WoW Lost 600k Subscribers, down to 11.4M
Activision Blizzard's earning call was today and we learned, among other things, that the WoW playerbase is down to 11.4M players. That's 5% less than before the expansion and it seems that players went through the Cataclysm content faster than expected.

Blizzard also promised faster release of new content and expansions during the call.

During today's Activision Blizzard earnings call, World of Warcraft and its expansion Cataclysm were two very hot topics. Listeners asked a number of questions related to the game, more than any other title or franchise in the publisher's stable.

Of note, World of Warcraft's subscriber base has reached pre-Cataclysm levels, according to Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment. He then later stated an actual number, with subscriptions at the end of March clocking in at right around 11.4 million.

That's down by about 5% from the announced 12 million mark late last year. Interestingly enough, that was right before Cataclysm released. In fact, it's actually lower than the milestone reached in 2008 with the release of Wrath of the Lich King.

But one important thing to point out, and Mr. Morhaime touched on this as well, is that World of Warcraft's subscriber base does not change linearly. It fluctuates based on content consumption, which players seem to be doing a whole lot of -- at a more rapid pace -- with Cataclysm. "Subscriber levels have decreased faster than previous expansions," he said.

Surprising? Not really. We have to remember that when these numbers were pulled, Cataclysm was in a bit of a lull. The expansion had been out for close to four months, and most of its content had been consumed by a large percentage of the player base -- aside from heroic raids.

Diablo 3 Public Beta in Q3 2011
The 2nd big interesting thing from the earning call was the announcement of Diablo 3's public beta in Q3 2011, it looks like the summer will be busy between Patch 4.2 and Diablo 3 ... For more Diablo related news, head to
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The 3rd quarter reference in the earning's call today was a calendar quarter, meaning that we're aiming to launch the Diablo III beta between July 1st and September 30th. Keep in mind that it's our current goal, and of course that can change as development continues.

2011 Arena Pass: Phases
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The 2011 Arena Pass is split into several different phases. To help you gain a more detailed understanding of how this year’s Arena Pass will unfold, you can find an explanation of the different phases in this article. You can also find out which matches are counted towards receiving a pet or title!

Registration Phase
4 May – 21 June (9pm CEST)
During this period you can register for the European 2011 Arena Pass Service. Registration will be closed outside of these dates.

Practice Phase
11 May – 8 June
During this period you will be able to enjoy the Arena Pass Realm and practice your setup with your friends. Matches played during this phase will not count towards the pet and title prizes.

Ranked Ladder Phase 1
8 June– 22 June
All Arena Rating points will be set to zero when this phase begins. Ranked 3v3 matches played during this phase will count towards the pet and title prizes. If a player switches from one Arena Team to another, the Arena Team that the player joins will have their Arena Rating reduced by 150 points.

Ranked Ladder Phase 2
22 June – 4 July (9pm CEST)
Ranked 3v3 matches played during this phase will count towards the pet and title prizes. During the Ranked Ladder Phase 2 of the Arena Pass Service, players cannot switch Arena Teams.

Prize Eligibility
Ranked 3v3 matches that count toward the pet and title prizes will start on 8 June 2011, (once the weekly maintenance has ended) and end 4 July 2011, at 9pm CEST.

Please note that phases begin once weekly maintenance has finished on the dates specified, and end at the beginning of maintenance on the dates specified (unless stated otherwise).

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Legendary Staff availability
It's actually easier to get started on the path to acquire this legendary; the journey itself is more difficult though. Regardless, players who have cleared the prior tier of raid content are the only ones eligible to begin the quest line -- any player who's part of a group which is capable of accomplishing that probably has a good shot at getting a staff for themselves. (Source)

Legendary Staff - Guild Pet Reward
We're doing something wholly unprecedented in the history of World of Warcraft, by making the acquisition of this Legendary result in a pet for the whole group responsible. Never before has an entire guild been able to acquire any kind of item for helping a member acquire an item or achievement.

We thought that was pretty cool. (Source)

Legendary weapons in 5-man instances?
At least for the foreseeable future, we’re shying away from the model where individuals or five man groups can acquire legendary items, because that could have several possible effects which don't mesh well with our idea of what these items should represent. The items might become common enough that orange becomes the new purple, or so random that the acquisition doesn’t feel particularly good, or we’d have to include a lot of artificial controls on how many of those items end up on a given realm despite a thin veneer of accessibility. Any way you slice it, we think that this would diminish the appeal of these items, and that’s not the way we want to go for now.

We do want the path to getting them to be more than a scavenger hunt though, and we’re continually trying to make the experience of acquiring a legendary weapon more… legendary. We learn as we go. For example, we’re unlikely to ever again do the Molten Core / Black Temple style legendary drops where sometimes you get lucky and more often, you don’t. We think that was really excessively random, and perhaps more importantly, it lost the entire sense of ceremony involved in forging your weapon. To return to the point of discussion that spawned this thread, Dragonwrath is almost the polar opposite of that. Sure, there is a “gated” portion of the quest line, which involves killing Firelands raid bosses, because we want this weapon to be something that a group has to work for and so that nobody is completing their legendary on the first week. But there is also a ton of other content as well: many new quests, legendary-specific raid boss fights, and a great personal challenge which evokes the spirit of those old classic World of Warcraft epic quests. The staff is really awesome in itself, and is rewarding for the whole group which completes it. I think that’s pretty cool, and I hope that those who get the opportunity to pursue the staff feel the same way. (Source)

Legendary items are only for people lucky enough to have a raid!
I'm not sure that you can call being a dedicated raider a matter of luck.

When someone plays a video game, they’re usually faced with a lot of choices. World of Warcraft has a ton of choices, and being part of a guild and choosing to raid is one of the more important choices one makes. World of Warcraft has also had a pretty clear structure of progression for a long time. There’s leveling content; all the quests, dungeons, and events which one can experience as they increase in power toward maximum level. Then, at the level cap, there are some new tiers of content. Top end daily quests, five man dungeons and heroics, battlegrounds, PvP zones and the like. This is all extremely accessible, and (we hope) all players who reach maximum level in World of Warcraft will experience all of it. Then, for the players who choose to pursue the necessary preparations and relationships, there are arenas, rated battlegrounds and raids. Those are the most demanding World of Warcraft experiences available, and we hope that most players will make the choice to take their skills there and see at least some of that content, since there are some very rich experiences to be had.

Raids in particular are intentionally challenging environments, and they are meant to stand up as obstacles to overcome, to reward players who are willing to develop the relationships and coordination with other World of Warcraft players to meet and beat the toughest challenges the game has to offer. They represent achievements to aspire to and we put a lot of time into that content and try to make it rewarding because we want you to want to see it.

Legendary weapons are legendary in part because of lore, and in part because of the grand adventure it is to achieve them. They are intended to represent a goal for an entire guild and raid group, and acquiring such a weapon reflects on the raid and guild as a whole. This helps us keep these items rare, which makes them more exciting and prestigious, which, in turn, allows us to make them more powerful. (Source)

The Daily Blink
I didn't post anything from The Daily Blink in a while and they said I can have my Garfield plush back only if I resume posting. I liked this one a few weeks ago but couldn't post it because of all the Patch 4.2 content, fixed!

This article was originally published in forum thread: WoW Loses 600k Subscribers, Diablo 3 Beta Q3 2011, Arena Passe, Blue Posts started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 453 Comments
  1. equinoks's Avatar
    I think the most frusterating thing to hear is, " diablo 3 will kill wow"..... rofl okay I've heard this from how many games now? how many? I don't think so....
  1. dubbz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowflay View Post
    If they stopped fucking around with buffing classes and giving them fotm for few months and actually fixing the game they would have some subscribers left
    yeah, I think 11.4 million subscribers is a bit more than "some".
  1. Golemstw's Avatar
    Canceled subsciption, waiting for new content. 4.1 was only 5 days of fun, blizzard trying to rip off money doing nothing. They saying more than doing.

    ---------- Post added 2011-05-10 at 11:39 AM ----------

    Keep in mind ZA and ZG are RECYCLED !!!! TOTAL MONEY RIPOFF
  1. Kingbaby's Avatar
    Well i find the difficulty of heroic raids in 25Man really nice, sad they nerfed a bunch of them already :-(. Hoping Firelands will be as good as the first tier of raidcontent was.

    Yes we got 13/13hc a while ago... Keep up the good work Blizzard!
  1. Jiggity's Avatar
    i have said it before, only blizz will kill wow. D3 is the start of the end of wow, the next blizz mmo will finish it off.
    content patches like za and zg arent going to get more people playing either...something like zh or zm would be much better
  1. Langriss3r's Avatar
    quitting WoW for D3
  1. Doombringer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vircomore View Post
    I am one of those 600k, and I can sum up why I quit in 6 words.

    "Looking for Group: Call to Arms".

    A development team that resorts to overt bribery to resolve a core game design problem is a development team that I will not support.

    The saddest part is that the system is working - not just because of the influx of noob tanks - but the "outflux" of decent players that are tired of being treated like they don't matter. When one DPS can carry an entire heroic group through a dungeon and then get no recognition for it beyond his own DPS meter, but a half-assed tank can fudge his way through a dungeon and get a free mount?

    No thanks.
    Your post may get lost in the shuffle, which is a shame. I think it is a very salient point. Over the years, there have been many bandaids used to address certain fundamental flaws in the game's design (some holdovers from Classic, some not) or to otherwise "get people playing again."

    Mike Morhaime says it is "content consumption" - if I could sit him down right now, I'd tell him it is a lot more than just that. Don't rush expansions or content patches simply to put more shinies in front of the ADHD kids. Really, they should shoot for a modest subscriber total, a 2-3 million, and leave it at that. Stop making WoW more and more into a pick-up, put-down console game. Find a balance point between quality and quantity in terms of content - yes, your appeal will go down, but you'll have a solid subscriber base. 12 million was amazing, but consider that a cresting point.
  1. Bigsilly's Avatar
    Drops in subs is expected for 2 reasons:
    1. It is summer, people play less
    2. Content is in between Tiers of progression.
  1. ewhenn's Avatar
    I'm surprised it isn't more. I quit and won't be coming back. I had enough of their, "We'll get it right this time guys, we promise!" line. They reached the tipping point, not just for me either, lots of people. I wanted to believe them since Blizzard for a long time followed though, however they changed, and they used up all of their trust points they had accumulated over the years. I was in a day one wow guild. At the end of LK, we had 45 raiding members. Today the same guild has 12 raiding members, and have considered closing up entirely. Not all of them have been unsubs, a few left for other guilds as we called 25 man raiding etc., but at least 25 of them were unsubs.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZyngaFail View Post
    Anyone else listened to the conference call and think it sounded like "Hey we lost 600k subs but don't worry, we are putting new mounts and pets in the store and looking at more premium and value-added services"?
    Yeah, I hate this "value-added services" BS too. If it was truly "value-added", it would be free; more for your current money, thus more value. Instead they want more money to use the new features. That isn't "value-added", it's just another new for-pay service.

    The game now has corners cut in development, and all of the other items that plagued it are getting more pronounced. All Blizzards response has been internally seems to be, "Don't worry we'll sell mounts in our e-store, that will fix it". Blizzard changed for the worse when Activision took over, the impact gets bigger daily. They used to be about making the best game possible, even if it meant being a little less profitable (but still very profitable). Now it's only about the profit and nothing else, if it hurts the players/game experience they will do it if the bean counters say it will net more cash.
  1. Kuja's Avatar
    "Blizzard also promised faster release of new expansions during the call."

    Could this mean next expansion comes sooner than the last quarter of 2012?
  1. Shrymp's Avatar
    Omg let's complain about shorter queue times!

    It's a fucking bag of shit, dude. It's not like it's anything useful.

    As far as the earnings call goes, I think it's a good thing for them to lose a lot of subscribers. Activision thinks they have a cash cow in WOW. Well, it is, but you still have to throw resources at a cash cow, and frankly, they are taking the wow franchise for granted. It's about time they saw some hurt where it matters-- in their fucking wallets.
  1. SuperomegaOP's Avatar
    o shit... i saw this on a post but it didnt get rly srs until i got posted on the front page... worst time for blizz to put out less content lololol?

    "Activision Blizzard's earning call was today and we learned, among other things, that the WoW playerbase is down to 11.4M players. That's 5% less than before the expansion and it seems that players went through the Cataclysm content faster than expected."

    i really cant say anything about this 1.... firelands will be no different... sometimes blizzard is just blind really...................
  1. Bantokar's Avatar
    I really REALLY hate the shared lockout for 10 & 25 man... Before that you could raid 25 man with the guild and casually run 10 man with half decent PuGs (or run some raids on an alt). Now most raiders are locked out from everything during a raid week leaving only mouthbreathing morons running PuGs.. When they made the shared lockout they should have doubled raid content. The imbalance in PvP is also quite rediculous and has been all through Cata. Clueless generic dribble Q&A with the current incompetent and lazy dev team also doesn´t help.
  1. Ceresc's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lotte View Post
    lol... what?... Go ahead and take a look at heroic Al'akir 10-man kills compared to heroic Al'akir 25-man kills, bub. The point is that 10s and 25s will never, ever be equal in difficulty and it was really stupid of Blizzard to actually decide share loot and achievements between the two.
    ^ Agreed. I love raiding 25man but it just isn't that viable anymore. Why do 25s when you can do 10s and get teh same rewards? Although it was a nice thought, I would love to see 25s competitive again.
  1. Coldkil's Avatar
    First, some facts:
    - some people (like me) play just because they enjoy the game. don't give a crap if people leaves, most of them are just whiners; the others go away because they're bored, and it's completely fine for me.
    - all (apart one) of the posters whining have a number of posts on mmo-champ 1<x<200. i smell a horde of trolls.
    - who cares about you leaving? again, it's not a problem for me and for all the ones who still enjoy the game.

    Now, personal opinions:
    - D3 open beta? WOHOOOOO!!!! I can't wait.
    - daily blink is LOL.
    - WoW lost subscribers? Don't care. I play the things of the game i enjoy, and when i'll be burned i'll leave. No need to claim apocalypse.

    Please, END THESE BAGS FULL OF CRAP ABOUT QUITTERS; if you don't enjoy the game anymore is perfectably understandable, but the fact you quit doesn't mean everyone should.
  1. SuperomegaOP's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ceresc View Post
    ^ Agreed. I love raiding 25man but it just isn't that viable anymore. Why do 25s when you can do 10s and get teh same rewards? Although it was a nice thought, I would love to see 25s competitive again.

    what u talking about? 10 man is alot more difficult....

    imo i think they made it like that so that people wouldnt go just do 10 mans
  1. Oldbone's Avatar
    I really hope that Blizzard will take those numbers seriously and make start making some changes in the future content they are releasing. It's not about a couple of hundreds of thousands subscribers decrease - its about why they left.

    "It fluctuates based on content consumption, which players seem to be doing a whole lot of -- at a more rapid pace -- with Cataclysm." must ring some bells I hope .

    I really do.
  1. homerunhomer's Avatar
    Nearly lost another one yesterday cos of the current state of my guild. I soldiered on though.

    Hopefully though this will give Blizzard a wake up call and have them start pushing out a bit more entertaining content whilst focusing on the real issue in the game - wait times (which they are working on, but I'm looking more at pvp, horde vs horde are in rateds, why not in random bg too?). Though as someone said, for how big it is, they have done really well with it.
  1. xotrem's Avatar
    I blame the players for going through the content faster then expected. On my server we are considered slackers because we haven't killed all the raid bosses yet. But I tell them that I am not bored because there is nothing else left to do. People who raid 4 and 5 times a week trying to blow through all the content set themselves up to be bored. That isn't the fault of Blizzard, that is the fault of people's impatience.

    So playerbass has dropped 5%. So it is still like 10 million over Everquest which refuses to die. It also goes to show that either the people complaining about the game are either the minority or blatant liars about quiting, because looking at the forums, the playerbass should be down 50%, LOL.

    But here is the rub, and this is a fact. There will never be another fact posted more true then this about playerbass declining. It isn't anything about what Blizzard is doing. If you say it is you are lying, either intentionally or unintentionally lying to yourself. There is only so much you can do with an MMO to keep it fresh. No matter what they without completely changing every single aspect of the game can it be made "fresh" again. So please, stop wasting out time and space on the forums demanding Blizz change everything and how you are leaving. The other 11.4 million people really don't care.

    As an aside, in our guild we have lost 2 people since Cata that have stopped playing. We have had 3 older ones start back since 4.1 hit. So I am not looking for tumbleweek to be blowing across the landscape just yet, LOL.
  1. brakke's Avatar
    it's weird that ppl tend to toss everything on a pile and turn in into one reason why it's happening. wile if u browse treu this forum u'll see multiple reasons. final periode in school is getting close for alot, to mutch time between tiers. the fact that the game is running for this long and it tends to get 'bin there done that' after playing for 5 years, it's will have to lose it's attraction someday. and that can cause a chain effect in a guild

    i canceled my sup last night (yes i stil like the game but most ppl i know are leaving it and i cba scouting realms for a decent friendly guild) stil got 4days game time might be my last post on mmo aswel p p

    instead of qq all the time look for the nice things that are in game, yes there will always be things that can/should be inproved. for those who qq ask yourself this: is your real life so perfect? if no, did u do everything to make it right? no stop bitching and fix that first then ^^

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