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. Monstercloud's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tzalix View Post
    So they go back to reputation which people have been asking for since forever
    Um....what?

    Pretty sure there were reputation grinds in Cata too, and some of those were essential to raiding throughout the expansion. Not to the extent of being tied to dailies w/ a fixed amount of rep per day.. but they were there.
  1. Mormolyce's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
    The main problem is that there is no design direction. All decisions come down to knee-jerks to cater to the loudest group. They try this, try that, don't learn from their mistakes, etc.
    If you knew anything about this game you'd know that's not true. They haven't stubbornly refused to change for 9 years, no. They've tried new things. Some worked and some didn't, but between in-game developments and dev posts like the one you quoted, it's abundantly clear that they have learned from every one.

    And they're quite conservative about the game design, frankly.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 07:02 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Monstercloud View Post
    Um....what?

    Pretty sure there were reputation grinds in Cata too, and some of those were essential to raiding throughout the expansion. Not to the extent of being tied to dailies w/ a fixed amount of rep per day.. but they were there.
    People DID ask for reputations and factions to matter more. I remember that.

    Not that Blizzard only does things because people ask for them... they also do things because they think it's the right thing for the game.
  1. Iseeyou's Avatar
    Blizzard expects to have less subscribers at the end of the year than they do today.

    Oh yeah they are right. Wildstarr ll drain so much WoW players. Way more than GW2 + NW combined

    I guess WoW ll loose another 2M By the start of 2014, just because of Wildstar.

    New Xbox and Ps4 ll also drain tad lot. So wouldnt be surprise if WoW have 4M Sub in 2014.

    I def lost my faith in blizz as they ruined D3 (Totally) and CATA-MOP was terrible. A new xpac with imba content is requiered for WoW to survive in 2014.

    Going to sell my wow acc before the end of the year to pay a next gen console lol.

    Sell now guys.

    Wow was fun, heil to Wow
  1. Vulcanasm's Avatar
    What I think the problems are: (Ranked from most to least significant)

    • It's been out 8 years.
    • Player models have needed updating 4+ years. Graphics engine needs an overhaul. Can't compete with visual appeal of new games.
    • No new player retention. Two major reasons: (a) Cataclysm turned WoW from sandbox to rail-rider; (b) 7 years of "innovations" that discourage all social interaction, when most new gamers start as social gamers. Social gamers who make no friends in WoW ... leave.
    • Developers so nearsighted/insular that their thinking is cult-like. Majority of development seems to be content most never see: (hard mode) raids. No amount of lost subscribers convinces them WoW's big draw was never raids. No major new "things to do" since arenas.
    • Highly toxic community, e.g. thinks "casual" is a dirty word, but "casual" means "anyone who puts in less effort or fewer hours than me".
    • Developers embraced the fallacious idea that easy can't be fun. WoW's popularity skyrocketed in BC, but it became much easier. It peaked in WOTLK, when normal mode raids got pugged while current. "WOTLK raids were too easy", says the Cataclysm team, and they lose more subscribers than most MMOs ever had. You'd almost think there was a correlation between accessibility and subscribers ...
    • MoP is two clumsily cobbled, disparate games: a pleasant, casual-friendly leveling game, and Raid or Die! The Sequel. The middle ground where they meet is a graveyard of short-sighted, bad decisions.
    • PVP balance changes are too little, too late. Five years too late. The best PVPers left no later than Cataclysm. Thanks, Mages.
    • Ham-handed 5.3 PVP re-gear shows total ignorance of human nature -- if gear lacks everyday utility, who needs it? If your car outperforms a Ferrari everywhere except one race track, do you buy the Ferrari?
    • Developers, and many players, think good players attract players. Yet there are more ways to see good players than ever (e.g. twitch), and players have raised the bar continuously from vanilla. So, if that's true, why'd 1.8 million up and leave?
  1. danawhitaker's Avatar
    I won't be back. The pace of new content combined with the time investment of said content got to be too much for me. I had a few fun years, but I've learned after my experience with WoW that MMORPGs no longer fit my lifestyle. There was a time where it *was* possible to really balance having a family and other commitments with playing the game. Unless they made massively drastic changes, those days are gone. I never got more than one character to 90, the daily grind was endless, progression was slogged down by everyone else in my guild being in the same boat. Our guild slowly disintegrated after launch. Their assertion that people are unsubscribing because they run out of things to do isn't entirely accurate. They're not accounting for people who can't keep pace at all anymore and who just threw up their hands and walked away. I'd just rather mess around on Pogo, or play console games. I can play those and walk away when I need to and still make adequate progress without worrying about the content being ripped out from under me or changed on the fly. Wrath for me was the pinnacle of balance in terms of fun and difficulty. It started sliding downhill in Cataclysm, and in the build-up to that because they started removing so many things from the old world that I'd always wanted to do. I got into a grind-grind-grind cycle with getting that old world stuff out of the way and then once Cata launched it just felt like a non-stop grind cycle, except with dungeons that were ridiculously more difficult to do. There was still enough other stuff to do to keep my interest though, and eventually our guild managed to work through that and raid. We never recovered in MoP though.
  1. Tott3's Avatar
    And here's most likely the reason: http://www.osnews.com/story/26885/Ub...stem_for_China
  1. draykorinee's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sargerus View Post
    out of curiosity, what are GW2 number of players? i know SWTOR have over 2 million
    Its completely irrelevant, its B2P, people can pull numbers like 4 million out but what is the actual player base is not answerable because there are no subscriptions. Out of 4 of my friends who bought it, we've averaged about 40 hours each since release, units sold is not an indictment of the actual players.
  1. WyriHaximus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tott3 View Post
    Last time I checked wow ran just fine under Linux. (Although it's been a few years.)
  1. Cybran's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormolyce View Post
    If you knew anything about this game you'd know that's not true. They haven't stubbornly refused to change for 9 years, no. They've tried new things. Some worked and some didn't, but between in-game developments and dev posts like the one you quoted, it's abundantly clear that they have learned from every one.

    And they're quite conservative about the game design, frankly
    They make changes for the sake of changes. Look at the raiding model. They decided to equalize 10 and 25 mans and destroyed 25 mans in the process. They wanted to give people something to do, but they didn't improve their traditional gameplay elements like quests and dungeons. They just made dailies tiresome fillers content designed to gate and dungeons redundant.

    Instead of correcting their mistakes with 25 man raiding and hard heroic dungeon content they strayed away with ridiculous new models like LFR and heroic scenarios... The dailies should have been a bonus that rewards non essentials like in TBC. They constantly change stuff for the worse and refuse to acknowledge and reverse that.
  1. Vulcanasm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tott3 View Post
    Throughout WOTLK, I raided on an Ubuntu box that ran World of Warcraft and Ventrilo via. Wine. The only issue was that my microphone didn't always work.
  1. Merp's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zephre View Post
    Don't share your opinion at all sounds like that of a GW2 fanboy trying to bash WoW.

    WoW has it's fair share of crap and upcoming crap (5.3) but the 5.2 raid is one of the best they've made in years.
    Right. Which is basically what the majority on this forum has been saying to anyone who actually made the right criticism to WoW in the last few years. Too bad they were right. If you really care about WoW you should have rather joined the crowd which was telling Blizzard this wasn't the right direction: not enough stuff, too late, too expensive. You are still waiting patch 5.3 eight months after release, 8 months. While paying a monthly fee. That's absurd, really. Other online games receive content patches every single month for free. And no, sorry, WoW hasn't superior quality content. Not anymore, and it has been for quite some time now. In EU and US MoP didn't even sold that much more close if compared to other recent MMOs, and those are now increasing their player base while WoW's is diminishing.

    Wake up call: you should rather strongly raise your voice with Blizzard instead of bashing people who are just pointing to you these simple evidences. If you love WoW you should raise your voice: you should ask for more content, more often, at a cheaper price. Still paying a monthly fee for so little content is honestly absurd in 2013.
    Or you could just bash me as a GW2 fanboy, as usual with anyone who raises criticism. FYI, I played WoW since release, when most of the naysayers here didn't even know about it. And if now so many people gravitate to other games maybe, just maybe, it's simply because they offer quantity and quality. If you don't like this, ask for WoW to become a better game instead of being in denial.

    Don't stick your head in the sand, raise your concerns to Blizzard, loudly. Otherwise you are just going down with the Titanic (not Titan...) while screaming at those who were simply pointing at the obvious iceberg...
  1. Nindayse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by crakerjack View Post
    does anyone else want to admit that MoP was a good expansion or throw out their illogical opinion that we'll look back and say MoP was great... that person, whoever you are... you are wrong. WoW is nothing like it used to be and people are finally realizing that. I'm glad, I really am... no one deserves to make money off of a game when it was amazing and then turned to crap and made into a cash cow. Lets wait for Q2... maybe subs will be under 5 million.
    I doubt it
  1. Arganaut's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by draykorinee View Post
    I was going on holiday and had 2 days to play, generally I dont worry, was just highlighting that before you could run heroics back to back and cap fairly quickly.
    Here folks is part of the problem. The sooner they delivery a way to progress your character without the addicted need for god damn gear the better. The game is plagued by it. It should be part of progression for sure, but its the only avenue, the game is centred around gear grinds each expansion and tier and is getting very boring.
  1. Snowcharm's Avatar
    @Tott3 : WoW runs under Linux using WINE
  1. Dolus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vulcanasm View Post
    What I think the problems are: (Ranked from most to least significant)

    • It's been out 8 years.
    • Player models have needed updating 4+ years. Graphics engine needs an overhaul. Can't compete with visual appeal of new games.
    • No new player retention. Two major reasons: (a) Cataclysm turned WoW from sandbox to rail-rider; (b) 7 years of "innovations" that discourage all social interaction, when most new gamers start as social gamers. Social gamers who make no friends in WoW ... leave.
    • Developers so nearsighted/insular that their thinking is cult-like. Majority of development seems to be content most never see: (hard mode) raids. No amount of lost subscribers convinces them WoW's big draw was never raids. No major new "things to do" since arenas.
    • Highly toxic community, e.g. thinks "casual" is a dirty word, but "casual" means "anyone who puts in less effort or fewer hours than me".
    • Developers embraced the fallacious idea that easy can't be fun. WoW's popularity skyrocketed in BC, but it became much easier. It peaked in WOTLK, when normal mode raids got pugged while current. "WOTLK raids were too easy", says the Cataclysm team, and they lose more subscribers than most MMOs ever had. You'd almost think there was a correlation between accessibility and subscribers ...
    • MoP is two clumsily cobbled, disparate games: a pleasant, casual-friendly leveling game, and Raid or Die! The Sequel. The middle ground where they meet is a graveyard of short-sighted, bad decisions.
    • PVP balance changes are too little, too late. Five years too late. The best PVPers left no later than Cataclysm. Thanks, Mages.
    • Ham-handed 5.3 PVP re-gear shows total ignorance of human nature -- if gear lacks everyday utility, who needs it? If your car outperforms a Ferrari everywhere except one race track, do you buy the Ferrari?
    • Developers, and many players, think good players attract players. Yet there are more ways to see good players than ever (e.g. twitch), and players have raised the bar continuously from vanilla. So, if that's true, why'd 1.8 million up and leave?
    1. There is probably WoW fatigue.

    2. The game engine has been updated (SSAO, etc.). On "ultra" it exceeds the graphics of most MMO games.

    3. There will always be "obnoxious" people in any online community.

    4. As far as quest design, etc... it's open to conjecture. I, personally, found reputation gating obnoxious. I feel the expansion isn't "alt" friendly due to the reputation grinding. If Blizzard put rep tabards back in the game and added a new BG every 5 months.... I feel things might change for the better. Also, they stated subs rocket back up with new PvE content. They'll have to examine content delivery.
  1. Mormolyce's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
    They make changes for the sake of changes. Look at the raiding model. They decided to equalize 10 and 25 mans and destroyed 25 mans in the process.
    What the hell are you talking about? They did that for an extremely important and very obvious reason.

    How many 10m guilds do you see nowadays compared to 25m? Exactly.
  1. Strakha's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tott3 View Post
    been using wow under linux for almost 3 years now, never had a real problem except 1 update that segfaulted game.
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Players consume content faster and subscribe and unsubscribe as new content is added.
    What did they expect when they added a means to log in, queue up in LFR, get carried to victory and feeling of completion...sadly going back to linear progressions and long term goals isn't a possibility anymore due to the spoiled nature of todays MMO gamers.
  1. Merp's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dolus View Post
    2. The game engine has been updated SSAO, etc. On "ultra" it exceeds the graphics of many MMO games.
    Hint: No, it doesn't.

    Sorry, but some people here are really just in denial. And I am sorry, because I loved WoW and played it much more than most of you.
    You should SCREAM with Blizzard for moving faster and eliminating the subscription fee (largely unjustified with so little content released). Instead you claim that WoW "exceeds the graphics of many MMO games"...
    If this is how the playerbase advocates for a better game, this game is clearly doomed...
  1. john duo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zivy View Post
    They need to make guilds more important again... like back when you didn't really get to raid unless you were in a guild and had committed yourself to that guild..
    from where did you come from with that middle ages idea??
    LFR was invented to prevent such human trafficking and raid gating which was in the hands of the GMs/RLs.

    who are those GM/RL ? normal players that pay same fee as you ?
    what you suggest is to bring in game dirty and corrupted real life politics tipical of human beings.

    get ready to sit on the bench for hours or days while seeing your GM selected his friends to raid with him and eventually it will make them better geared which leave you on the bench even longer or without a guild wondering the forums for hours looking for a guild who will accept you with your out dated gear.

    in other words - slavery, and slave masters thats what you are suggesting.

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