25 man guilds have died off have destroyed realm communities as 10mans are too small and inactive to please the casual/social player in terms of community.
  1. kazso's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ashblond View Post
    And always remember, even during wow's peak, they have only 6-7 million subscribers in china, which is a tiny tiny tiny proportion of whole player base. It was never a popular game in China as it is in EU/US.
    If we look at the numbers (population/subscribers), the game isn't more popular in EU or US, than it is in China.
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DreamCast View Post
    In terms of the playerbase increase this is true , WOLTK the game did plateau with a slight increase.
    I dug up the actual graph. Wrath was released Nov 13th 2009, and Cata Dec 7th 2010, both representing the peeks. Ever since Wrath launch the game has been on a steady decline with a few peeks along the way, prior to that it was a permanent incline.

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamCast View Post
    I still remember our GM back then saying towards the end of WOLTK that blizzards implementation of making 10s and 25 man guilds equal will kill a lot of 25 man raiding guilds and a lot of communities those big guilds supported. I think we are now seeing the ripple effects of that change.

    Every realm/faction where 25 man guilds have died off have destroyed realm communities as 10mans are too small and inactive to please the casual/social player in terms of community.
    I don't disagree, that is surely a part of the issue, something that happened to my guild as well.
  1. ItachiZaku's Avatar
    I still enjoy the game well enough. LFR is fine, it is my end game cuz I just don't want to dedicate time to raid "for real", which is partially due to being in 3 raiding guilds and each slowly falling apart. I just don't want to do that anymore. Am I annoyed with some of the changes? Absolutely. Am I happy with some of the changes? Absolutely.
  1. Caylis's Avatar
    the casuals felt the up hill climb with the sheer volume of dailies and the horrible new "catch up method" of having to do the lower tier raids again.. and again... and again... and again... The legendary chain is just aweful aswell. The fixes coming to that are in my opinion too little too late
  1. xcentrik's Avatar
    i think its pretty obvious why they are losing subs

    the constant bans on the Chinese gold farmers and other botters has finally taken its toll and yea they no more want to "play"
  1. Ascetina's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DreamCast View Post
    In terms of the playerbase increase this is true , WOLTK the game did plateau with a slight increase.

    I still remember our GM back then saying towards the end of WOLTK that blizzards implementation of making 10s and 25 man guilds equal will kill a lot of 25 man raiding guilds and a lot of communities those big guilds supported. I think we are now seeing the ripple effects of that change.

    Every realm/faction where 25 man guilds have died off have destroyed realm communities as 10mans are too small and inactive to please the casual/social player in terms of community.
    I have to agree with this. Before the cataclysm, there were no less than 10 25-men raiding guilds on my server and after cataclysm only 1 left, now there is none. I don't think its a unique event to my server as you can see the top page of WoW progress. It had always been dominated by 25-men guilds and now there are 12 10-men guilds, out of 20, on the first page. Before the shared lockout change, players were actively looking for 25-men raid guilds to gain access to the best gear and those who were in one were cherishing their guild membership. Also a 25-men guild can accommodate far more players than a 10men guild can do. 10men raid guilds are far less robust than 25men, if one key member couldn't make the raid, there is a risk for cancel and also 10men guilds cannot afford a big bench list either, 2-3 maximum without upsetting anyone. I can understand why blizzard had implemented this feature to please 10men guilds but I think this change had shaken the foundation of WoW community and put this game into a downwards spiral.
  1. Stefanos123's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nitrax View Post
    This is good! WoW finally has competition, and Blizzard acknowledges it... I hope they realize they have to take the game in another direction, when they get rid of LFR I will resub!
    Then i'll guess you won't resub anymore since i think they will never get rid of LFR

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