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  1. #21
    Pure guesswork: the amount of developers get reduced when WoW reaches around 1 million subscribers, and at something like 500,000 they start transitioning to a free to play model.

    But as Moanalisa said, none of us has a clue about what their econominc plans are.

  2. #22
    The Insane det's Avatar
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    That question is best answered by Blizzard or somebody in economics I supposes. Is anyone of the two groups here?


    If anyone would say today "I can make you a game that will never once drop in subs and that not even after 10 years" Everybody would go "LOLZ impossible" - yet that seems exactly what people on these forum claim would be possible with WoW and it is the failiure of the company that it isn't happening. Lost of people also seem to think they have the solution to make exactly this happening. Lead to gold.

    However, may I direct you people at:
    mmodata.net

    Facts:

    NO game ever peaked at 12 million
    NO game ever continued to grow.
    NO game apparently even ever had the 7.7 million subs that WoW has in year 8.5.

    It might just be that not only Blizzard, but the companies they answer to are aware of this and do not even expect it.
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    One cause is a cognitive bias called projection bias. Essentially living inside your own head your entire life makes it exceedingly difficult to understand how others do not also live your same life, think your same thoughts, and hold your same beliefs. In many cases it's quite frustrating to try to empathize and understand why you yourself may not be the center of the universe, which generally results in one 'acting out' in various ways.
    So, in short: the internet.

  3. #23
    Banned But I Hate You All's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchor View Post
    Just a very generic question and something to think about:

    "At what point do the subscriber losses start hurting Blizzard or the game?"

    Losing 7 to 10% of your subscribers and direct revenue per quarter obviously can't be healthy for a company. It's not as if they can 'miss' the money, they'll keep on having costs and wages to pay. So do you believe that these quarterly losses cause harm to Blizzard forcing them to reorganize and shrink their company structure regularly, or are you of the opinion instead that their company structure is already downsized to the minimum and that the game development and company structure is the same as that of a company with only 500k or 1m subscribers?
    Ummm sub losses do not seem to be hurting their revenue per se but its been questioned quite a bit by the investors.

    If it does not stabilize sooner than later it would have a negative effect.

    Losing Subs does not really have a effect until they started losing more than they were gaining.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darsithis View Post
    I could swear that their profit is still high despite the loss in subs. So at the moment...not at all.
    Then why did they lay off 600 people in 2012?
    No child these days ever gets to hear those all-important, character building words: "You lost, Bobby! You lost, you're a loser, Bobby!" They miss out on that. You know what they tell a kid who lost these days? "You were the last winner." A lot of these kids never get to hear the truth about themselves until they're in their twenties. When their boss calls them in and says "Bobby, clean the shit out of your desk and get the fuck out of here, you're a loser."

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Noorri View Post
    Pure guesswork: the amount of developers get reduced when WoW reaches around 1 million subscribers...

    That is something to think about though.

    If Blizzard's company structure is setup to be able to maintain itself without cutting up to reaching down to 1 million subscribers, then that means that Blizzard doesn't provide more content or give back more to their playerbase than any other generic MMO with 1m subscribers. And that kinda means that the number of subscribers becomes irrelevant if Blizzard only gives their playerbase just as much new content as SWToR or EVE Online or Everquest or... At least irrelevant for me as someone playing their game.
    Last edited by Anarch the Subduer; 2013-07-29 at 07:04 PM.
    ♦ Scepticist ♦ Critic ♦ INTJ

  6. #26
    They've lost more like 35% and are losing about 5+% of that total(12m) each quarter.
    Which means nothing in a world where most other MMOs survive with less than 1 million subs. Some of them are even coming out with regular content updates.

    Pure guesswork: the amount of developers get reduced when WoW reaches around 1 million subscribers, and at something like 500,000 they start transitioning to a free to play model.
    I wonder if their development model would shift from 'get out as much new content as fast as we can' to 'focus most resources on fixing old content and current problems' if their subs dropped to 1 million or lower.

    Curious experiment.
    Last edited by Eroginous; 2013-07-29 at 07:06 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jevlin
    Why? Because fuck you, that's why.

    Every time you have a question that begins with "Why?" that is about what other people prefer to do with their own goddamn time, come back here, and reread the first row of this post. That will ALWAYS be the answer to your question. Have a nice day.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchor View Post
    That is something to think about though.

    If Blizzard's company structure is setup to be able to maintain itself without cutting up to reaching down to 1 million subscribers, then that means that Blizzard doesn't provide more content or give back more to their playerbase than any other generic MMO with 1m subscribers. And that kinda means that the number of subscribers becomes irrelevant if Blizzard only gives their playerbase just as much new content as SWToR or EVE Online or Everquest or... At least irrelevant for me as someone playing their game.
    What did you expect?

    Their development team is already about as big as a game development team can get.

    [...] that kinda means that the number of subscribers becomes irrelevant [...] for me as someone playing their game.
    I loled, seriously! Hilarious.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eroginous View Post
    Which means nothing in a world where most other MMOs survive with less than 1 million subs. Some of them are even coming out with regular content updates.
    None of which have a dev team or community team anywhere near the size of Blizzard.


    However I imagine Blizz is doing fine right now and any devs "left over" would be moved to other projects or somewhere else in Activision

  9. #29
    There is no "One Point", one less sub means less revenue

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Gimlix View Post
    But funny thing is, Blizzard seems very calm and relaxed about it. They aren't on panic mode.
    What's funny about it? They know what they are doing. The majority of the WoW population that looks at the "NOW" and based their entire opinion/theories on it. History and previous population patterns are far more important than current numbers.

    This has happened four times over WoW's lifetime!

    Expansion releases: Population skyrockets.
    Pop goes down.
    First major patch: Population goes up again, but not quite where it was at the start of the expansion.
    Pop goes down some more.
    Second major patch: Population goes up again, but not quite where it was during the first major patch.
    Pop goes down even more.
    Third major patch: Population goes up again, but not quite where it was during the second major patch.
    Pop goes down dramatically during the long wait until next expansion.
    Expansion releases: Population skyrockets, right back up to where it use to be (or dang close!).

    People are in panic mode because they can't look at the history of WoW. I remember in WoTLK and Cata these exact same things happened, massive pop drops, people on MMOChamp freaking out, and thousands of threads about how WoW is dying. I feel like people completely forget the past, or WoW has a constant flow of new players that never experienced previous population drops.

    Bottom line: People are making a big deal out of normal population fluctuation.
    Last edited by tyrindor; 2013-07-29 at 07:10 PM.

  11. #31
    Banned wych's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xjev View Post
    There is no "One Point", one less sub means less revenue
    But there are points where it makes sense to remove a certain % of devs

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchor View Post
    [...] And that kinda means that the number of subscribers becomes irrelevant if Blizzard only gives their playerbase just as much new content as SWToR or EVE Online or Everquest or... At least irrelevant for me as someone playing their game.
    Wait... does that mean you actually stop posting about this topic on the forums?

  13. #33
    Banned wych's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyrindor View Post
    What's funny about it? They know what they are doing. They aren't as nuts as the majority of the WoW population that looks at the "NOW" and based their entire opinion/theories on it.

    Expansion releases: Population skyrockets.
    Pop goes down.
    First major patch: Population goes up again, but not quite where it was at the start of the expansion.
    Pop goes down some more.
    Second major patch: Population goes up again, but not quite where it was during the first major patch.
    Pop goes down even more.
    Third major patch: Population goes up again, but not quite where it was during the second major patch.
    Pop goes down dramatically during the long wait until next expansion.
    Expansion releases: Population skyrockets, right back up to where it use to be (or dang close!).

    People are in panic mode because they can't look at the history of WoW. I remember in WoTLK and Cata these exact same things happened, massive pop drops, people on MMOChamp freaking out, and thousands of threads about how WoW is dying. I feel like people completely forget the past, or WoW has a constant flow of new players that never experienced previous population drops.

    Bottom line: People are making a big deal out of normal population fluctuation.
    Whilst I agree the game is nowhere near dying, to act like it isn't losing a lot of subscribers is mental, regardless of how good the new expansion is I can't see it bringing subs to even 9 million

  14. #34
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    It's not the sub loss that is hurting the game, it's the development attitude.

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Gimlix View Post
    But funny thing is, Blizzard seems very calm and relaxed about it. They aren't on panic mode.
    It's not funny, it's realistic. They know they have a 9 years old game and that the decline is inevitable. At this point they are panicking about the replacement for WoW. Because there isn't one, and probably won't be... WoW was and still is a phenomenon. I'm pretty sure it won't happen again, not with Blizzard, not with another company. The next big thing from Blizzard will be a non subscription microtransaction heavy crap.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchor View Post
    Well. I mean, ofcourse it's gonna hurt to have a bit less money. But at some point that lack of money is going to -cut into- the company structure, because costs can't be covered anymore.

    The question really is at what number this limit lies. I'm imagining that the Blizzard company structure is setup in such a manner that it would be able to handle itself even with only 2m subscribers. Which basically means that every subscribed above that doesn't "add" anything to the game, but is more like excess profit that doesn't go back into development or to cover any costs.
    I would imagine we're still pretty far from that cut-off point. WoW was profitable back when they had 1/4 of the subscribers they have now (and no Cash Shop!) and even with the increased overhead, I can't imagine they're close to being in the red any time soon.

    The decrease in subs definitely hurts, but this was predicted back in the 1Q. I'm sure there's some disappointment on their end, but there are surely plans in the works to pad those sub numbers come end of MoP into next expansion.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by wych View Post
    Whilst I agree the game is nowhere near dying, to act like it isn't losing a lot of subscribers is mental, regardless of how good the new expansion is I can't see it bringing subs to even 9 million
    The amount of subs lost this expansion is roughly the same as the amount of subs lost during WoTLK and Cata, which were mostly gotten back when the next expansion launched.

    Also, of course the game is steadily losing subs over time but it is no where near as fast as people are making it out to be. 9 million to 7.7 million is not going to make a dent in Blizzard, and the majority of those subs will be back for the next expansion and 5.4... as history has proven many many times in WoW's lifetime. At the rate WoW is actually losing subs, none of us will probably even care about the game by the time it matters. The game has at least another decade at it's current population decline rate. I'd hope 10 years from now there's a better MMO out.

    I am baffled that people are freaking out about a 9 year old game with 7.7 million subs. I mean WoW has 5x more subs than the most successful brand new AAA games have copies sold. It has roughly 7 million more subs than the next sub-based MMO. It so far and beyond successful, it's off the charts, even with it's current subs.

    Every game in history is going to die, lose subs, and lose interest over time regardless of dev team and company. Blizzard can't change the game from the ground up, soon or later the engine just becomes too dated, the lore/setting becomes tedious, better/newer games will come out, and people will move on. I don't feel it is a fault with the game, but rather people needing breaks or just tired of the basic MMO grind.
    Last edited by tyrindor; 2013-07-29 at 07:30 PM.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Gimlix View Post
    losing even 00,01% of the subscribers is hurting for blizzard and the game, because that shows they aren't growing anymore. (that quarter)
    But funny thing is, Blizzard seems very calm and relaxed about it. They aren't on panic mode.

    They are still doing the best to please the players, and of course that is hard with 7.7M people (currently)
    They are very calm and relaxed about it because: They are still the 500lb gorilla in the MMO world, despite the fact the game is almost a decade old.

    (Fun Fact: The average tenure for US employment is only 4.6 years as of 2012, which was a .2% increase from 2010. WoW has been around for approximately twice that.)

    They claim 7.7M subs as of last report. If they continued to lose ~10% (let's say a nice, even 700k) every quarter from now on, it would still take 11 quarters to hit 0, so just under 3 years. WoW would be ~12 years old at that point, and it would have made how much money for Blizz during that time?

    There are many reasons why they aren't in a panic, but chief among them being that they aren't housed by the same doomsday prophets we see so frequently on MMO and are able to put things in proper perspective. (i.e. They know they can't rely on WoW indefinitely)

  19. #39
    Warchief Seefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyrindor View Post
    The amount of subs lost this expansion is roughly the same as the amount of subs lost during WoTLK and Cata, which were mostly gotten back when the next expansion launched.

    Also, of course the game is steadily losing subs over time but it is no where near as fast as people are making it out to be. 9 million to 7.7 million is not going to make a dent in Blizzard, and the majority of those subs will be back for the next expansion and 5.4... as history has proven many many times in WoW's lifetime. At the rate WoW is actually losing subs, none of us will probably even care about the game by the time it matters. The game has at least another decade at it's current population decline rate. I'd hope 10 years from now there's a better MMO out.

    Every game in history is going to die, lose subs, and lose interest over time regardless of dev team and company. Blizzard can't change the game from the ground up, soon or later the engine just becomes too dated, the lore/setting becomes tedious, better/newer games will come out, and people will move on. I don't feel it is a fault with the game, but rather people needing breaks or just tired of the basic MMO grind.
    12 million down to 7.7 million in 2 expansions, and if it isn't making a dent I again point to the 600 lay offs in 2012......I bet that hurt those 600 people.
    No child these days ever gets to hear those all-important, character building words: "You lost, Bobby! You lost, you're a loser, Bobby!" They miss out on that. You know what they tell a kid who lost these days? "You were the last winner." A lot of these kids never get to hear the truth about themselves until they're in their twenties. When their boss calls them in and says "Bobby, clean the shit out of your desk and get the fuck out of here, you're a loser."

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Seefer View Post
    12 million down to 7.7 million in 2 expansions, and if it isn't making a dent I again point to the 600 lay offs in 2012......I bet that hurt those 600 people.
    Majority of those layoffs were people not even on the WoW development team. To quote: "90 percent of the lay offs would come from departments not related to game development". They were trimming unneeded staff. At the same time as the layoff, they were hiring new staff for game development. The cut had really nothing to do with being broke or not being able to afford them, it was all about improving profit margins as much as possible.

    As I stated pretty clearly earlier, 12 million was at the peak of a start of expansion, 7.7m is nearing the end of an expansion. You can't compare these numbers, that's totally unrealistic. You need to compare expansion launch to expansion launch numbers (or end of expansion to end of expansion).

    WoTLK had roughly 12 million subs at launch. MoP had roughly 10 million subs at launch.
    http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/10/04/wo...n-mists-of-pa/

    A realistic 2 million sub loss, over the course of roughly 4 years when the game was already 4 years old to begin with. I'd consider that incredibly successful, and I'll bet that when the next expansion comes out it will likely peak around or above 9 million again.

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