World of Warcraft sees decrease in subscriber base

After over six years of subscriber growth, Blizzard mega-popular fantasy MMO World of Warcraft may have reached plateaus. During the financial conference call on Monday for Blizzard's parent company Activision Blizzard it was announced that currently World of Warcraft has 11.4 million subscribers. That's a downturn of Blizzard's previously announced high number of 12 million subscribers back in October of 2010.

It was thought that the release last December of Blizzard's third major commercial expansion for the game, World of Warcraft Cataclysm, would help to boost subscriber numbers again. In January Blizzard announced that sales of Cataclysm had reached 4.7 million copies worldwide in just its first month. However, the recent downturn in subscribers might have happened in part due to the release of Rift, a fantasy MMO from developer Trion Worlds. The game had a massive marketing campaign that directly targeted World of Warcraft players.

During the conference call, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime told investors that World of Warcraft's players "have become much better and much faster at consuming content" and said that those players have gone through the content of the Cataclysm expansion pack faster than previous expansions. Morhaime said that Blizzard does plan to offer up new expansions to the game in a faster time frame than in previous years. Normally World of Warcraft players have had to wait roughly two years between commercial expansion packs.

Even with the decrease in its player base, World of Warcraft is still the biggest MMO game in the world in terms of monthly subscribers and it generates a ton of revenue every month for Activision Blizzard in both monthly fees and other streams. Blizzard is also working on a new MMO game but details about that title have remained a secret.

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DrunkenBeard said,

"4.7 million copies worldwide in just its first month", you missed the last part of the sentence ^^ That being said, yes there are certainly people that still play WotLK and to be honest if you still haven't dinged 80 it's not THAT important to get Cata.

Didn't miss it, but I still think that 6,9 millions who DIDN'T buy Cataclysm the first month is a very bad number. A worse number than the 400k subscripers they have lost now.
Maybe I'm just reading too much into it...

Alastyr said,

Didn't miss it, but I still think that 6,9 millions who DIDN'T buy Cataclysm the first month is a very bad number. A worse number than the 400k subscripers they have lost now.
Maybe I'm just reading too much into it...

The thing with the Cataclysm expansion is that you don't NEED it to experiance new content, unlike the other expansions before it.

Cataclysm changed the world they play in from lvls 1-60 and it was a mandatory update. I was quite happy, leveling 1-60 all the updated classes and enjoying the new starting areas for each race, and when you have zero idea about about where quests are and what they contain, its almost like playing the game for the first time again. It was very enjoyable to have a 'fresh start' so to speak.
It was something like 3 months when I decided to finally level up my 80's that I already had and I'll get back to the reason for that in a moment. It took me a week at most, with my warrior. Cataclysm was far far too easy to level up as a prot warrior. I didnt even have to exchange any of my armor or weapons when leveling up, it felt like there was little or no challenge in the game anymore.

.. and reason I went back to leveling my 80's was I had level 60's from the new cataclysm azeroth leveling zones, except the transition to 61-70 and then 71-80 was .. well disjointed and had next to nothing to do with the story line anymore, and were just a simple grind fest to get to level 80 so you could get back to azeroth to continue the new quests.

The result is I've stopped playing. I don't think I'll ever be going back. I did try Rift, and was lucky enought to get into beta early. it was about a week before release, I had two copies of the collectors edition on pre-order.. then I got addicted to ... minecraft.

Cataclysm was a bold, fresh revision to WoW but it simply wasn't enough. I upgraded and resubbed for a few months, but the new content didn't change what is effectively the same game... a game i already grew tired of. I'm not sorry that I delved back in for a few months, but any subsequent expansions won't snatch me back... I'm ready for something completely new. The Old Republic is probably next in line

the only thing changed was 1-60 and 80-85 content, outland and northrend went unchanged, still the ssame boring grind, not to mention lots of recycled content, I mean yes its nice to have ZG now a lv 85 raid for those who missed out on it in vanilla, but to veterans, its still the same old thing....

They may have had better luck if they introduced new classes rather than making other races be classes they werent before such as Tauren Paladin or Gnome Priest.

Xerino said,
the only thing changed was 1-60 and 80-85 content, outland and northrend went unchanged, still the ssame boring grind, not to mention lots of recycled content, I mean yes its nice to have ZG now a lv 85 raid for those who missed out on it in vanilla, but to veterans, its still the same old thing....
And in TBC only Outland changed. And in WotLK only Northrend changed. Cataclysm did rather more.

Well, good. Maybe this will motivate Blizz to get off their ass and finish Diablo III!

I played Cata for a little over a month and got tired of it. It is the same old grind that it was 6 months ago no matter what you are doing in the game. I did end up enjoying the PvP content more than the PvE content (which is reversed from when I first started playing the game). The hardest thing to overcome in the PvE content was other's stupidity, not the game content. You were either in a good group or in a **** group. In order to be in a good group you had to spend an extraordinary amount of time playing the game and working on those virtual relationships with folks. Blah. PvP was more single player oriented and much more casual so I liked it more at the end. But there are better PvP games out there.

Shadrack said,
Well, good. Maybe this will motivate Blizz to get off their ass and finish Diablo III!

thats what i think, they get so much money for their wow, that they are like "well... we wont rush with sc2 nor diablo 3... anyway silly people will always buy our games when we release it".

through the content of the Cataclysm expansion pack faster than previous expansions
-----------
Sure that's probably why the realm first Nefarian Heroic on Emerald Dream was yesterday only. The real fact is 99.99% of the players out there are still trying to clear the current content. Few actually downed more than Halfus on heroic.

Blizzard WoW team is just loosing it. Trying to say otherwise is delusional. They are recycling content. New content while not bad aint great either. Game feels cookie cuter. Paladin class lost all it's flavor. Almost all classes now have a resource system (energy, focus, holy power, eclipse) and work the same way (wait for proc and nuke). The last nerf of the ret paladin spec (a spec that was already before the nerf one of the worst in arena) is a good example of the fact the Blizzard team doesn't have a clue what they are doing.

I'll probably quit wow soon. It used to be a good game. There was problems (specially for paladin before TBC) but the game was not cookie cuter like it is right now and good players was able to adjust and be on top in an original way (paladin healer wearing cloth in vanilla, rogues soloing BRD dungeon at 60 with trillion of world buff, Hunter stacking armor pen in wrath to top the dps, ...).

^ Oh please ! Who was whining about some fights requiring specific classes ? Who cried about some classes not having enough survivability ? The homogenization is something the player base asked for, and as soon as they got it they did the only thing they have ever done : QQ.

Dedicated GW player here still grinding my "God Walking Amongst Mere Mortals" title. I got bored about a year and a half ago and moved to WoW. Loved my time in WoW but after each 3.x patch I felt I was back to where I started in the previous patch. Worked hard to get that set armour then have it replaced by a new set a few months later. TBH though WoW for the reason could keep anyone busy. Eventually though a growing family meant I had to stop as I couldn't dedicate time to the game. Paying £9 a month for a game I only get to play for 1 hr a day was pointless. So I went back to grinding my GW title ready for GW2. Can't wait for GW2, loved the first and hopefully will love the 2nd. I just hope Diablo III doesn't take peoples focus away.

I got bored of wow soon after I hit 85 well bored again, some ppl on my server grinded all night and got from 80-85 in less than a day I think, it was fun playing the first day cus all the zones were full and seemed like a frantic race but when I went with my second character later the zones were empty and was boring. stopped playing cus had move parents till my new house was ready and tbh I don't miss it one bit. I can actually talk to ppl ive never met in rl like I've known em for ages. MMO don't think I'm going play MMOs again it friggin wrecked my social skills (my fault I know)... hmmm reminder need cancel me sub paying for someat I ain't playing!

I haven't touched WoW in over 2 years lol. They keep sending me 7 days of free game time but i just ignore them lol.

last time i touched wow was 6 months ago
when my nephew installed it on my computer
i loaded it played 5 mins uninstalled it wow no thank you
played guild of wars & loved it

I just quitted the game this weekend after 4 years. Game isnt dificult, it just became a chore and and the boss fights annoying instead of challenging. Raid pugs died, gear went from freely distributed to impossible to get and quite frankly I stopped feeling entertained from it months ago.

5 years playing it and i left just after Cataclysm. I hit 85 the day after release of Cata. At 85 i found it boring, the dungeons were easy even though they'd promised they'd go back to TBC days of difficulty.
In my eyes the game was dying coming up to Cata and i was hoping that it'd turn around with the expansion and all the new ideas, but to really get what you pay for you'd have to start another character and level to see all the changes, and having 1 of each class on both factions i didnt wanna turn around and start again. Even with WoTLK it took a week or more to get from 70-80. 5 pitiful levels was an insult! why 85? why not 90? Add 2 more zones or something and thats all they'd have to have done.
Left WoW for Rift Beta and never going back. I loaded it yesterday when they sent me a free 7 days, logged in 5 minutes, out, uninstalled and deleted.
WoWs days are slowly coming to an end, IMO.

I don't think I'm renewing mine either. I used to love playing a priest but healing isn't fun any more, it's just stressful and annoying. Seems all the nice friendly people have gone too, there's nothing but trolls and vicious hate mongers left playing. Cataclysm is all just more of the same anyway, and most games made in 2004 are considered ancient today. It's little wonder everyone is leaving.

The only thing that kept me playing the last few years were achievements, but after you get a lot of the harder ones and feats of strength you realize that no one cares and they really don't mean anything. Most of all you realize it's not a game, it's a full time job that you pay for instead of getting paid for.

imagine all the man-working hours that have been wasted on this game that could have been used to make our planet better

jasonon said,
imagine all the man-working hours that have been wasted on this game that could have been used to make our planet better
Perhaps we could stop *all* recreational activity.

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