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. Magemaer's Avatar
    Blizzard used to be the golden boy of gaming industry.
    These days are long gone.
    Broken dreams, shattered memories.
  1. someotherguy's Avatar
    Eight million is still exceptionally good.
    The trend sucks, but doesn't the game have the most players out of paid-subscription games?
    Going F2P will get you more players, but they might not login, and may ruin it for those who pay for it now.
    Plus they got now things in blizz store that they didn't have in tbc/vanilla, like pets, etc - which also make money. I wonder how their revenue now compares to the highest point, if those people who still play compensate for lost players in items bought.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Magemaer View Post
    Blizzard used to be the golden boy of gaming industry.
    These days are long gone.
    Broken dreams, shattered memories.
    How do you define who is the golden boy and who isn't?
  1. Hollow Vamp's Avatar
    dailies are fun they said, thats what people want to do for a living they said
  1. jbombard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sensa View Post
    A 1.3 million loss of subscribers, mostly in the East (Asia), can only be considered a colossal failure when you consider that the theme of the entire expansion was a blatant attempt to appeal to Asian gamers, in the first place, and prevent exactly what has occurred...snip...
    Actually no. People play fantasy games, because they are ... fantasy. Asian themes appeal more to westerners than to asians. Unlike castles, which most people don't really get to see very often, temples much like you see in asian themed games are very much a common sight in Asia to this very day. So while westerners think the architecture is super cool, asians are pretty ho-hum about it. Not to mention that there are tons of F2P asian themed games in asia for people who like the comfort of a familiar environment, but the asians playing WoW were probably not looking for that flavor when they chose WoW in the first place.
  1. FixDestruNow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Hollow Vamp View Post
    dailies are fun they said, thats what people want to do for a living they said
    They actually did say that =) hehe Guess the mighty Blizzard God was wrong about that one.
  1. Illuminance's Avatar
    Less engagement by casual players? Wonder why O_o Will be interesting to see if this has any effect on their design decisions.
  1. Dreadnor's Avatar
    I think I've said all of this before, but any time that the Subscriptions for WoW drop, we see the same exact conversations arise from the community. History repeats itself, time, and time again.

    With any size drop of WoW's subscriptions comes the mix of a large variety of feedback and opinions. A lot of people feel like it's a stage for them to walk up to a mic and say, "Yea, it's because of X, Y, and Z that the subscriptions dropped," and then for others it is an opportunity to talk down to Blizzard Entertainment.

    The first thing that is worth mentioning is that no, World of Warcraft is not "dying," at least, not in the way that you may be thinking (the end is near, the end is near!). Every game begins aging the moment it is released, even the very best games ever created. Lots of online games do experience decay over time until a steady line. I remember when CStrike was the craze, but no the servers aren't nearly as full as they used to be.

    8.3 million subscriptions worldwide is still an absolutely amazing feat, something that I don't think any other MMORPG has even touched, even in their hay day. WoW came November 2004. 2004!! We're nearing the 9 month anniversary of the game, and it still has 8.3 million subscriptions!

    But still, as positive it sounds to say and hear, "We're doing good for a 9 year old game," it's not the right attitude to be taken by the company. Blizzard will set our expectations higher, and allow WoW's fanbase to grow instead of settling, or shrinking.

    The Dev team has much more things to do as Blizzard will look to continue to rejuvenate the game. Mists of Pandaria has provided launches of content going faster than it ever has in the past. We are nearing the end of MoP, and a whole new expansion is in the horizon. New bosses, new quests, new stories. New technologies. Who knows what kind of features are there to be paired with releases?

    I have faith that those subscriptions, whoever they are, wherever they are, can but re-won through not only WoW's strong development team, but through Blizzard's future games. I'm looking forward to the future.
  1. Sphexy's Avatar
    Although I just cancelled my subscription last week and considered myself a casual player for the past year or so... I really hope they make the game how it once was. For the hardcore players. Stop catering to lazy people.
  1. jbombard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    How do you define who is the golden boy and who isn't?
    Not sure what he meant, but I would say they had this aura that they could do no wrong, could not fail. Granted a somewhat unrealistic expectation to start with, but that image was pretty much shattered when they screwed the pooch with D3(not sales wise, design wise) and Cataclysm.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jbombard View Post
    Not sure what he meant, but I would say they had this aura that they could do no wrong, could not fail. Granted a somewhat unrealistic expectation to start with, but that image was pretty much shattered when they screwed the pooch with D3(not sales wise, design wise) and Cataclysm.
    it is not true to say the least. Blizzard has a long history of releasing a product which is "awsum" but unfinished and polishing it up through expansions and patches. D2 and SC1 are the prime example. Everyone simply forgot how they were at the start. Also, one of their projects went wrong and was simply aborted.
  1. OneSent's Avatar
    When I first purchased World of Warcraft back in January of 2007, the box that it came in said "Over 7 Million Online!".

    That's 1.3 million LESS than we have today and in my honest opinion, the game was much, much better back when it had only 7 million.

    Just because the game once had over 10 million players does not mean that it is failing with every decline in subscription numbers. I personally think the game got too bloated with the wrong crowd and having it return to 7 million would be a good thing overall.
  1. jbombard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    it is not true to say the least. Blizzard has a long history of releasing a product which is "awsum" but unfinished and polishing it up through expansions and patches. D2 and SC1 are the prime example. Everyone simply forgot how they were at the start. Also, one of their projects went wrong and was simply aborted.
    Didn't say it was true, nobody is perfect, but Blizzard and Bioware were the only 2 companies I could 100% trust in the past. I can't speak for anyone else but they felt like companies that cared more about the customer than just making money. I just don't feel that anymore and sadly both of those have been removed from the list. Which simply means I have to do a better job of screening which games I buy instead of "If it's Blizzard, you know it's going to be good"
  1. Magemaer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jbombard View Post
    Not sure what he meant, but I would say they had this aura that they could do no wrong, could not fail. Granted a somewhat unrealistic expectation to start with, but that image was pretty much shattered when they screwed the pooch with D3(not sales wise, design wise) and Cataclysm.
    Yea they had this aura. Simply because they had a 15 years streak of incredibly game with a lot of depth and quality. I'm talking about Warcraft 2, Diablo, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Warcraft 3 and WoW, and all them expansions bless 'em.

    After cata and d3 we realized blizz no longer knows wtf they're doing. The evil starts in the roots, the very game design. Or is it the dumb+greedy approach since activision merge? Idk.

    @Tomana d3 should have been aborted too. They lacked the balls and decency to do it this time however.
  1. jbombard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by OneSent View Post
    When I first purchased World of Warcraft back in January of 2007, the box that it came in said "Over 7 Million Online!".

    That's 1.3 million LESS than we have today and in my honest opinion, the game was much, much better back when it had only 7 million.

    Just because the game once had over 10 million players does not mean that it is failing with every decline in subscription numbers. I personally think the game got too bloated with the wrong crowd and having it return to 7 million would be a good thing overall.
    Yeah, but there is no guarantee it would be the 7 million players you like. Even if they reverted exactly to how the game was then, player expectations have evolved in tandem with the gaming industry as a whole, and people expect more than they did then, and act differently than they did then as well.
  1. FixDestruNow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by OneSent View Post
    When I first purchased World of Warcraft back in January of 2007, the box that it came in said "Over 7 Million Online!".

    That's 1.3 million LESS than we have today and in my honest opinion, the game was much, much better back when it had only 7 million.

    Just because the game once had over 10 million players does not mean that it is failing with every decline in subscription numbers. I personally think the game got too bloated with the wrong crowd and having it return to 7 million would be a good thing overall.
    Well since it was a total different game back then compared to now I can only agree with you. But I don´t see how the game will be better now if it drops to 7 million again?
  1. Lucarocks92's Avatar
    Serves them right for releasing 3 fail expansions in a row. This is what happens when you cater to the bad/casual players. Players have no targets any more all the content is consumed in LFR and people dont have the motivation to kill the same boss 3 times on different difficulties.
  1. THoyt's Avatar
    I'm pretty sure Blizzard could get by with just a few million subs, I wouldn't imagine this as a "thing", and definitely not a trend. I am with the others though, Blizzard don't need to really change anything, just keep doing what they are doing... I doubt another "BC" or the like would get players back... look at the big picture, they don't really need to -- (cough, upcoming mmo)
  1. sgt's Avatar
    I think ppls switching to heartstone lololololol
  1. Dequanacus's Avatar
    I'm not noticing any less people playing than when it was at it's peak.

    Did anyone actually read this? Most of the decline in subscribers came from China.

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