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. geqgreqg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dzudzadzo View Post
    Explain sports.

    That is a really poor example.

    Sports do not require content patches every few months. You cannot add content to sports and there is no need. Each game (let's use basketball as an example) is different from the last in terms of game plans and what will ultimately happen in the game is different each time.

    WoW content: This is your content. It will always be the same thing.
    Basketball: The score will not be, say, 98-96 every time. Maybe one team will win and then lose next time. Maybe the score won't be close at all. Maybe the same people will not be playing for as long or at all.
  1. Hubbl3's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dzudzadzo View Post
    Explain sports.
    Yeah, the last content patch for football (soccer) was really great. New maps, new mechanics.

    Maybe you could figure out on your own why your example fails, hard.
  1. SirRobin's Avatar
    Anyone else reminded of that line from the SC trailer?

    "About damn time."



    Meh... It had an incredible run and had a massive impact on the market. However, its getting pretty long in the tooth and will probably just slowly fade away.
  1. Faroth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SirRobin View Post
    Meh... It had an incredible run and had a massive impact on the market. However, its getting pretty long in the tooth and will probably just slowly fade away.
    Old MMOs never die, they just.....fade away.

    Except WoW won't just fade away. It will stick around for a loooooong time. When the next revolutionary MMO comes along that revitalizes the genre with mindblowing new features and a completely new design on how they are approached, WoW will still have its player base and will still be getting new content and expansions, just like EverQuest continues to do so. It will just be much much smaller than it is today and smaller than it will be tomorrow or next year.

    It will continue to decline, to shrink, but it won't just simply stop being an active MMO.

    Until the original EverQuest rises from the ashes and dominates all MMOs again! RAAAWR!
  1. Nullpointer's Avatar
    10 year old game, most of the subscribers that are playing now and leaving are from the Wotlk era, a lot of older subscribers already left. I played WoW since 2006 until 2012 pretty good run actually, never had a bad moment with the game, but as it is now, I'd play anything else just not WoW. I imagine it's like that for a lot of people that commited a lot of their lives to this game. Is WoW dying? Sure it is, but it will not fade away completely for a very long time and it will stay strong for years to come. What people usually fail to understand is that it is a good thing for WoW to die at some point, that leaves room for the next great MMO that will keep us occupied as WoW did long ago.

    On a side note, 1.3 million subs is actually pretty huge, I have no doubt WoW will take another big turn in the next expansion. I really hope to see the return of a more dark, more real wow lore from now on.
  1. Osmeric's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Faroth View Post
    Except WoW won't just fade away. It will stick around for a loooooong time.
    Not seeing the evidence for this.
  1. Crookids's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vulcanasm View Post
    I agree with you on all counts, but I think you've pointed out something I missed, rather than something I mis-stated. The two statements, yours and mine, are independent ideas. Fundamentally, I think the distilled essence of your "cobbling and fracturing" argument boils down to one sentence: They clumsily tried to bring back social interaction by compartmentalizing everything. I think that's a brilliant observation.

    Now, I suspect it was done with good intentions. I'd guess someone finally pointed out that WoW's subscribers are (were? too soon?) overwhelmingly social gamers -- not divisible into "casual" vs. "hardcore", but people who play for social interaction, mainly. Compartamentalization was, I think, a well-intended-but-derp-filled means of forcing social interaction; the thought process being roughly "well, if we divide the player base up based on similar activities, they'll interact again!". To say the least, I think they're doin' it wrong.

    Incidentally, I'm just as much a social gamer as everyone else. I subscribe because my guild subscribes. We've been friends for years -- we've barbecued together, gone drinking together, got Light of Dawn and Herald of the Titans together back when those both mattered. If they left, I'd unsubscribe that day, because there's no other social interaction left.

    PS Believe me, I think they never should've abandoned "in game" hard mode triggers. I firmly believe that Ulduar's triggering system was the single cleverest thing the developers ever did -- and they've done some impressively clever things, over the past decade.
    I agree with a lot of points in these posts, but as of MOP the game has taken a whole new refreshing direction in exploration, community and moving slowly away from the stand in Stormwind and queue method. I just don't like people complaining about things like everyone hates them. I enjoy failed and rep and getting rewards/achievements with reputations. People forget that dailys was introduced to push people to go back out in the world after leveling. An MMO is about questing and if you don't like quests, which I find interactive and engaging, then perhaps this genre isn't for you. Also, people keep saying the game is too lobby esque, yet they complain about everything that is not.

    Rare spawns, rare summoning, world bosses, the most in-depth achievement system in any game, transmog, brawlers guild, mount drops, vanity toy drops, events, challenge modes... And the list goes on. These are all things that encourage the opposite of lobbying. Yet people keep harping on a mythology consistently fading.
  1. Faroth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Osmeric View Post
    Not seeing the evidence for this.
    EverQuest should be evidence enough. WoW doesn't need millions of subscribers to continue on and still be profitable.
    If they maintain 3 million active subscribers, they'd still be huge. Think of how massive a drop that it and yet they'd still be profitable.

    EQ did finally go free to play, but pretty sure they've been chugging along for years at 1 million or less (pretty sure less) while still subscription based.

    WoW can still lose a lot of subscribers and keep plugging along. Every other MMO out there is evidence of it.
  1. Crookids's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Merp View Post
    Oh my, I am speechless at posts like this.
    The problem is that this game will die sooner exactly because of players like you. The ones who say "WoW is still clearly the best MMO around", "WoW at Ultra has better graphics than the other MMOs, etc. etc. No matter what.
    No, that's not the case. Scream as much as you want, it doesn't make it true. It's just the MMO you still like and play. And by denying every problem and jumping at the throat of those who raise some legitimate criticism you are exactly contributing to its demise. There's ton of other online games around which offer more content, more frequently and for free. Very often they offer high quality content, not rarely better than WoW's. In EU and US WoW is already ahead other MMOs in terms of player base by a very slight margin. And new big competitors are coming soon. What Blizzard should do is to innovate more, release more content, making it cheaper or possibly eliminating the monthly fee altogheter (which almost nobody pays otherwise in 2013, and it's absurd in any case: in 8 months they have been able to release just 2 content patch, that's almost a theft). The problem is that instead by keeping paying every single month and bashing everyone who pressure Blizzard for the better by saying that the game is perfect and will never die, you are exactly killing this game. Good job.

    Blizzard knows very well, as they officially stated, that at the end of the year the game will be played by much less people than today.
    They know it, we know it. Maybe you should open your eyes and wonder and advocate how this game has to CHANGE if you want it to be successful. Otherwise they will just cash cow it until it's not profitable anymore, and goodbye.

    As a matter of fact, screaming that it's perfect and it will never die doesn't make it true. Because it isn't. That's how life goes, pretty much with everything.
    I never said anything you posted. Stop putting words in my mouth to support your lackluster responses.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Faroth View Post
    EverQuest should be evidence enough. WoW doesn't need millions of subscribers to continue on and still be profitable.
    If they maintain 3 million active subscribers, they'd still be huge. Think of how massive a drop that it and yet they'd still be profitable.

    EQ did finally go free to play, but pretty sure they've been chugging along for years at 1 million or less (pretty sure less) while still subscription based.

    WoW can still lose a lot of subscribers and keep plugging along. Every other MMO out there is evidence of it.
    Sure, but in the case of a big company like Blizzard, this means they'll need to find a new "cash cow" product to finance their activity.
  1. Crookids's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Merp View Post
    Oh my, I am speechless at posts like this.
    The problem is that this game will die sooner exactly because of players like you. The ones who say "WoW is still clearly the best MMO around", "WoW at Ultra has better graphics than the other MMOs, etc. etc. No matter what.
    No, that's not the case. Scream as much as you want, it doesn't make it true. It's just the MMO you still like and play. And by denying every problem and jumping at the throat of those who raise some legitimate criticism you are exactly contributing to its demise. There's ton of other online games around which offer more content, more frequently and for free. Very often they offer high quality content, not rarely better than WoW's. In EU and US WoW is already ahead other MMOs in terms of player base by a very slight margin. And new big competitors are coming soon. What Blizzard should do is to innovate more, release more content, making it cheaper or possibly eliminating the monthly fee altogheter (which almost nobody pays otherwise in 2013, and it's absurd in any case: in 8 months they have been able to release just 2 content patch, that's almost a theft). The problem is that instead by keeping paying every single month and bashing everyone who pressure Blizzard for the better by saying that the game is perfect and will never die, you are exactly killing this game. Good job.

    Blizzard knows very well, as they officially stated, that at the end of the year the game will be played by much less people than today.
    They know it, we know it. Maybe you should open your eyes and wonder and advocate how this game has to CHANGE if you want it to be successful. Otherwise they will just cash cow it until it's not profitable anymore, and goodbye.

    As a matter of fact, screaming that it's perfect and it will never die doesn't make it true. Because it isn't. That's how life goes, pretty much with everything.
    1.) you are obviously not speechless.

    2.) stop putting words in my mouth to support your lackluster responses.

    3.) name these free games releasing "more" content than WoW more frequently.

    4.) if you actually researched the topic you were trying to discuss, you would understand content flow is not the reason for subscription loss.

    5.) Ill indulge though and further put the nail in the coffin of your post by saying -- Did you know that less than 1% of the population has finished simply the raid tier, even less are BiS geared and that is just the raiding content. So you complaint about the lack of content since last patch is moot.

    6.) The game needs to change to be successful? Sorry to break it to you, but the game IS successful. The most successful in the WORLD... Facts are facts. Also, MOP has been a God send and the best XP yet.

    7.) How are people like me ruining the game? Unless studying the industry, knowing facts and building constructive criticism instead of not knowing my ass from my elbow like you and complaining about things already addressed. Or maybe I should posts how the game needs to be like vanilla while saying it lost subs because I didn't get enough LFR loot......
  1. Belize's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    Sure, but in the case of a big company like Blizzard, this means they'll need to find a new "cash cow" product to finance their activity.
    Ummm... Titan? Do you think it'll be free 2 play? I don't. If they can still make profits off WoW, and profit from Titan, they can pretty much sit on their comfy asses. Plus they have other games that finances them too.

    But they WILL have a cash cow and it will be the cow level of Titan.
  1. Faroth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    Sure, but in the case of a big company like Blizzard, this means they'll need to find a new "cash cow" product to finance their activity.
    A lot of games see profits increase when they go F2P and if WoW dropped low enough, that's possible.

    They could also do something similar to what SOE did with their Station Pass and offer a single subscription discounted for access to Titan and WoW, possibly even offering some Blizz Store incentives, etc.

    My point is only that 1.3 subscriber drop is huge, but it's not a nail in the coffin and WoW won't simply shut down in the next few years. That's all I meant.
  1. Amgyn's Avatar
    People keep bringing up all the things blizzard introduced in MoP... but its clear these things aren't working...
  1. Crookids's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by terminaltrip421 View Post
    as one of the ones who quit, it wasn't "consumed content faster" it was took to fracking long to do anything. it was heirlooms were too damn expensive and it took too long to get lesser and greater runes. it was shitty drop rates even with runes of fate and taking too long to gear up because of gate after gate if my playstyle of choice was to roll alts rather than "mains." i was a casual player and i've quit and come back countless times. but i'm also fairly certain I came back for shorter and shorter periods of time before becoming too frustrated. it was also paying 15 bucks a month and having to deal with shit talking assholes. 5.3 for me is too little too late. while I don't have anything to replace wow with i'm done being sucked back in. fuck the game, i look forward to it's fall from grace.

    oh yeah and then there's CRZ...in my mind they wanted to force players to play longer to try and get more money and instead people saw though it or just didn't feel like what they did fro recreation should feel so much like work. i know you people don't care about my opinion most likely and that's fine. that's the same attitude the devs had after all. after leaving reasons why i quit ever time before and only ever sometimes seeing responses to those reasons in game I didn't bother leaving any this time. for ever problem in my mind they fix they create a new one. CRZ being a perfect example.

    btw I only came back to find a post about this after seeing the news made headlines on yahoo.
    If you're right, then good riddance. I'd rather players who expect to be spoon fed and can't grasp the concept of earning and reward leave.
  1. Faroth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Amgyn View Post
    People keep bringing up all the things blizzard introduced in MoP... but its clear these things aren't working...
    Eh, the question is kind of, will anything work? Game's getting old, at its core it's still the same basic game it was 8 years ago with some new shiny paint here and there.

    Can Blizzard do anything to keep 8+ million players happy when those 8+ million players all want different things?

    There's a reason so many other MMOs have failed after players tried them and said they were "WoW clones" after all. They were the same game at the core with different sparkles. If new MMOs that are built on the same foundation as WoW aren't striking a chord with players, can WoW continue to do so with that same core?

    Likely it will indeed lose more, but will stabilize at some point and that core remaining group is the player type Blizzard will design for.

    No MMO rules forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crookids View Post
    If you're right, then good riddance. I'd rather players who expect to be spoon fed and can't grasp the concept of earning and reward leave.
    I kind of agree with this sentiment.

    There's "casual player" and there's "instant gratification player"

    Just logging in and doing "stuff" for an hour doesn't mean you should get everything. It just feels like more and more seem to think paying the sub should give them everything with no actual play time required. MoP does need some tweaks for altoholics and catch up, but it's also demonized as worse than it really is imo.
  1. mikencarly's Avatar
    I said it once and im going to say it one more time they made a income increase this year regardless if china players are almost all gone a 100 million income net alot of companys would love to hear that stop looking at the subs and look at the big picture they didn't even pay full price for month fees they was on via cafe shops mostly and timed point is they didn't even make a diff at all 1.3 million gone and still gained a net income vs last year = they have won.This also means Mop was a big succes in the west which all that matters that were almost all there income comes from east didn't even matter on profits if you think mop failed think again why would a china person play a china based expansion pretty much and stay i would have left as well plus like blizzard said there alot of new asia mmos which alot of the china player base moved im sure most will be back when they dont have to log in china from china LMFAO! so funny trolls think they have won not even close sir.
  1. Designed's Avatar
    "If I would've asked people what they wanted, they'd say faster horses" - Henry Ford

    Blizzard has listened too much to what people want, and they've tried to appease everyone. As a result, the game has turned into a messy middle-ground of every user-type's play-style instead of one clear direction, unlike what it was when they were first building WoW. They need to follow their instinct and just keep building amazing stuff.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Belize View Post
    Ummm... Titan? Do you think it'll be free 2 play? I don't. If they can still make profits off WoW, and profit from Titan, they can pretty much sit on their comfy asses. Plus they have other games that finances them too.
    I agree, but they need to a) release it (and it's not there yet) b) attract people. In a world of F2P MMOs this is gonna be tough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faroth View Post
    My point is only that 1.3 subscriber drop is huge, but it's not a nail in the coffin and WoW won't simply shut down in the next few years. That's all I meant.
    Oh, but I totally agree
    Hell they didn't shut D2 servers yet.
  1. Designed's Avatar
    "If I would've asked people what they wanted, they'd say faster horses" - Henry Ford

    Blizzard has listened too much to what people want, and they've tried to appease everyone. As a result, the game has turned into a messy middle-ground of every user-type's play-style leaving no user-type satisfied. Blizzard are game developers, their users are not, Blizzard knows how to make games, users don't. Blizzard needs to follow their instincts and start building amazing stuff again without listening to crybabies on the forums, just like they used to do when initially developing vanilla and TBC.

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