Thinking that WoD will bring numbers back in the 9 million mark is living in a fantasy world. If you check previous expansion numbers, yes, the releases have always marked a jump in subs - but never a jump over 10%. I'd say it's mostly around the 7-8% mark.
We know we're currently at 6.8 mil. However, those numbers won't stay put for three whole months. WoW will mostly likely continue to bleed for the next 2 months. After which, with the new patch, and hype for WoD, subscribers will slowly come back, peaking at release. I'd say it's likely that in the next two month, the game will likely lose another 100-200k subs.
So we'll be sitting at 6.6-6.7 mil when the hype truly gets stuff moving. I'd expect a 10% bump from WoD, and that's being generous. So I'd say 7.3 mil in the two first months after WoD is released.
Trying to guesstimate how the game will fare during WoD's lifetime is just too uncertain to discuss, really. It depends on the content and decisions Blizzard will take. We know it will decline, though, and past the two first months, most players who came back will get tired of the game. So while I won't make any predictions far in time, I'd say the new year will see WoW dip under the 7 million mark again.
However the situation is complete different now.
In 2012 there were still more subs, so the potential of adding % is bigger now.
Also the free to play waves that hit NEW recruiting in WOW was the biggest between early 2012 and mid 2013.
You see a much more stable subs number in the last 5 quarters.
--- > The 800K loss came after 4 quarters where nothing moved, which explains why the free to play games lost their effect already.
2 NEW hyped MMO's launched in that last quarter though: EOS and Wildstar. Both didn't break any pots, but it certainly HAD a limited impact.
The next WOD launch will appeal to a lot of players to return, more than in MoP. No new MMO's to launch and frankly everything that could have turned free to play WAS turned free over the years.
The last man standing (with subs) will play as an advantage as of now. Recruiting will come back as will the people who want to see the new expansion.
WOD could bring back a LOT of people.
And when these people will see just how good CRZ and cross realm play actually works, they will be surprised at how active WOW changed over the last 2 years.
After posting in another thread I just went to visit some world zones at 2.00 PM: 50 Alliance(the max displayable in Hellfire), 45 in the next zone of ... TBC ... a 7+ year old expansion ... If you imagine WOW has 100+ world zones and in some of these zones you now have MORE than MAXED out populations PER side on a working day ..., it is baffling.
I even participated in the world PvP ,in Hellfire around the 3 towers to help some early 60's. At one moment we had 8 Alliance fighting 5 Horde ... on 2.30 pm till 03.PM.
This was not even possible 3 or 4 years ago with 12 million subs ....
These inter realm mechanics WILL have their impact on returning players, both in instances and in world play.
The question is only: are people still interested in MMORPG's ? because if they do, they WILL return to WOW.
That's the core question really. WOW still has 36% of the market BUT ... frankly a LOT of those games in the top 10 are not even games that are much played in the West (L1, B@S, Tera,...) so if you count them out: you come to a 1 in 2 situation: 1 out of 2 plays WOW or more.
WOW is the MMO to go to for the long haul. The question is will it be the game for the long haul as MMORPG's are becoming niche again.
Like it was before WOW.
I found the answer already. Hearthstone is a success, Diablo 3 was great (at launch), I still log in every day to Farmville 2 but nothing beats WOW in the LONG run.
WOW is the game to return to, it is still very much THE reference for playing MMORPG's. But it is no longer the reference for all games (as it was in 2005-2008). But iPad games are soooooo hollow really ....
Last edited by BenBos; 2014-08-15 at 01:42 PM.
BC - Gain of 500k - 8m-8.5m = +6%
WotLK - Gain of 500k - 11m-11.5m = +4.5%
Cata - No gain - 12m = 0%
MoP - Gain of 900k - 9.1m-10m = +10%
Benbos prediction - Gain 2.7m - 6.8m - 9.5m = +40%
And thats using the current Wow population when it will be lower because we have at least 1 more Conference Call between now and WoD release.
Actually I said between 8.5/9.5M
And the extensive reasons why, I posted above.
Also the 4 quarters earlier WOW hovered around 7.5 million. it is disillusional to start counting from the last 6.8 as 2 new MMO's were launched (5% influence) and some people wait to return for "new content" (another 5%). Just as if someone who played until March this year suddenly will NOT return to an evidently new WOW expansion...
As such: going from 7.5 M to 8.5 is very very very possible since WOW is still very much the REFERENCE in MMO play with everything else being quite redundant these days.
tldr: 8.5 M (+25%) is my lowest guess and 9.5 M is the highest estimate IF Blizzard plays it right AND the MMORPG play would "jump back" again.
The revival of the MMORPG industry will NEED to come from Blizzard anyway, so it might as well come from WOW than waiting another 5 years.
I once thought Destiny could fill in, but Destiny is a shooter (I played in beta) and will only appeal to the very crowded market for 16 year olds already. In fact Destiny could be the reason why I would sell my other 60% of ATVI stock before or just after its launch...
Something tells me WOD player numbers will be huge again. Too many TBC memories of too many ex players...
Last edited by BenBos; 2014-08-15 at 02:04 PM.
I definitely think you're looking at this the wrong way. And the numbers seem to support me.
More subscribers doesn't mean a smaller pool of potential players coming back. It simply means what it means: the game is popular, healthy, and growing, attracting new players. You may look at League of Legends for a present example of this.
There are less subs because there are simply less people interested in the game. The number of people coming back will not exceed 10% of the current population, and that is a generous estimate. Every time a player quits and comes back, another few quit for good. You can't endlessly bring players back to an old game, by simply releasing a little more content.
The reason Pandaria got a 10% jump at release is rather simple. Cataclysm was, as its namesake suggests, a cataclysm. That expansion was truly, truly terrible. Blizzard spent enormous amounts of time rehashing vanilla zones in order to make them flyable, which, in retrospective, is obviously something they regret, as flying might even get completely removed in WoD (one can always hope, I am, after all, nostalgic of the Shouthshore-Tarren Mill conflict). With Pandaria, players hoped that many things would be fixed.
While that didn't happen, Pandaria - though not very good - is by no means as bad as Cataclysm was. A lot of players are gone for good, hopes to get things fixed have dwindled, and long story short, WoD might not be as exciting to many players, despite the Panda hate.
tldr: A decrease in subs doesn't mean a bigger pool of potential players. It means a lot of the subscribers that have left, have left for good.
Last edited by HamsterFabulous; 2014-08-15 at 02:10 PM.
Well I think you underestimate the HUGE number of ex players still following WOW.
As subs decline, the potential of adding MORE players with a new expansion to the previous subs number is bigger. THAT was the reason why MOP had double the % as previous expansions, or 10% (900K to 9M is 10%)...
And if you look at the MMO industry, there is not much competiton at the moment of WOD launch, which was the case earlier on.
It is curious how everyone clamps on to these 6.8 million (while 2 new MMO's were released in that same period - odd this is completely put under the closet.... ) and negating the steady 7.5 million for a whole year of MoP...
yes ... there WILL be more WOW players one month after WOD than there were WOW players in Mar (7.5M) this year....
I'd say a good 25% more even. TBC runners alone would make that up for it.
Like I said: the ones still wanting to play a decent MMORPG will buy WOD. By the time WOD will strike, Wildstar will go F2P, but it HAD a limited impact on the last quarter as did ESO...
Off topic : You also mentioned my other Pet Peeve: LOL, ah good old popular LOL: 67 million "players" and just about 620 million dollars grossings worldwide in 2013. The 7.5 million player WOW had over 1 BILLION grossings in that year. Even Supercell with just 3 iPad games had 930 million dollars revenue as free to play.
Numbers. I rather watch the $$$ signs to see the truth. The moment LOL was bought by Chinese 3 years ago, ... it rocketed to unknown Heights. Unknown is a good word if you see the appalling ratio of players/revenue in that game compared to other games.
The best thing was that these guys bought the old Xfire website too. A few months ago they sold it and suddenly LOL dropped by 80% compared to old horse COD and WOW.
Last edited by BenBos; 2014-08-15 at 02:39 PM.
Or maybe, just maybe your terrible attempt to generalise people is exactly that, terrible.
It's pretty clear developers know it. Hence the sandbox MMOs popping up here and there, offering a genuinely different take on the genre, while having the same roots.
This is another thing that makes me think that no, people aren't so keen to come back to WoW anymore. With Cataclysm, a lot of people quit because the game was, quite frankly, bad. They returned with Pandaria hoping to see it fixed. That is not the case with the Pandaria/WoD transition.
Q3 2011 - 10.3
LOST - 100K
Q4 2011 - 10.2 (DS is released)
Q1 2012 - 10.2
LOST - 1.1 Million
Q2 2012 - 9.1
GAINED - 900K
Q3 2012 - 10 (MoP Released)
LOST - 400K
Q4 2012 - 9.6
LOST - 1.3 Million
Q1 2013 - 8.3
MoP didn't pick up all the people who left the quarter before, yes it got this 900K you keep talking about but it had to lose 1.1 million to get that (a net loss of 200K), something no other expansion has had.
Of course then it goes into free fall but what were you saying, that's just more people to come back and play?
Seems to be working so far right, I mean what was the official number? Something like 100 million players, just think of all those people who as of yet haven't shown any interest in coming back who "might" this time....
I like the game, but I'm realistic and to be honest I'm glad I've posted so much in here because it'll make finding these easier come March 2015 when we'll see just how (being polite) idealistic some people are being.
Last edited by Mooboy; 2014-08-15 at 03:52 PM.
If WoW is the last and only 'subscription' based fantasy MMORPG with 7.6 Million 'subscriptions' and ALL others on the global market turned free and now amount to ZERO....
...how can there be two 'subscription' based fantasy MMORPG beating WoW hard on the Chinese game room rankings?
...how can there be two more 'subscription' based fantasy MMORPG beating WoW on the Koran game room rankings and one more staying on par with it?
...how can WoW have zero server in Japan while two more 'subscription' based fantasy MMORPG prevail?
Last time I checked
... that is not the definition of ZERO
... China, Korea and Japan are part of the global market and all these MMO part of the global MMO industry.
... they are all 2 - 12 years old, so can not be dismissed as flukes.
... WoW achieved its 7.6 Million 'subscriber' and close to $ 1 Billion earnings only by counting player and earnings using the same type of payment models these MMO use as well.
... WoW whiteknights shout 'gameplay > graphics' into all topics complaining about WoWs aging graphics. They could not dismiss any of them because of graphics.
Can I expect a clear answer to my question or will I get a dozen irrelevant arguments against points no one ever made and asked for, along with a dozen facts that are not contradicting or supporting what they are said to be and a dozen unproven and invented facts made of obfuscated references to estimates, xfire numbers, raptr numbers and fantasy I have no desire to argue about?
Over 9000....... something
replying to a pointless thread but numbers will increase no one will know numbers only guess work.
You guys are doing some wishful levels of thinking for Blizzard. You forgot to account for Q3 losses, which hasn't happened yet. Q2 lost 800k and results in 6.8M at THIS moment in time, but do you guys really think we won't see another sub drop until Q4 when WoD comes out?
Tops, I'd say 7M for Q4, because we'll probably see 5.5M or less after Q3, but OP asks about Q1 2015, NOT Q4 2014, so I'd say around 6.25M TOPS for after the "OMG NEW EXPANSION HYYYYYYYYPE!" dies down once it's been launched for 4-5 months and people leave after they get bored waiting for 6.1/6.2.
BenBos, the gift that keeps on giving to these forums.
The one question he doesn't seem to be able to answer is this; how many of those people that leave WoW are going to find something more to their taste elsewhere? How many are going to realise that maybe they can get more content for less money out in the F2P world? Bearing in mind how much it takes to drive this core of players away, how many of them will harbour a level of resentment that will simply stop them coming back, ever?
I can see WoD struggling to get back up to even 7 million, much less the 8 or 9 that BenBos seems to think likely. And even that is optimistic, based on previous expansions. If Q3 sees another million leaving, history suggests they will do well to get back to 6.5 million.
When challenging a Kzin, a simple scream of rage is sufficient. You scream and you leap.
Over the last 10 years, Blizzard has taken over $10bn from MMO players. Take a look around your game...do you see $10bn worth of content available to you? Do you see even a tiny fraction of that in relevant content? Now ask me again why I dislike what Blizzard has done to the MMO industry.
blah, new sig... something something
Name PvP RP Region Time Zone Alliance Horde A/H Ratio Total Emerald Dream PvP RP United States CST 75,793 74,148 1.022 149,941