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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. Baneleaf's Avatar
    I think a major thing you are all missing is Blizz killing multiboxing in bgs. You have to remember that though it was a smaller population that most think, it was still a decent number. I personally cancelled two accounts when I could no longer box in bgs and I have another that I am going to let sit for a while after the sub runs out in two weeks. that will leave me with one of my four active accounts going. 600k seems about right with normal mid patch decline and the number of boxers that I have heard quit or cut down to only one or two accounts. since the /follow was broken.
  1. Invictus9001's Avatar
    People have been screaming the end of WoW, and the end of time for that matter, for years upon years. Either, or both, will happen when they damn well happen. Until then, enjoy the game if you do. If you don't enjoy it at all or are unsubbed with no intent of returning, stop spamming up forums dedicated to the game with your prognostications of doom and rancid BS. If you enjoy the game but think it could be better, as I do, make yourself heard. There are enough means available these days to do so.

    Oh.. on topic: Blizz.. take the advice you wrote in for the Pandaren monologues.. "Slow down." (Just my 2 cents.)
  1. Aerisot's Avatar
    Omw WoW is dying! no but seriously, 7.7mil is still 7x the amount that Blizzard was expecting in the first place , that is still $115,500,000 a month....A MONTH..and $1,386,000,000 a year, and that is just sub money, that is no including what they make from the store or game purchases.

    Yes I know they have server upkeep and wages...which both tie into each other, Now if you include RMAH from Diablo 3, even with WoW at it's lowest since TBC...they are still racking in over a billion a year..Holy shit!

    Now with that said...Activision..Stop being greedy assholes and just let Blizzard make their games and stop making them split them up (Looking at you Starcraft 2, Diablo 3)
  1. jacob1212c's Avatar
    Well with the Vivendi purchase the activation blizzard company is now an independent company, maybe they will start puting out good content again w/o a tiny french company's dick owning 48% of their company.
  1. sergel02's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rabbimojo View Post
    Always interesting how many game industry experts come out of the woodwork on posts like this.

    It is a bit weird to see the subs so low, but over the years I've noticed that sub numbers go up or down based on whether *I* am playing. Therefore, Blizzard should work hard to earn *my* favor. Silliness aside, I do feel like something of an individual representative of the population Blizzard is trying to court, on both sides of the coin: Hardcore and Casual at the same time.

    The fact is that Blizzard's rise to fame came at a time when there just wasn't as much on the market. Now? Any game with a big market share better know its days are numbered, because the truth is many players just aren't invested in anything the same way. Why would we be?

    I'm high on my red wine so, to bore you to death (though it's part of my point), here's my current game roster: My big hours and multiplayer time are in Firefall's beta. Some nights I jump into Planetside 2 because I just love the scale of it all. I play Neverwinter (which is awful) for ~10 minutes/day because I like the professions. I occasionally play Towns (mediocre Dwarf Fortress clone on Steam) because I hate myself. When I feel ambitious I work on getting through the various Dragon Age DLC/sequels, or similar Mass Effect. I sometimes play Minecraft, Diablo 3, Monaco, Torchlight 2, Payday, Civ 5, Fallen Enchantress, and a dozen other games.

    My point? Why would I play WoW? How much content can Pandaria offer? I played it a bit, thought it was solid, but... why pay $15/month for it? I've been through the raiding song and dance so many times. I've geared up in heroics and PVP so many times. I've leveled so many times. I've done all this with alts so many times. I've spent hour after hour building spreadsheets to figure out some new feature, poking at EJ to see whether my numbers are right. I've done it all a thousand times (probably more like 4-6 times, considering number of xpacs): Why would I do it again?

    This is what every post-WoW MMO is failing at. Why do I care about doing 15/20/25/whatever-man raids? The same mechanics, the same character development, the same stories FFS.

    Free to play isn't the problem. Catering to casuals isn't the problem. Quality of design isn't the problem, talent changes aren't the problem, lack of change or too much change aren't the problem. It's just that Blizz can't innovate away from WoW while trying to court the population that does still enjoy it. It was always going to happen, now it's happening, BFD.

    Source: I am a game dev. I spend more hours reading industry post-mortems each week than most in this thread do playing WoW. I'm probably still wrong; nobody knows anything anymore and we'll never have true experts again. C'est la singularité.

    Cheers, and long live WoW. The devs have worked hard, and it's been fun to watch usurpers try and fail, year after year. I hope I get to enjoy it a bit longer.
    This is a very good post imo.
  1. Riddles's Avatar
    Funny how it was 12m "half" a year ago? now it dropped almost by half.
  1. Rixark's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Riddles View Post
    Funny how it was 12m "half" a year ago? now it dropped almost by half.
    There hasn't been 12m subscribers in WoW since Wrath.
  1. Yuyn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jacob1212c View Post
    Well with the Vivendi purchase the activation blizzard company is now an independent company, maybe they will start puting out good content again
    Vivendi was a major stockholder in Blizzard since roughly 1998. All of WoW's development, from the very early alphas to current, have had Vivendi involved in some manner. Usually the Activision merger (~2008) is considered the point where things started to go downhill, largely in terms of more and more obvious money grabs.
  1. Riddles's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rixark View Post
    There hasn't been 12m subscribers in WoW since Wrath.
    Didn't it peak at 12m when MoP came out? or was it 10?
  1. stellvia's Avatar
    Except Vivendi has always been extremely hands-off with Blizzard. Far more-so than Bobby Kotick and Activision getting their grubby hands in the cake mix.

    I don't think you can attribute the sudden decline in WoW numbers to anything other than it finally running its natural course. There was a lot of design churn in the first few expansions, but since Cata they've basically settled on a fairly consistent way the systems work. People grow up and start families, people just flat out get bored, they want to do other things, etc.

    I don't think we'll see these subscriber numbers run themselves into the ground over the next 2 years, but it probably will continue to plummet down to the 4-5M range. We'll see if Flex raiding manages to prop up the ship.
  1. panterarules's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by OneSent View Post
    Perhaps we should go back to the TBC/Wrath model, when the game was growing exponentially.
    TBC and Wrath had completely different models. MOP is a derivation of the Wrath model. AoE, no mana and PvP where you die from RNG burst. A big factor of the game growing in Wrath was that the Chinese WoW affiliate changed hands making it more accessible in China.
  1. Rixark's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Riddles View Post
    Didn't it peak at 12m when MoP came out? or was it 10?
  1. stellvia's Avatar
    That's another angle to consider: The rise of indie gaming over the last few years. There are just so many MORE games you can get involved with nowadays -- why tie yourself down to just one thing?
  1. enchanted's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by 08nolanni View Post
    My biggest question is.
    Did 600,000 people leave the mmo genre? I don't mind if wow loses subs. But if those people don't join other MMO's its bad news for the genre as a whole

    Naturally some of those people will move to other mmo's. Just my 2cents.
    Nope, once I left WoW 7 months ago I actually went and fired up swtor which I haven't played a year since or so and I must say, I was never happier as I actually like that mmo. Also I'm eagerly waiting the arrival of ESO atm but you may ask why am I here if I still don't play well because this expansion I just didn't find the kind of fun I used to have especially after like 5 years of playing and also since most of my friends quit I'm just waiting to see how SoO might turn out and then for the next expac then I might resub.

    OT; It's no longer a surprise WoW is loosing subs to me since WoW is a near 10 year old game and whoever holds 5m+ subs imo all this time truly is a great game but now, there are more MMO's and people got tired of WoW just like me or just didn't feel this expac suited them but again thats my opinion. Not sure whether the change from Acti-blizz removal from vivendi is good or not but hope it will be better on the long run for the company. I just hope atleast acti-blizz unmerge themselves and let blizz alone maybe things might fix themselves but who knows.
  1. carnifex2005's Avatar
    Wonder what the new expansion will be. They've got to announce one at Blizzcon now.
  1. Draahl's Avatar
    Still about 6 million more subs then any other mmo. And i still enjoy raiding, which is my only reason for playing wow.
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    Product Life Cycles.
    Product Life Cycles.
    Product Life Cycles.
    Product Life Cycles.
    Product Life Cycles.

    Better repeat it until people learn.

    What frustrates me isn't that the game is losing subs, because that is to be expected in anything eventually. It's not about quality.
    No, what frustrates me are these endless posts claiming that wants to claim that an expansion that was current 6years ago has a design that would work today, and increase subs. It's hilarious to be honest.
  1. 86d's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    Product Life Cycles.
    Product Life Cycles.
    Product Life Cycles.
    Product Life Cycles.
    Product Life Cycles.

    Better repeat it until people learn.

    Its still the biggest MMO out there.... the game is FAR from going away. The casuals have just tapered off, They will come and go based on the ebbs and flows of the game. The Warcraft movie will bring in lots of players for a time. WoW is just returning to a more Core player base. Virtual realms / cross realms address a lot of the issues that the flexing player base has caused.
  1. Donald Hellscream's Avatar
    the sub loss is bad and stuff but ultimately it doesn't affect me at all so no reason for me to care.
  1. Gehco's Avatar
    Actually, well done to keep subs on a higher peek than people would actually believe it had been. As well, finally Activision-Blizzard holding the majority, about time!

    And with alot incomming the next 6 months, I would say that it isn't as bad as it could.

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