Speaking of Sales Figures: World of Warcraft Is Slipping

Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2014 - 09:07 PM |
Tagged: wow, MMO, blizzard

World of Warcraft, the popular MMO from Blizzard Entertainment, once had 12 million subscribers registered and paying. Last month, it was down to 6.8 million. Sure, that is a lot of people to be giving you about $13 to $15 USD per month, each and every month. It is a decline, though. According to an interview with Tom Chilton, lead designer of WoW, it is, also, not expected to rebound.

We really don't know if it will grow again, (...) It is possible, but I wouldn't say it is something that we expect. Our goal is to make the most compelling content we can.

He also notes that expansion packs are barriers for entry and reentry. A quick, single-character increase to level 90 is expected to bring players straight into "the new content". Note that, prior to the upcoming expansion, this was the maximum possible level (Warlords of Draenor increases this to 100). Blizzard will also sell you, for $60, level-90 jumps for your other characters.

Or, you can just play the game.

If the trend continues to slip, at what point do you think that Blizzard will pull the plug? 1 million, active subscribers? 3.14159 million subscribers? Or, will they let World of Warcraft keep going as long as it is technically feasible? This is the company that still sells the original StarCraft, from 1998, at retail (unless something happened just recently).

Source: Ars Technica

August 20, 2014 | 10:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"At what point do you think that Blizzard will pull the plug"

Who are the idiots who keep saying this?

With 6.8million PAID subbies you are looking at 60-100million PER MONTH in revenue.

Most games who be dying to have these numbers.

There going to run it until it is no longer profitable.

August 21, 2014 | 12:21 AM - Posted by highhbrid

I concur with this. This notion that you have mentioned is just FUD from the majority IMHO. I'm sure that they would love 12 million people subscribed to their game but it's no reason for them to "pull the plug". I think that the income is better than one would assume considering all of the "extras" that they make available. I would guess that they're at maybe 70% - 75% capacity from 12 million a month.

August 21, 2014 | 11:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As long as they make a quality game (to clarify: a game of sufficient quality to be profitable), then more power to them and the gamers that enjoy it and are willing to pay.

I bought WoW and paid for about 3-4 months, but didn't enjoy it, so I stopped playing and paying. Clearly Blizzard doesn't need me and I'm OK with that. Some people can't get over it. LOL

August 21, 2014 | 12:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yeah pretty much, I would be surprised if they ever stop running WoW servers, unless something catastrophic happens to Blizzard.

Really dumb how people say WoW is dead, with 6.8m paying subs, when at the same time, Final Fantasy XIV, consider a pretty big success and the game responsible for keeping SE in the black, with 3m sales... in total, let alone people they've got to keep paying a sub

August 20, 2014 | 10:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Oops type, "they're"

August 20, 2014 | 11:53 PM - Posted by Pholostan

"Blizzard will also sell you, for $60, level-90 jumps for your other characters."

Tell me what the point of this game is, I forget.

August 21, 2014 | 07:14 AM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

If they can scale down then yes they will keep it going forever.

August 21, 2014 | 09:10 AM - Posted by Robert

I wonder if the reason is that people, like me, are growing bored of the MMORPG genre altogether. Aside from some MMORPGs trying different things like combat changes (Neverwinter, Age of Conan) there isn't much room for innovation. It all seems like it's been done.

But then I look at all the countless first person shooter games that come out every year, and they all seem to do well...and that genre is arguably older than the MMORPG genre (Wolfenstein, Doom, etc... in the mid 90's).

August 21, 2014 | 10:17 AM - Posted by Areus

It's 12M subscriber-ship peak was in 2009. Back then there weren't a lot of alternatives, and wow only had competition from wow-clones that most people weren't willing to invest the time or money into picking up.

Freemium tablet games didn't exist. Minecraft was in beta. Mobas only existed as mods to other games, and LOL was still years off.

I think all of those things stole away some of wow's userbase when they came into their own. The rest left from burn-out, anger at blizzard, or real life issues, and new subscribers are more likely to pick up a different game that doesn't have them investing 2 months to level a character before they can play with friends.

August 21, 2014 | 11:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

wow can this p.o.s. die already! FFS since late 2004 now 10 years going. What else can they put in this pile of shit to keep it going. Pay $60 log in and have everything in an instant? What's the point at dumbing it down even more???

August 21, 2014 | 04:25 PM - Posted by Arc (not verified)

The game is on the slow end right now, I'm waiting for WoD to be released even though my sub is still active. A lot of people are in the same boat with inactive subs and will renew once there is a reason to.

ATM, everyone is off playing this wildstar crap, just like they were playing KoTOR before that, warhammer before that, and probably something else before THAT, they ALWAYS come back to their addiction. Always.

August 22, 2014 | 05:35 PM - Posted by Kev1

I have been playing World of Warcraft about 7 years now. I play just about every evening. Have 12 to 14 level 90's on multiple realms. Have many legendary items, heroic SoO gear, and maxed out prideful pvp gear. So many mounts and pets it takes 1000's of gold every month to feed them all.

To me its a way to relax in the evenings. Its fun. Every expansion it has improved (to me anyway). You do need breaks from time to time to try other games, but as others have mentioned you always come back.

A lot of it is social, as I have made many friends playing. There is so much to do, you don't always have to be in combat. BF4 is fun, but the second you log in there is a big cross hair on your back. Not so with wow.

I'll be playing as long as I can afford to (its really not much, about the cost of 3 regular pc games a year), and as long as Blizzard continues to upgrade the content, the adventure, and the lore.

I know people call this game a PoS, but 6.8 million of us disagree!

August 22, 2014 | 06:06 PM - Posted by JCCIII

Any company that tries unnecessarily to force its patrons to be connected to the Internet, deserves to slip, slip straight into the trashcan..., Blizzard.

Any company that purposefully and without good cause alienates those who have been committed to its franchises but cannot participate in “Diablo III” and “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls” because they do not have Internet service deserves to slip, slip straight into the trashcan, Blizzard.

Any company that says that it has as requirement the necessity of Internet for your benefit for its “Diablo III” and “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls,” which everybody knew was a lie, and then comes out with console versions that play off-line deserves to slip, slip straight into the trashcan Blizzard!

Sincerely, Joseph C. Carbone III; 22 August 2014

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