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. Bellabunnie's Avatar
    Yeah, one of those subscribers was me! My guild collapsed and I just don't have the time or energy to find a new one, considering this is like the 5th time it's happened to me over the years. Anyway, my coursework will thank me for the quit
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bogrim View Post
    "Casual" doesn't mean "easy". A casual player is a player with limited time span. If a hardcore raider became a father and had to limit his playing time to a few hours a week, would you think trivial content is the target goal to entertain this player?
    Within the casual group there is a big portion that want insta gratification though, hence why they both are bunched up by a lot of people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogrim View Post
    A design with casual players in mind has affected and benefited you far more than you realize, so don't cry witch because you look for an easy target to blame. The kind of changes a casual player design brought about was the reduced time it takes to run a dungeon (think about the amount of trash mobs you had to go through in Molten Core vs the amount of trash mobs in an instance like MSV), as well as reduced instance and raid sizes for easier to manage raid events (vanilla: 40 man vanilla raids -> tbc: 25 man raids + a few 10 man raids -> wrath: 25 + 10 man raids but 25 man still better -> cata: all raid sizes equal).
    You assume all those things are actually good, for me you just mentioned some of the things I think Blizzard did wrong evolving the game...you might not like it but dungeons that took 45 minutes ment you had something to do in game, 25 and 10 man being on separate lockouts meant you had more content if you wanted to play a lot, not to mention how epic 40 man raids where, although doubt it would work to go back to 40man raids today so I'll give you that one.

    So no, those changes didn't benefit me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogrim View Post
    It's interesting to notice that WoW reaches its subscription milestone in Wrath, and everything since then has been going downwards---meaning no changes since Wrath has made the WoW player base grow.
    Actually it reached it at the end of TBC already, Wrath sales might have pushed it up a couple of hundred thousand for a month but that's about it, only time after that it's been back to the end of TBC numbers is the month Cata was launched.
  1. Designed's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Crookids View Post
    Punctuation is your friend.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-10 at 02:54 PM ----------



    You're asking WoW to become a niche product. Niche does not perform well on a massive scale. I think they are doing a great job at becoming a jack of all trades with content for everyone while (now) delving back to their roots of challenging and rewarding content.

    If everyone would just wake up and realize the game is ALWAYS growing and not all things you want wont necessarily work and there are things you thought you might not want, but actually enjoy if you give it a try--there wouldn't be so much hate and pecimism. The problem is everyone wants what they want NOW and then when they get it, complain it was too easy to get stripping the essence of reward and uniqueness. I used to think achievements were a waste of time but now I love them. I find too often people are complaining about things just to do so without having any bases to argue or experience to reference. Such as my earlier post proving there is an immense amount of community content that people simply don't acknowledge.

    Get out there, try new things, compete in difficult content, gauge your performance and compare yourself on the plethora of resources which enable you to test your limits.

    These argument remind me of the days of addon threads and dmg meter arguments. People just want to point a figure and complain instead of focusing on how to enjoy themselves and get better.
    How is having a direction the same as a having a niche? Nothing I said remotely resembled me suggesting WoW becoming a niche. I think you need to look up the word. But fyi, niche products can scale. Also, 8.3 million users is not massive scale in technology.

    You have clearly misunderstood all my points and you're stating nonsensical arguments. You're trying to make it look like you're saying something, but you're not. You're making a point that you should be able to find pleasure in everything... duh? You're making a point that the game is growing, who's arguing that the game is not growing? We're speculating how the game is growing. Not whether it's growing or not.

    And for your information, I've never cared about the difficulty of the game. My complains stem from Blizzard eliminating social aspects of the game and raid progression. Don't act like difficulty is the only thing people are complaining about, just because it's the most well known complaint. If you think about it, you're agreeing with me. You're saying too many people are complaining and everyone can't get what they want, which is exactly why I suggested that Blizzard stops listening to users who don't know how to develop games. Blizzard is a professional game developing company, we all know they can create what people want, just look at all of their previous releases.

    "Get out there, try new things, compete in difficult content, gauge your performance and compare yourself on the plethora of resources which enable you to test your limits."
    ^ This has been true since the release of vanilla. I'll explain to you in baby terms, just in case: There's 5 different activities that people enjoy at release of vanilla, 8-10 years later there's 7 activities but they have slightly changed. Players can still explore and try to find pleasure in them, but since they have changed, they might or might not be as pleasurable anymore. It's subjective. People are not arguing that there are no options, people are arguing that the options aren't as enjoyable.
  1. Crookids's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Designed View Post
    How is having a direction the same as a having a niche? Nothing I said remotely resembled me suggesting WoW becoming a niche. I think you need to look up the word. But fyi, niche products can scale. Also, 8.3 million users is not massive scale in technology.

    You have clearly misunderstood all my points and you're stating nonsensical arguments. You're trying to make it look like you're saying something, but you're not. You're making a point that you should be able to find pleasure in everything... duh? You're making a point that the game is growing, who's arguing that the game is not growing? We're speculating how the game is growing. Not whether it's growing or not.

    And for your information, I've never cared about the difficulty of the game. My complains stem from Blizzard eliminating social aspects of the game and raid progression. Don't act like difficulty is the only thing people are complaining about, just because it's the most well known complaint. If you think about it, you're agreeing with me. You're saying too many people are complaining and everyone can't get what they want, which is exactly why I suggested that Blizzard stops listening to users who don't know how to develop games. Blizzard is a professional game developing company, we all know they can create what people want, just look at all of their previous releases.

    "Get out there, try new things, compete in difficult content, gauge your performance and compare yourself on the plethora of resources which enable you to test your limits."
    ^ This has been true since the release of vanilla. I'll explain to you in baby terms, just in case: There's 5 different activities that people enjoy at release of vanilla, 8-10 years later there's 7 activities but they have slightly changed. Players can still explore and try to find pleasure in them, but since they have changed, they might or might not be as pleasurable anymore. It's subjective. People are not arguing that there are no options, people are arguing that the options aren't as enjoyable.
    The first paragraph was for you. The rest, I was speaking generally in the thread. However, I can see where it would seem I was addressing you and for that I apologize. I actually agree with most of your points.

    Nevertheless, a niche is exactly what you are saying. I took the liberty of looking up the word as you demanded and I urge you to read it.
    a : a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted <finally found her niche>

    You are asking the game to find a direction and stick with it. Even on a broad scale, like targeting a specific demographic like 'casual players'--that becomes the game's niche. Even using such a broad example, you can see how a game/genre meant to last can force self limitation. When products become too targeted they lose the possibility of gaining customers and players if they broadened their horizons. You also contradict yourself by saying a niche can grow because that is exactly what WoW has done. It started out being a game for MMO fans by bringing together all the things people loved from titles like EQ and Ultima Online and sprinkled a bit of innovation. Now it has become a game almost any gamer can enjoy, not just a MMO fan.
  1. Orkwuzhere's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    Source please?

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-10 at 11:50 PM ----------



    Old system was totally cookie-cutter indeed. Except some points, you could figure out without actually playing the game. Garbage.
    Actually, it was very easy to mess up your specs with the old tree (thank god for respecs). Just look back at all of the terrible Hunter builds up til the end of BC or the beginning of Wrath (no one really knew how to really play the game up til BC/Wrath out of poopsock raiders/pvp players).

    Both methods force you to pick crappy talents, but there were more garbage talents you just couldn't skip with the old tree. Old school Hunters had to pick from a crappy trap talent that never proc'd or go for some pvp skill that didn't help them....even in pvp...for 2-3 expansions. Then you had left over points that weren't worth using. Rogues and Druids had a lot of terrible talent choices too (Moonkin was still scoffed at til Cata, and Combat dominated Sub for a while).

    I don't miss wasting 2-3 out of 25 points to get a crappy skill like Silencing Shot (I hated this shot on my old Huntard, and again, Hunters had a bunch of terrible talents).
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Thinking that you "waste" points in a talent tree just shows that you are looking at it the wrong way, the choices are not each talent you put in but key once and the "wasted" is the road there representing minor choices.

    While WoW's version of talent trees had it's issues most of them was due to lack of options to chose from and as such the solution would be to introduce more choices, not less. Best game I played so far over the past decade as far as talents goes is Path of Exile which has 120 talent points to spend on over 1300 nodes...now that's choice.
  1. roahn the warlock'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.
    I don't even... The hypocrisy leaks from every pore of this post. 3 hours spent on trash, 3 hours spent in a dungeon with 40 people, you don't even get gold. epic riding was expensive.

    Not really sure what you want, free stuff, or stupid hard stuff. But that's the player base these days. Its too hard -And- too easy
  1. Dolus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vulcanasm View Post
    Rep gating is one of the decisions I consider short-sighted and bad. Great idea for a month. Really bad if the people who lack 20 hours a week are *expected* to do 20 hours a week of *dailies*.

    As for the game engine: What's the last other MMO you played? Because I've only seen one MMO since WoW with worse graphics, and that was 6 years ago (Dark and Light -- you've never heard of it, it was awful and it's gone now). In most recent MMOs -- GW2, Rift, ToRtanic, even AoC -- game visuals on "Low" exceed WoW on "Ultra". The only category where WoW wins is color depth, but that's hard to care about when your game models all look like 80s cartoons.
    The cartoonish nature of WoW has always been their aesthetic. I've played both SWTOR and GW2. Their graphics didn't "exceed" MoP in any area.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq1aXvXhqMI

    Vs...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnKetq8aPI4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feQbXKcDsSc
  1. Nefroz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Binki View Post
    I disagree with that. No flying mounts and no rep tabards are improvement, not step backwards.

    With flying mounts sense of danger is gone, resulting in most boring content ever and people would quit faster than they are quitting now.

    While reputation via dailies is a horrible solution, tabards is even worse solution because it makes reputations meaningless. There should be way to get reputation other than dailies, but not with tabards. Selecting rep for 1 dungeon run per day works great. It wouldn't be an issue at all if valor gear wasn't tied to reputations, which I think it the biggest mistake with new rep grinds.

    I think main problem why WoW is losing players is death of realm communities and social interaction. When WoW was young, it wasn't about most efficient way to reward, it was about having fun with other players. That's what made it successful game. Now its all gone. Game is focused on single player in 90% of content (LFD/LFR counts as single player content because other players are random strangers you'll never see that could as well be replaced with NPCs) and tiny groups on the rest of content.
    Like I said its not a bad thing for our main to go through the content without flying, But when I'm leveling my uptenth alt, the content has been seen, the danger has been felt, and for all intents and purposes I just want my alt to 90 so I can do other content with him. What I'm saying is they screwed up by not COMPROMISING. They did it in wrath, and it worked wonders there (remember the level 80 heirloom that let you fly) even if they added it late in the expac.

    As for rep, regardless of weather the rep from tabards is bad or not is irrelevant. It has been stated previously that if they add a way to do something easier and then take it away the player base feels jipped. This is not inaccurate, which is why I personally think they should just meet us halfway. Let some of the lower tier reps be Dungeonable (like golden lotus), but let Like shado-pan and stuff require dailies. Vanity reps, say for the dragon riding skill should be daily only as well. I would see no issue with the rep from dungeons being capped at the limit you would get from doing dailies either.

    As far as the dungeon finder being the cause, I also disagree. Especially for low pop realms. I remember a time when it took hours to get a group to go dungeon running, and even then you would still play with people who either are new too the game or are so bad it makes your brain hurt. This is NOT a healthy model for a game of WoW's size. What I will say is this, The DF and LFR SHOULD group you with people from your own realm as a priority over other realms, but it shouldn't be forced too.

    It started way before that, back towards the end of Wrath when they started to cater more and more to a more casual crowd that wanted any and all conveniences, so the player base changed and now the very same casual players can "finish" the game in a couple of weeks and unsubscribe to move on to the flavor of the month MMO and complete that while they wait for new content to be added.

    Blizzard mostly did this to them selfs by discarding one player base for a larger but more fickle one.
    Wrath was the ultimate compromise, wrath was when casuals got to play the game, while there was still elitist content. As such wrath was the expac with the best numbers. Flip to Cata, Cata was Blizzard catering to the most fickle player on the game the special snowflake or the elitist, not the silent elitist mind you, but the wannabe's that cover both forums here and there. Everything was a jump in difficulty for lower end content, While for me this was not a bad thing as I was capable of handling the content with my guild. I could see how it would have been alienating to players who only played for a few hours a week, and then looked what happened, the subscriptions dropped like a rock, and blizzard rushed out the rest of the expac making it a terrible mess save for Ragnaros which was the best encounter in the whole expac.

    Now jump to panda, we are back to the wrath model on dungeons oh look subscribers jumped up a bit! Wait we are going backwards with grinding because the elitist think that our grind needs to be like BC, oh hello our subs are going down again. Sad to say elitists only take up a small percent the so called casual plays much much more, but as always I've been a fan of compromise, and when blizzard did its compromising the game was the healthiest its ever been. It's not difficult to figure out.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is Neither side is wrong or right, and that just means we should comprimise.
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nefroz View Post
    Wrath was the ultimate compromise, wrath was when casuals got to play the game, while there was still elitist content. As such wrath was the expac with the best numbers.
    Again it wasn't, just the start, TBC was the best expansion numbers wise, Wrath maintained it well though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefroz View Post
    Now jump to panda, we are back to the wrath model on dungeons oh look subscribers jumped up a bit! Wait we are going backwards with grinding because the elitist think that our grind needs to be like BC, oh hello our subs are going down again. Sad to say elitists only take up a small percent the so called casual plays much much more, but as always I've been a fan of compromise, and when blizzard did its compromising the game was the healthiest its ever been. It's not difficult to figure out.
    It's not comparable in any way shape or form though, vanilla and TBC was linear expansions, Wrath and beyond has been segmented, it's two very different designs where my personal preference is the linear that allows for hard to reach goals far off in the distance motivating your game play, segmented leaves you with the feeling of "why bother" especially when coupled with gradual nerfs in an effort to transform difficulty settings into "content"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefroz View Post
    I guess what I'm trying to say is Neither side is wrong or right, and that just means we should comprimise.
    I don't disagree, there are some major design issues where Blizzard has given at least half the arm though and now they can't take it back. What killed the game most for me was the changes to raids making 10 and 25 share lockout and making them "equal" as it removed lots of content and the nerfs mentioned above that only really benefit players craving insta gratification or free loots.

    That and LFD/LFR hate both with every fiber of my being and if I could go back and uninvent them I would in a heartbeat, sadly it's to late now as it's to convenient to take back.
  1. Dukenukemx's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nobodysbaby View Post
    I think the neglect regarding some classes and speccs has a lot to do with some quitting the game. Players simply get tired of waiting for attention and fixes that should've been done perhaps years ago.
    This does have a lot to do with a lot of players quitting. Take for example Retribution Paladins. Reached their peak in WOTLK, and then just went down hill from there. Websites like www.retpaladin.com are now dead.

    I know it's a single spec out of a single class, but as developers you can't neglect any classes specs. Cause for a lot of people, they only play that class and that spec. Otherwise people quit. Can't handle that many classes and specs to balance? Then don't make new classes in the game to balance.
  1. babak's Avatar
    Blizzard Entertainment is legally restricted from doing business in certain countries, including Iran and Syria. As a result, our Battle.net website and games do not permit connection from those countries. If you had a recurring subscription, it has been removed.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    goodbye blizzard !
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by babak View Post
    Blizzard Entertainment is legally restricted from doing business in certain countries, including Iran and Syria. As a result, our Battle.net website and games do not permit connection from those countries. If you had a recurring subscription, it has been removed.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    goodbye blizzard !
    Sad times, that is one thing you can't blame Blizzard for though as they are just following the law.
  1. ZyngaFail's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dolus View Post
    The cartoonish nature of WoW has always been their aesthetic. I've played both SWTOR and GW2. Their graphics didn't "exceed" MoP in any area.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq1aXvXhqMI

    Vs...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnKetq8aPI4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feQbXKcDsSc
    The guy in the GW2 video is playing on lowest settings.

    I know you want to justify why you keep playing WoW, but please don't try to mislead people.
  1. Silza's Avatar
    Ok, now ban all the boters and you'll have 5m left. Will never happen right? Greedy Blizzard.
  1. Zaflis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ZyngaFail View Post
    The guy in the GW2 video is playing on lowest settings.

    I know you want to justify why you keep playing WoW, but please don't try to mislead people.
    No he's right, WoW gives better graphical experience than GW2 does. Smooth, interactive counts to that aswell. Big combats in GW2 lag as hell, not in WoW. GW2 uses like Arial font in everything As unprofessional as most eastern MMO's. And don't let me get started on combat, gameplay, PvP and all that... Even the character customization is actually non-existent compared to many other games.

    WoW has a ton more value than GW2 does, but i'm still unsubbed, why?
    - As they say themselves, players consume content too fast. Blizz made it that way themselves by making everything dumb easy. Lower the difficulty - make stupid mistakes not matter - flood the community with skilless players.
    - 13 euro a month is too much.
    - Resilience stat in PvP, why the f--k do they want to distinct PvE and PvP gear? There should only be 1 generalized gear stats. Most people want to enjoy ALL the content, not just 1 aspect of it.
    - Only 2 custom specs screws over all druids, paladins, priests and what else. I don't have dualspec just because of talents and glyphs, it's because it changes my keybindings and actionbars for optimized task aswell. I don't want triple spec, i want a N-spec.
  1. Sturmbringe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dolus View Post
    The cartoonish nature of WoW has always been their aesthetic. I've played both SWTOR and GW2. Their graphics didn't "exceed" MoP in any area.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq1aXvXhqMI

    Vs...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnKetq8aPI4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feQbXKcDsSc
    I beg to differ.

    SWTOR's graphics are awesome when played at 1920X1080 ULTRA and so lifelike, that I sometimes found myself fooled that I was actually inside a real world. Tattoine looks almost real. WoW is very far behind SWTOR in graphics as it should be expected, because WoW's engine is now almost 10 years old.





  1. Dingolicious's Avatar
    Consider another -1 subscriber next quarter. Bored again.
  1. Designed's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Crookids View Post
    The first paragraph was for you. The rest, I was speaking generally in the thread. However, I can see where it would seem I was addressing you and for that I apologize. I actually agree with most of your points.

    Nevertheless, a niche is exactly what you are saying. I took the liberty of looking up the word as you demanded and I urge you to read it.
    a : a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted <finally found her niche>

    You are asking the game to find a direction and stick with it. Even on a broad scale, like targeting a specific demographic like 'casual players'--that becomes the game's niche. Even using such a broad example, you can see how a game/genre meant to last can force self limitation. When products become too targeted they lose the possibility of gaining customers and players if they broadened their horizons. You also contradict yourself by saying a niche can grow because that is exactly what WoW has done. It started out being a game for MMO fans by bringing together all the things people loved from titles like EQ and Ultima Online and sprinkled a bit of innovation. Now it has become a game almost any gamer can enjoy, not just a MMO fan.
    " a specialized but profitable corner of the market: [ as modifier ] : important new niche markets."

    I never said they should target a user base... I said they should have a clear direction in whatever they're doing. I think they should just build a cool game and players will find something to do. Just to prove my point further, I had way more fun as a casual in vanilla than I did in second half of Cata and MoP. Before = they were just building amazing games. Now = they're trying to cater to everyone. Before = I had more fun, both as a casual and as a hardcore raider. Now = I don't have as much fun as either.
  1. theWocky's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dolus View Post
    The cartoonish nature of WoW has always been their aesthetic. I've played both SWTOR and GW2. Their graphics didn't "exceed" MoP in any area.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq1aXvXhqMI

    Vs...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnKetq8aPI4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feQbXKcDsSc
    Why do you guys keep hammering this point? There is no shame in the game being 8 years old and having "ok", but not spectacular graphics? Those videos are very misleading.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2XcrWTHguI

    There - check that out for a more fair comparison - also, please note that there is video compression on, so the games actually all look a little better.

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