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. Nexsa's Avatar
    I guess this is it. It's the end.. Had to happen some time. 8 million subs is hardly anything compared to what the other MMOs have right now, that are new and fresh.. Oh wait, this is an 8 year old game with Over 8 mil subs. Guess it's not quite dead after all.
  1. TCceen's Avatar
    This information has little to do with whether or not someone should or can still enjoy the game. Like ANY activity in the real world, if you do it with others you enjoy the company of, you will always have fun. I heard at one time, people used to take a ball and throw it to another person! Sounds terrrribly boring and trite to me, but then again if my roomy and my bf were also doing it I might join in!
  1. Algearond's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by eldritchforeshadow View Post
    I don't care how many are playing the game, as long as they don't shut it down and turn off the lights lol.
    My stance, although I will say their are more glaring issues with WoW at this point then ever before, and since they don't want to fix them, well, expect this too be the norm.
  1. Meleti's Avatar
    Europe isn't doing so well, but it's a stretch to talk about "the global economy" being so incredibly dire. Africa, South America, and Asia are doing quite fine. Australia's doing fantastic.
  1. Ecwfrk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Galrauch View Post
    If you think this game is "improving" you are completely delusional
    It is improving. WoW today is far and away better in virtually every tangible respect than Vanilla or TBC was.

    But it's also aging.
    WoW's aging has increased the perception that "if you haven't been playing from the beginning, it's not worth playing". And perception is everything.
    The vast majority of new (or returning) players aren't going to want spend hours every day for months doing Ogri'La dailys, the Argent Tournament, old heroics and raids, etc to gain access to all the possible tranmog items, battle pets, mounts, achievements and other stuff long time WoW players have gained access to through normal gameplay over the years. And not having ready access to that stuff, even though it's technically available to them, makes many people feel left out to the point it "feels" better to play new game where they can be in at the beginning, even if that game isn't as polished as WoW's current content is.

    But there's numerous other games around that do well with only a tiny fraction of WoW's numbers. Remember that Everquest was considered a major Sony cash cow and a fantastic success when it peaked around 500k subs and in the pre-Alpha days Blizz stated their original hope with WoW was to someday reach that level of success.
    As long as we're still talking about subs being in the millions, WoW is still in excellent shape.
  1. Frozenbeef's Avatar
    still pretty good, especially due to being half way through an expansion :P As usual it will pick up right before the next expansion then drop down again after release..it's kind of inevitable for any game 0o
  1. Osmeric's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aang View Post
    I have a Ph.D. in CS; I know what an exponential is. The growth wasn't exponential.

    I never said that the the sub increase was smaller or larger, I was saying that it was increasing until mid WOTLK-ish.
    You wrote: "I think the release of WOTLK was the biggest increase Blizzard had ever seen."
  1. regardoz's Avatar
    *********** EVERYONE MUST READ IT !!!!! READ IT !!! READ IT !!! READ IT !!!! READ IT !!!! ************************************

    im not happy , but it really normal and expect that they will get down because the MOP suck things, i mean, atleast the cataclysm make us feeling some different feel , wotlk suck but atleast it make a feel of lich king , bc, vanilla , no need to talk , anyway the true is

    THAT BLIZZARD NEED THE OLD SCHOOLING TO GET THE FUN BACK , WE GOT BORING FROM THE NEW CHANGING THAT JUST NOT MAKE A FUN , LFR , LFG TELEPORT , AND THE BAD BALANCE AND NOT SKILL

    FOR EXAMPLE : You got kill from a bot , and u have a skill but he have just to click on some abilities and have a gear

    MASSEGE TO FIX IT : BRING BACK SKILL AND OLD PLAYERS THAT HAVE ''Experience'' Of wow , AND BRING THE SKILL ,AND IF U WANNA MAKE ANOTHER EXPANSION , MAKE IT LIKE LV 85 FAST AND FUN LVLING , AND DON'T MAKE IT LV 95 BECAUSE NEW PLAYERS WILL SEE IT BORING TO LVL FROM 1 TO 95 THEY WILL SAY (its so long) , SORRY FOR CAPS
  1. Cows For Life's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Leitka View Post
    Do not mistake 'global economy' for 'american economy.'

    The global economy was affected by the drop in the American economy with aftershock effects felt globally *following* the American crash. Those aftershocks are still in effect, though there is improvement in certain locations. We're still in recovery-mode at the end of the day, economically.
    What's with the American subs then? Economy has been recovering for a while. The economy argument is vastly overplayed.
  1. Sajek's Avatar
    1.3m loss is big, 8.3m left is also big but ya, several factors in that I guess but the game is definately not yet "small" but I'd agree sever mergers here and there can only improve life for all involved and increase the activity. I came back to wow a couple months ago and will admit that now that I'm casual I benefit from the easy "push this button to queue for a raid" or I can do a zillion dailies, or scenarios (I like those actually), or pvp etc... but somehow, things have felt less and less epic each expansion.

    I guess I play because I'm bored and have some friends there but we're all casuals (I used to be a hardcore raider, in a top 100 guild but it killed me). In any case, I understand why they dumbed down everything to make content accessible to everyone but you know, that made all the content feel significantly less special. There's no drive to seeing content anymore, it's all about gear. I remember gearing up and perfecting my gameplay to access the new content, now I get gear these days (LFR since I'm casual) but I wonder to myself a lot these days of why I do it....why do I need gear anyway? Won't help me do a darn thing. Such is the way of things lately.

    MoP feels too friendly to me too, I don't buy into the whole story I guess. You look at the world and you see Sha this and Sha that and some Mogu milling about but it doesn't feel like I'm saving the world in any way if I complete the content....I play and do what I can I guess maybe I need to slow down as many NPC's tell me to do.

    - Pandas to me kiddified things too much
    - Pet battles though I do them, I have no idea why since it's silly! But hey, I'm guilty.
    - The farm....wha?
    - Dailies...ok wow how many can you put in there?
    - Everything is queue-able, as a consequence social aspects got destroyed. I remember pugs being formed or even gdkp groups or otherwise getting established etc...trade chat was active and you got to make friends even as a casual if you just made a small amount of effort in trying things. Maybe some pugs were horrible but do you think the LFR pugs are that much better really?

    Many disagree of course and I'd expect that, not everyone looks for the same thing in their gaming experience but when endgame content becomes no longer special, that bugs me a lot. I've seen all the game has to offer, I have little to strive for compared to before. Real life analogy is if everyone drove a Ferrari, would a Ferrari still be special? Not really, we'd all be impressed when we saw a mini van going down the road since it's so rare.
  1. pluuv's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by regardoz View Post
    *********** EVERYONE MUST READ IT !!!!! READ IT !!! READ IT !!! READ IT !!!! READ IT !!!! ************************************

    im not happy , but it really normal and expect that they will get down because the MOP suck things, i mean, atleast the cataclysm make us feeling some different feel , wotlk suck but atleast it make a feel of lich king , bc, vanilla , no need to talk , anyway the true is

    THAT BLIZZARD NEED THE OLD SCHOOLING TO GET THE FUN BACK , WE GOT BORING FROM THE NEW CHANGING THAT JUST NOT MAKE A FUN , LFR , LFG TELEPORT , AND THE BAD BALANCE AND NOT SKILL

    FOR EXAMPLE : You got kill from a bot , and u have a skill but he have just to click on some abilities and have a gear

    MASSEGE TO FIX IT : BRING BACK SKILL AND OLD PLAYERS THAT HAVE ''Experience'' Of wow , AND BRING THE SKILL ,AND IF U WANNA MAKE ANOTHER EXPANSION , MAKE IT LIKE LV 85 FAST AND FUN LVLING , AND DON'T MAKE IT LV 95 BECAUSE NEW PLAYERS WILL SEE IT BORING TO LVL FROM 1 TO 95 THEY WILL SAY (its so long) , SORRY FOR CAPS
    oh my are you all right
  1. Tommo's Avatar
    Does this mean they will finally merge servers so that World of No players within a 5000yard radius-craft will feel like an actual MMO ?
  1. Desaris's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pluuv View Post
    oh my are you all right
    I agree 100%
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pluuv View Post
    oh my are you all right
    Doesn't look that way.
  1. Buck-Shot's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by schwank05 View Post
    Totally expected this. Thought it would be more than 7.5m. WOW is getting worse with each expansion. and execting someone new to pickup the game and have the terrible leveling experience in front of them, I don't see how it can possibly get any larger.

    Worse each expansion maybe to you... But please tell what you could do to change things and can what you suggest bring back and MAINTAIN a strong numbers of subs?

    The big picture here is that this MMO have had the best sub maintenance ever and will neverbe topped again because sub-mmo's are a dying breed. Blizz knows this so the best they can to is maintain or care for who still pays and watch the sub numbers dwindle at a slower rate than mmo in the past have experience...

    If blizz really wanted high number of players again they would open the flood gates to F2p all content and then the other f2p mmo will once again squeal because in all honesty there is just a handful of f2p games that will get support free or not.

    Personally i didn't want WoW to get that big because i know what mmo being big can bring after crowd has moved on, but oh well..
  1. Falco Lombardi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Osmeric View Post
    I have a Ph.D. in CS; I know what an exponential is. The growth wasn't exponential.



    You wrote: "I think the release of WOTLK was the biggest increase Blizzard had ever seen."
    I think it may have been if measured in a short period of time. I'm not going to argue with you considering you do have PHD in CS, fair enough, you sound far more qualified therefore you probably have a more educated and enlightened view than I do. (I'm not being sarcastic)
  1. Leitka's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Meleti View Post
    Europe isn't doing so well, but it's a stretch to talk about "the global economy" being so incredibly dire. Africa, South America, and Asia are doing quite fine. Australia's doing fantastic.
    Hyperbole. no one said it was "incredibly dire."
    Some regions economies are improving, some are destabilizing, altogether the worlds economy is *still* in a worse place than it was when the game was released and rising.

    If Europe not doing well can't indicate the economy 'being dire', then the places you listed doing fine cannot indicate that it is 'doing fantastic.' Regardless, the economy is an important factor and cannot be ignored. Nor can the snapshot-effect of accounts that subscribe-unsub with content releases.

    My only point is and was that you should not read too much into a number like this. Read it for what it is. Do not try to extrapolate broad 'meaning' from it, because you will find only what you want to find. This thread is a testament to that. This isn't important data for anyone other than Blizzard, in the end.
  1. Arganaut's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Blur4stuff View Post
    doesn't matter how great the game is. it's going to decline. all of these reasons people are coming up with about how WoW is bad are just silly.

    they could put out one fantastic patch after another and it's going to burn out and fade away eventually
    Yeah, empires rise and fall and WOW peaked a couple of expansions ago. It's about subscriber retention coupled with gaining fresh players and its clear WOW is at a juncture where it has issues with both. The degree of loss is still quite alarming but I personally don't think MOP is bad. I think there are certain elements that folks don't like but I like to think the Blizz team learn from their errors and will hit back stronger. There is acknowledgement that the game is not easy for new starters, I can't imagine starting from level 1 on a new account! The big concern of all is with each subscription loss the blame is placed on a decline in Asia. I just really hope the Blizz team aren't ignoring the feedback from the player base of elements of the game that are bad ATM, but like I say, they do listen.

    MOP has been a very reactionary ex-pac and lacking in consistency. A patch doesn't seem to go by without major changes in design.
  1. Osmeric's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aang View Post
    I think it may have been if measured in a short period of time.
    That's true of any well-behaved positive-valued function.
  1. mjolnir1122's Avatar
    Theres one huge point that I think all of the "WoW is too ez modes now" groupies are missing.

    One of the main reasons I hear people have quit is because "Theres too many dailies!" or "It takes too long to hit 90!". Bullshit. Compared to Cata, they really raised the bar on difficulty. Regardless if you think dailies are boring, or if there are just too many of them, the point is you actually have to put in the work to get the reward. Don't hide behind the facade of it's not hard enough when the truth is you just don't want to put in the effort, you want everything to be handed to you like it was in Cata. Look at the special quest mobs too, you can't just walk in there and kill them anymore, for some you need to actually pop CD's and avoid certain mechanics. You can't just fly from one spot to another and avoid any possible danger on the way there.

    I'm so tired of people pinning the blame on blizzard when they just gave you exactly what you all asked for. It may not have been in the way you were all used to, but the fact is that the challenge is there, you've just gotten so used to shit being so ridiculously easy that you don't want to admit it.

    As for the actual subs loss, yeah that's' a pretty big blow. But seriously, check out the gold buying sites, they're hurting. Ever since they started saying how the most subs lost were in the east I started keeping tabs on the gold buying prices after these conference calls and guess what? I've seen around a 15-30% increase in price from the start of the expansion up until now. 20k gold used to go for roughly about 15-20 bucks, it's now 35 bucks, and alot of the sites don't even have gold in stock on many of the servers. Despite what people may think about them using "the east" as an excuse, the proof is there. For the prices to go up that much, something must be cutting into their ability to farm the gold. Also remember that those 1.3 million subs are across several different regions. I haven't seen much of a difference on either of the 2 servers I play on, and neither on many of the other servers my friends play on. I would bet money that a vast majority of those subs came from gold buyers getting shut down and the severe burnout that they're probably feeling at this point with the double lockout shit.

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