MMO-Champion - WoW Down to 7.7 Million Subscribers, Activision Blizzard Purchases Vivendi's Shares
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WoW Down to 7.7 Million Subscribers
Activision Blizzard's press release states that World of Warcraft is down to 7.7 million subscribers. This is a loss of 600,000 subscribers, down from 8.3 million last quarter. A call about the shares purchase will take place on July 26 at 8:30 AM ET, so check back then for any more comments on subscriber numbers. The regular earnings call will take place on Thursday, August 2nd.


Activision Blizzard Purchases Shares From Vivendi
Activision Blizzard is purchasing 429 million shares from Vivendi for $5.8 billion. This purchase is financed with $1.2 billion of cash that was on hand and $4.6 billion of debt proceeds, leaving them with a $1.4 billion of net debt at the end of the deal in September 2013.

An investment group that includes Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly, who put up $100 million together, as well as Tencent and other partners is purchasing 172 million shares for $2.3 billion. This group will own 24.9% of the company and Vivendi will retain ownership of 83 million shares (12%) of the company.
This article was originally published in forum thread: WoW Down to 7.7 Million Subscribers, Activision Blizzard Purchases Vivendi's Shares started by chaud View original post
Comments 447 Comments
  1. Dibbletiki's Avatar
    Nothing ever grows forever. Everything has it's own rise and fall. Not sure why people are surprised.

    Oh, ps, stop saying the game is dying. The game will only die when Blizzard pulls the plug. You will STILL have people playing to the very end. Take a look at Everquest.
  1. Donner's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert3620 View Post
    That's the thing that has pissed me off as well and what's leading me to not re sub when my sub runs out on August 15. Leaving people stuck on dead servers is bs. Blizzard should of either merged servers or offered free transfers off of them long ago.
    Server Merges would be a little bit chaotic with player/guild name changes. So they bringing Virtual Realms in 5.4. I don't see where the problem is exactly?
  1. vision33r's Avatar
    The game today is too much solo and hardly any community and Blizzard encourages you to play solo. Newbies that just signed up get frustrated because they don't understand why people grind and play hard in the past when everything is served on a silver platter. People today don't look up strategies or play serious. Much of the dungeon and raid strategy is too forgiving.
  1. The Penguin's Avatar
    All I can say is this.




    Those who know what I reference will get it, the rest can take it for what it is.
  1. majesta's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Donner View Post
    Server Merges would be a little bit chaotic with player/guild name changes. So they bringing Virtual Realms in 5.4. I don't see where the problem is exactly?
    They implemented the BattleTag system. They could easily get around guild name/player name issues now. Virtual Realms I think will be a flop. Anyway with the current LFR/LFD system what is the point of a guild besides a few perks?
  1. Carazy's Avatar
    This game is old. Old subscription games generally don't attract as much attention due to stale graphics. I really think there isn't much WoW can do except keep its current player base happy, hope they bring in friends, and attract ex-players into coming back for expansions.

    I didn't stop playing after 6 years because Blizzard made bad decisions - that doesn't even matter really, the game was never perfect (Not in Vanilla, not in BC, not in WotLK....). I stopped playing because I grew up. This is not me saying that WoW is only for immature people, rather I now have a wife and infant, became a lead SW designer at a science company, and cannot find time (or energy!) to keep up with hard core raiding. I truly believe many of WoW's subscription losses are for this reason. Heck, I even came back to PandaLand for 3 months and basically got as far as I could in casual content (pet master, leveled all reps, got all mounts without ridiculously low drop rates, etc.).

    Lets not pretend WoW wasn't (and isn't) a great game. IMO, it still is one of the most successful entertainment items of all time.
  1. Yanthir's Avatar
    WoW is just old. Blizzard can't do anything about losing its subscribers. Still 7.7 million people playing an 8 year old game is a huge number which they really can't complain about.

    @Carazy
    Nothing more to say
  1. pixor's Avatar
    Although the lost of subs, then we should all be glad that Act. Blizzard finally managed to buy themselves out. That means more money can, hopefully, go to Blizzard Ent. Yay!
  1. Kryos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by El Plastico View Post
    If they keep loosing 600k per quarter soon nobody will be left. They better get their shit together and stop shitting on us players.
    7.7/0.6/4= 3.2 years until noboby plays WoW if they drop the same speed from now on. That's a pretty long time and the game will then be nearly 12 years old.
  1. Leonidas's Avatar
    The only reason me, my wife, two of our sons, and our daughter's bf don't play anymore is because of sub money... The economy is very harsh right now, and we had to cut playing about a year ago, despite all of us would rather play.
  1. kingback's Avatar
    7,700,000.00 x ~16.00USD (after tax) = 123,200,000.00 USD/month x 12 months = 1,478,400,000.00 USD/year gross revenue...

    +millions(if not 10's of millions) more for Battle.net services (Character Transfer, Name Change, Pet Store, etc.)...

    +millions more for Purchasing the entire WoW Game and Expansion Line-Up...

    Grand Total(est.): 1.5-1.6 billion dollars USD in annual revenue from WoW!!!

    So... my question to Blizzard is, why in the hell aren't you really putting a lot of development into things the people want. Like making the game more challenging, harder boss fights, less dailies and more tabards (I think a mixed of both would be awesome), fix the talent system back to Cata standards (or a mix of MoP and Cata), better lore in the expansions, bigger-better-larger-original content patches and more of them, etc.

    However, I honestly think WoW is not in any kind of trouble... from what I can see it'll still be a billion dollar 'cash cow' until they drop below 5.5 million subs!

    So unless it drops to below 5 million, I think WoW still has a fighting chance to be awesome again... provided Blizzard gets rid of the 'less talented' game designers who have ruined some aspects of the game recently.

    Apart from that, I really enjoy MoP but it seems a bit silly, I think it was original and well made, but deviated from the original WoW lore and game style. I think the boss fights are ok but not as challenging, I think there is plenty of content but not enough patches... It's a love/hate relationship with MoP for me, I still think it was much better than Cata, except for the talent system; I CAN'T FUCKING STAND THE NEW ONE!

    I hope they really put some thought into the next Expansion or I feel WoW is gonna lose the bulk of their die-hard player(s), especially me. If it's Burning Legion based and Vanilla-like talent system with harder bosses and mix of reputation grind with tabards over dailies (combination would be more fair), then I am going to be the first to pre-order it.

    Last, I think people who complain about the monthly fee need to get over themselves and go and cut someone's grass once a month for 20 bucks. All MMOs that have a free to play business model don't turn out great in the long run and content is very slow to be updated or it is never updated at all, for example Rift and Star Wars the Old Republic.

    You need a P2P business model to have a huge MMO that constantly updates with a dynamic world and also to keep up the massive network infrastructure that goes with it!

    One more thing, Wrath of the Lich King was my all-time favorite Expansion!!!
  1. ewhenn's Avatar
    A few items really hurt this game:

    1) LFG w/raid support. The whole point of an MMO is building a team, working together, and make social bonds. Each guild was it's own little community, you got to know and play with the same people day in and day out. By taking a much larger community and grouping players where you wouldn't really run into them again, it compromised this pillar that kept the in game community strong and took away some of the players motivation to play. Think of it like hopping on a CoD game with a group of friends vs. random people on the Internet. Most of us will have a lot more fun with friends.

    2) Building on above, Blizzard not addressing server population imbalances really hurt as well. You can't have those strong communities that help keep people attached to the game if there isn't a large enough pool of players to support it. Again, this erodes community that is key to a successful MMO. A strong community is everything to a MMO.

    3) Blizzard's anti-player changes. Personally this was the straw that broke my back and made me quit. I quit when those clowns at Blizzard made me pick between raiding with friends and raiding with my guild. The shared lockout absolutely destroyed any fun I could have in the game. I used to raid 25 mans in a semi-hardcore progression guild (11/12 HM ICC). I also used to love to do 10 mans with IRL friends. When they introduced the lockout and forced me to choose one or the other I said screw it and just quit altogether. I know they were trying to address people "feeling obligated" to run 10/25 man raids for loot for progression. However they could have addressed it with a simple "if you killed the boss this week, you aren't eligible for loot for killing the same boss again this week". There, now people aren't "feeling obligated" to raid 10/25 both, yet still allows the player to play the game as they like.
  1. tist006's Avatar
    Down subscribers yet still netting more profit because of wow store. GG.
  1. randprin's Avatar
    well, consider this, on the 2013 Q1 financial report (the latest one on their website):
    Activision-Blizzard made 275m $ from online activities (those include everything WoW related plus COD elite memberships (no idea how it's split internally).
    Blizzard, by itself, made 330m $ (135m $ in earning before tax) in revenue (see page 15 of the report for the relevant tables).
    Now, granted that it's not all WoW, and it's not all blizzard, but i'd say a product that probably net about 100m $ /quarter will not die that fast, even with declining subscriptions.

    (see report at http://investor.activision.com/reports.cfm and link to the document itself at http://files.shareholder.com/downloa...877/filing.pdf

    edit: needed to fix some spacing
  1. Snype's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by moveth View Post
    Inc uninformed people thinking they know what this means.
    Exacly !


    However oh we lost so much more people , wow is empty ,this game is diying ...

    Oh wait , still times bigger than any other mmo and no matter people say the market is diff from 2005 or 2007 ,I dont see a great choice out there for mmos personaly.
    Ive been looking into many games that ended up as FAIL FAIL FAIL , example - Star wars , it was good for what , 3months?
    The only possible thing is Guild wars 2 ,where i hear u can buy some awesome gems for $ and get a bit better,im not really a fan of buying to improve all the time,I prefer a month subsription and be what I earned to be.
  1. Tripwire's Avatar
    These sub losses are the very reason we're seeing more cash shop items, to make up for lost monthly revenue! TBC2 wont come soon enough!
  1. Linkhyrule's Avatar
    And the vultures come a pecking.
  1. Lolsteak's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by snowcrash512 View Post
    As much as I hate to get into these debates, I have to agree. 5 years ago the number of F2P games was fairly small and nothing with serious quality behind it. Now, thats changed quite a bit, there are dozens of MMOs that can be played without ever spending a dime and the quality has come up quite a bit as well. Times are changing in the MMO world.
    Sub prices have an opportunity to fluctuate as well, FFXIV is running as low as £7.69 a month compared to WoW's £8.99 (Yeah i know wow drops to £7.69 when buying 6 months at a time) and to be honest Sony need the money FAR more than Blizzard does at this point in time... with that in mind i expect to see some changes to their subscription model if they dip below 7mil.
  1. Leothas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lazzy View Post
    I agree with everything you said.

    Honestly, should of stayed at 10 and 25 only. They had a AMAZING design for Ulduar. If you was good enough you could engage in a hard mode within normal this is how it should still be. I have absolutely no clue why they scrapped this concept.
    Never understood why it was scrapped either. Ulduar is by most people described as one of the best raids ever made in wow, if not the best.
    Make more raids like Ulduar and you will make sure that raiders stay in the game atleast.
  1. Synstir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Coldarian View Post
    7,7 after all these years what mmo can say that to? 0
    Indeed it is a great achievement, no one can deny that!

    But, still a steady decline in subs is also a fact. With this decline income is decreasing also.
    Think about the growth till 12.000.000 and with it all that had to be increased to keep everything running for those players.
    Building a infra that supports 12.000.000 players has it own costs and now the subs are declining, from 12.000.000 to 7.7 mill (almost half of what it was).
    The impact must be huge as the infra is there for twice the amount of players, while income (almost) half the size.
    This is bad news.

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