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. stuartj1992's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by billtimbob View Post
    Hahahahah... everything they have done to appease the casuals at the expense of the core players and they still are fleeing.
    So, everything they have to appease the casuals has been at the expense of the...casuals?

    Use your fucking brain, the casuals ARE the core players. There's a hell of a lot more casuals playing than your so-called all-important 'hardcore' players.
  1. Masternewt's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by stuartj1992 View Post
    So, everything they have to appease the casuals has been at the expense of the...casuals?

    Use your fucking brain, the casuals ARE the core players. There's a hell of a lot more casuals playing than your so-called all-important 'hardcore' players.
    Herein lies the problem. Casual players are not a loyal player base. They move from title to title, they are sporadic in their invested game time and they can move on regardless of the content you provide.

    For example - I download an iPad game. I love it at first, I try out stuff, I may play it on and off for weeks. But when something else catches my attention, I forget about it, usually just uninstall it and try something else.

    Trying to cater to the casual player since WotLK had only one long term side effect - Blizzard managed to breed a generation of self entitled players who think WoW is another iPad game where 5min investment means access to everything this game has to offer. They will claim they don't have time to play more, they will claim they don't want to do repetitive stuff, they will claim they don't want to hit their heads at hard content, they will claim they don't want to read patch notes to know what's going on, they will also claim they want instant access to FotM classes.

    And they got all. Speed leveling, idiot proof content on ALL levels (questing, solo, scenarios, 5man, raiding), access to epics even if you play 1h/week, reputations that take a week to get to exalted. But then it's catch 22 - too easy content means you burn through it fast and are left with nothing to do. Make thing a bit more challenging, and the QQ starts.

    And Blizzard keeps tending to the QQs, changing the game from left to right, losing core players who are tired of a game that is no longer made for them as well as the casuals, who have not sentimental attachement to the game anyway.
  1. Hippodotimus's Avatar
    I just know one thing. 7 of those active subs play healers. Those 7 active healer subs were just all on the horde in my last wsg.
  1. Chuck's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Masternewt View Post
    Herein lies the problem. Casual players are not a loyal player base. They move from title to title, they are sporadic in their invested game time and they can move on regardless of the content you provide.

    For example - I download an iPad game. I love it at first, I try out stuff, I may play it on and off for weeks. But when something else catches my attention, I forget about it, usually just uninstall it and try something else.

    Trying to cater to the casual player since WotLK had only one long term side effect - Blizzard managed to breed a generation of self entitled players who think WoW is another iPad game where 5min investment means access to everything this game has to offer. They will claim they don't have time to play more, they will claim they don't want to do repetitive stuff, they will claim they don't want to hit their heads at hard content, they will claim they don't want to read patch notes to know what's going on, they will also claim they want instant access to FotM classes.

    And they got all. Speed leveling, idiot proof content on ALL levels (questing, solo, scenarios, 5man, raiding), access to epics even if you play 1h/week, reputations that take a week to get to exalted. But then it's catch 22 - too easy content means you burn through it fast and are left with nothing to do. Make thing a bit more challenging, and the QQ starts.

    And Blizzard keeps tending to the QQs, changing the game from left to right, losing core players who are tired of a game that is no longer made for them as well as the casuals, who have not sentimental attachement to the game anyway.

    I think You, sir, nailed it. No matter what others say, but I at least totally agree with it.
  1. jayeffkay's Avatar
    If anybody knows Benbos you should probably check up on him to make sure he is okay. With the combination of WOW losing 1.3m subs and the Diablo 3 gold dupe happening in the past week. Well let's just say things aren't looking good for his ivory towers right now.
  1. Tarx's Avatar
    I'm glad because blizzard lose money.1!!!!!!
  1. Saved's Avatar
    - they realy need to improve servers population ( im thinking on battlegroup merge,adding lats name's to your char to avoid losing your name)
    - reward world pvp
    - remove lockout beetween 10 and 25 man raid's
    - change raid's to 8-man - 15 man
    - lfd should be like woltk model
    - lfr should only drop blue stuff equal to hc dungeons item lvl and open only after a 1month after the normal raid
    - in bg's they should use human verification window similar to the delete stuff but with a random generated word/number every bg
    - Ulduar raiding style you want harder press the button, change the order, that kind of stuff
    - for me the most important thing balance pvp around 1v1 !! that would remove fotm and would make sense with your sentence "Bring the player, not the class"
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tarx View Post
    I'm glad because blizzard lose money.1!!!!!!
    Have you actually looked at the P&L in the press release?
  1. crsh1976's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Limulsuis View Post
    Considering WoW had 10 million at the start of MoP, the expansion is being horrible subscriber-wise...
    Why? WoW is, by all standards, an old game now - players come and go, MoP launched and people started losing interest later on. Nothing to fret about, the good news is they *still have* 8.3m players.

    Something could be said about Cata being the truly horrible expac that really hurt the game globally, it set some things in motion.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Masternewt View Post
    Herein lies the problem. Casual players are not a loyal player base. They move from title to title, they are sporadic in their invested game time and they can move on regardless of the content you provide.

    For example - I download an iPad game. I love it at first, I try out stuff, I may play it on and off for weeks. But when something else catches my attention, I forget about it, usually just uninstall it and try something else.

    Trying to cater to the casual player since WotLK had only one long term side effect - Blizzard managed to breed a generation of self entitled players who think WoW is another iPad game where 5min investment means access to everything this game has to offer. They will claim they don't have time to play more, they will claim they don't want to do repetitive stuff, they will claim they don't want to hit their heads at hard content, they will claim they don't want to read patch notes to know what's going on, they will also claim they want instant access to FotM classes.

    And they got all. Speed leveling, idiot proof content on ALL levels (questing, solo, scenarios, 5man, raiding), access to epics even if you play 1h/week, reputations that take a week to get to exalted. But then it's catch 22 - too easy content means you burn through it fast and are left with nothing to do. Make thing a bit more challenging, and the QQ starts.

    And Blizzard keeps tending to the QQs, changing the game from left to right, losing core players who are tired of a game that is no longer made for them as well as the casuals, who have not sentimental attachement to the game anyway.
    You're wrong on one point - Blizzard didn't breed those players, it's a global social process of which Blizzard is one tiny element.
  1. tehdef's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Hippodotimus View Post
    I just know one thing. 7 of those active subs play healers. Those 7 active healer subs were just all on the horde in my last wsg.
    You're very naive, and an extremely daft individual.

    First off, you're making the assumption that Casual = Leaves.

    Casual is a very wide ranging grouping, contrary to popular belief. It can mean any of the following.

    • Unable to "hardcore" raid
    • Unable to devote time to extended gaming sessions
    • Has outside of game responsibilities that keep them from playing more than a few hours per week
    • Enjoy tackling new content, but get burnt out quickly and unsub
    • Stay subscribed and play only when it suits their desires
    • Like to login to play specific aspects of the game (Ie: Pet battles, crafting, dailies)
    • Able to play for extended sessions, but do not always participate in what may be considered "hardcore" game elements. (RP, and other similar things).

    As you can see. There are a lot of situations there. These "casual" players that you like to define, can be your core players. They can be voices for your business, free advertising. They can stay logged in for long periods of time. They still pay their 15$ a month. They still are in a guild, and do things that benefit the economy. The people that WoW has to watch for are the fairweather fans that don't want to stay subscribed due to content not being launched to keep them engaged.

    Hardcore raiders and the like aren't the core players. Even the amount of players that have killed a boss on 10 man normal aren't the bulk of your players. 23925 registered groups on WoWprogress have killed him on 10 man normal. That's only 239,000 players if each one was an individual person, and no overlap. Your Core group comes from the people who just consistently give you money. That's your core group. The money you can count on.

    You don't "casually" get to 90 these days and just stop. It requires a financial investment. Casuals won't buy all the other products because of that investment.
  1. Tomana'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!
    Won't happen, dream on.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 02:53 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfsage View Post
    Now my actual point, what do they expect? They make content that is easy and fast to get through, has little to no replay value, and everyone can skip to it in an instant. Their content is MADE to be used and then THROWN AWAY in the trash bin. Just think of the content of the previous expansion, hell even the content of the previous patch... almost worthless when it comes to gameplay.
    The problem is that if you make it complicated, most of those games won't even touch it. So as an MMO designer, you're effectively stuck between the hammer and the anvil.
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jayeffkay View Post
    If anybody knows Benbos you should probably check up on him to make sure he is okay. With the combination of WOW losing 1.3m subs and the Diablo 3 gold dupe happening in the past week. Well let's just say things aren't looking good for his ivory towers right now.
    Thank you Sir, gave me a good laugh here. =)
  1. Nastified's Avatar
    If you think this is bad, wait until they finish "improving" PvP.
  1. rogoth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ManglolSA View Post
    Maybe its just the time when I log in (after 10pm in the evening), but normally experience 1-10min lfr queues and 1-4 min bg queues. 1-10 second 2v2 queues, <1min 3v3 q's. Durotar is always packed, levelling area's are always busy. The world is buzzing.
    because playing on a high population server means that it is the same on every server amirite?, the vast majority of servers are mid to low population, there are less than a handful of realms in US and EU that are classed as high population, it has been done in asia, server merges are needed now more than ever, this latest fall may see a large majority from the asian market, but there will also be quite a large number from EU/US aswell the game has degenerated to the point where, if u don't have the mindset to achieve more by investing more time and effort, then it's cool, just get handed it on a plate for minimal time investment, just not quite as shiny as the real thing, the biggest issue killing wow is not just some of the content is either lacklustre or hamster wheel style content, but the lack of accountability/responsibility, there is no server blacklist anymore, there is no guild alliances (one guild helping another guild out with say world pvp and/or raiding etc), no more server identity, with the whole cross realm technology, it should have either been extremely minimal and isolated, or the full thing, not a hotch potch of "well you can do this, but we won't allow that", it is the things blizz have held back and said no to that are killing the game for many people.
  1. quras's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Masternewt View Post
    Herein lies the problem. Casual players are not a loyal player base. SNIP...
    Neither are the so called hardcore.

    As an example. Our guild was pretty hardcore. We raided 3-4 nights a week and 3-4 hours each of those nights as well as playing the off nights for another 3-4 hours at times.

    That entire guild slowly dissolved through cataclym with players that quit and died in MOP when everyone quit. There was no special loyalty to wow cause we were hardcore'ish. There was no special loyality cause we poured hours and hours into the game.

    The casual players didn't bother us, content for them didn't bother us, ease of getting gear or hand-holding for them didn't affect us as raiders. We did content they could not.

    Nothing casual players did affected us as raiders. Nothing created for them ever affected us.

    However, the game not being of the quality we were used to bothered us. Poor content that was less and less entertaining bothered us. Poor management of the game in general bothered us.

    So I can't totally agree with you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nastified View Post
    If you think this is bad, wait until they finish "improving" PvP.
    If you think thats bad. Imagine what will happen when the normal summertime drop happens.
  1. Osmeric's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by billtimbob View Post
    Hahahahah... everything they have done to appease the casuals at the expense of the core players and they still are fleeing.
    Obvously they haven't done enough. And not trying isn't an option, since the game is stone cold dead without the casuals.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 01:28 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    Have you actually looked at the P&L in the press release?
    They aren't losing money, but revenue is declining. Non-GAAP "online subscription" revenue (the category that's mostly WoW revenue) is down 22% from Q1 2012.

    (The GAAP number is up, but that's because GAAP accounting smears the big $$$ injection from expansion box sales/digital downloads over several quarters, which artificially inflates the Q1 2013 figure vs. the prior year. People were confused by the GAAP numbers after Cataclysm was released too, and made the same bad argument that revenue was growing.)
  1. Zdrasti's Avatar
    Personally I think everything started going downhill after TBC when they shifted from the core philosophy of releasing most of the content at launch and design it properly so there is a natural progression that spans the entire length of the expansion for most of the player base. Having something to work towards, especially as a team, is critical to an MMO. That changed in wrath and their astronomical climb suddenly plateaued.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Osmeric View Post
    They aren't losing money, but revenue is declining. Non-GAAP "online subscription" revenue (the category that's mostly WoW revenue) is down 22% from Q1 2012.

    (The GAAP number is up, but that's because GAAP accounting smears the big $$$ injection from expansion box sales/digital downloads over several quarters, which artificially inflates the Q1 2013 figure vs. the prior year. People confused were confused by the GAAP numbers after Cataclysm was released too, and made the same bad argument that revenue was growing.)
    I know that. But I doubt the initial poster have done that analysis. In fact I'm convinced of the opposite.
  1. Crookids's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thetruth1400 View Post
    Considering they used to have over 12 million, yeah it's safe to say that, while not dead, it is dying. Frankly, Blizzard has lost touch with the player base. Instead, they seem to be focused on their own personal wants and ideas that fit their life styles. In all honesty though, it's not a surprise. Mike Morhaime is 47. Rob Pardo is 42. Chris Metzen is 39. Even Ghostcrawler is in his 40's. According to a few studies, the average player base is 16-30.



    Quality free to play MMO's over there are pulling customers away. Also, the fact that WoW is 9 years old has some factor in things.
    Jesus, why don't you read some of the other posts. What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. The game is not dying and WoW dying has been "predicted" almost as much as the end of the real world these past years. And guess what, we are still here. Just because a game is not at it's peak sub base does not mean it is dying. And lets not forget how the game went from this sub amount and spiked back to 10m at MOP launch. Subs always drop towards the middle and the end of the XP.

    Also, this talk about the game not catering to the hardcore. WTH are you talking about. Please, show me how hardcore you are and what they aren't doing for you. Real players in REAL top 100 guilds like myself are extremely happy where the content is now a days. Raids are engaging, scale well and the difficulty is challenging. And if things need to be fixed, we are there on forums HELPING. Blizzard has been listening to the community and helping improve based on feedback more than any other developers. I will say this like I have said before, grass is NOT greener on the other side. Go play something else and realize how spoiled you are. Please, stop repeating stuff you read somewhere once and jumping to argue points you have yet to research.

    Some of you really need to take a step back and think before you post. The lack of knowledge in these "I knew I was right" posts is disgusting. It's also brainless talking like this that makes the community sound dumb. You are the problem.....

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