Blizzard Will no Longer Report World of Warcraft Subscriber Numbers

Twinrehz

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Nimcha said:
Fappy said:
The theme park MMO is in it's twilight years. This was inevitable. Hopefully someone comes along and revolutionizes the genre again. We're long overdue.
SWTOR's latest expansion surely helps!
A better example of a more fresh MMO doing well is Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which according to reports passed 5 million (total, not active) subscribers in June-July. They've been tight-lipped about active subscribers, but it was assumed to be a couple of hundred thousand, although to me that seems sparse given that they recently brought out a new expansion.

SWTOR was a bit scant at the beginning, and while more content has been added afterwards, their f2p-model really stinks. Doesn't make it a bad game, but ultimately not a good option to make the f2p-part so restrictive.

As for why Blizzard decided to stop announcing subscriber-numbers, my initial thought was that it's to silence those players who keep shouting about wow dying (which, btw, they've been saying since cataclysm, 4 YEARS ago), whose scaremongering might be deterring new players, causing them to look elsewhere. (Trying not to scare investors also seem like a good reason, though).

Quite frankly I'm tired of the same old chorus chanting about wow's (inevitable) death. Yes, it is bound to die at some point, but that doesn't make you more right. You can argue that it's been dying since Wrath of the Lich King, since the sub numbers have been steadily declining since then; that doesn't mean its OK for you to keep shouting, you're not adding anything new to the discussion, you're just part of the noise machine.

If people (like me) want to spend more money on WoW (I do it because I enjoy raiding), then we should be allowed to do so, without you shouting in our ears the same old tired soundtrack that you've been playing since patch 3.3 in Wrath.

(This was not aimed at the escapist; it was aimed at people who can't shut up about this kind of thing).
 

P-89 Scorpion

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Not surprising for years WoW was Blizzards main revenue source but they have F2P Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm now and Overwatch soon.
 

Random Gamer

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Well, quite a smart move to stop this when the drop was so minimal compared to previous bleeding. Now they can pretend their numbers have hit a plateau and aren't getting worse.
 

VaporWare

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disgruntledgamer said:
I'm amazed 5.5 million people still play WoW
Inertia is a wonderful and terrible thing. Personally, I'll be just as happy however the rolling industry clusterfuck that is World of Warcraft finally grinds to a halt. Or at least tapers off enough not to be such a stone around our necks.
 

CrazyCapnMorgan

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Jan 5, 2011
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Nimcha said:
Fappy said:
The theme park MMO is in it's twilight years. This was inevitable. Hopefully someone comes along and revolutionizes the genre again. We're long overdue.
SWTOR's latest expansion surely helps!
As is Final Fantasy 14's next patch. Can't wait until 3.5 patch when we get to do the new relic weapon quests. ^_^

And then, sometime down the road, 4.0 will hit and Samurai will be available. Now it's a game of hope to see if they will ever make a Red Mage for the game, too.
 

JayRPG

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$100 says that when they release the next expansion and get a subscriber boost they'll start reporting subscriber numbers again.
 

Karadalis

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When it comes to gaming WoW is a granddad nowadays. It has been around for far to long, the age of its game mechanics and graphics are showing (despite the character model upgrade) and it has become so bad that they had to initiate a "stat squish" because the engine was having trouble handling all those rediculus numbers... a stat squish that allready seems to have lost its effect at the end of the current expansion.

Add to that that the dumbing down of the gameplay/difficulty and character systems have done jack shit to improve introducing new players to the game. (lets face it, at wrath of the lichking everyone that had been interested in the game had allready played it)

The game peaked at wrath of the lichking because it had the last of the great character/antagonist from Warcraft 3 anyone cared about and had alot of love and polish put into it in my opinion.

They had a strong antagonist with Deathwing following Arthas... but completly dropped the ball on him. Ever since then they have been fudging around, throwing stuff at the wall simply to see what sticks. Showcased by the inclusions of kung fu pandas...

Not only that but the latest expansion felt like such a rushed job that you could literally feel that the Devs really didnt gave a fuck about it one way or another, a throw away expansion that no one in the dev team aprantly took serious and wich only served to bring back a character so that character can bring back another character...

Oh and said character they brought back? Hes gonna get killed off in the very first raid of the new expansion as the very first boss... awesome. I allways love when MAJOR plot characters get killed off as throwaway bosses that are followed up by no name/made up on the spot boss encounters followed by the final boss ibeing some guy you first hear of in the raid itself pretty much. (like with bladefist in the ogre raid.. instead of one of the titular warlords of dreanor we had some ogre emperor be the final boss of the first raid... and bladefist the very first boss... really bad design)

See warlords of draenor had us expecting facing the greatest and most powerfull warlords of orc history in epic battle. Yet one got offed in a 5 man instance, another one was the very first boss in the very first raid (instead of being the final boss of the first raid as should be) then we got one at the end of the second raid and the last one, the initial big bad, we didnt even face... instead in the end everyone forgave him for all his atrocities and was cheering for him? Wtf? After all the destruction he brought over draenor for shits n giggles?

Warlords of draenor was a bunch of jumbled together concept ideas and felt asif nothing was really thought through. The leveling experience was nice and the garrison was fun building up.. till the point it all turned into one big facebook game.

Also the PvP was horrible with their lame attempt of mobaising the PvP wich backfired horribly.

Three subpar expansions in a row will even hurt the mighty WoW and if the next one isnt another wrath of the lichking im afraid that trent will not stop.
 

elvor0

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Twinrehz said:
Nimcha said:
Fappy said:
The theme park MMO is in it's twilight years. This was inevitable. Hopefully someone comes along and revolutionizes the genre again. We're long overdue.
SWTOR's latest expansion surely helps!
A better example of a more fresh MMO doing well is Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which according to reports passed 5 million (total, not active) subscribers in June-July.
I'm not entirely sure if FF14 has any longevity to it though. I've a max level character, and I've TRIED, really tried to get into FF14 on multiple ocasions as I love the FF series and the nostalgia is real as fuck.

But it just has so many issues that gnaw at your ankles. UI is clunky and riddled with way too many menus, world isn't actually a world, but a series of gated zones, you can't queue for dungeons with a chocobo out, you can't have a combat pet and a cosmetic pet out at the same time, GCD is 2.5 seconds long which makes combat feel slow as shit and abilities are tied to animation, Dragoon is horrendous to play, having to switch between flank and behind is good in theory, only bosses move a lot and are like to fuck up your rotation like no tomorrow. The crafting system is cool though.

Native controller support means people are going to be slow as molasses in a group at doing anything. And the final bugbear; Raids are quite frankly, crap. Hit detection STILL hasn't been fixed which is unforgivable in any game with raids, I'm not fucking playing if I get continuously hit by rocks when I know I'm out of the way and they're all extremely simple mechanic wise. Not to get into the console V PC debate, but I feel that supporting both has crippled the game. It can't be too complex, because the controller controls are awful, but it can't be too simple because it's on PC.

It's a real shame, because they did well to keep the game going after the original release, but it's /so/ close, yet so far of hitting the mark, that it's frustrating, because I know that if all these issues, small issues(except for the world obviously), could be fixed, I'd play the game in a heartbeat. It's got potential but just falls short by ignoring annoyances.
 

IridRadiant

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Twinrehz said:
Nimcha said:
Fappy said:
The theme park MMO is in it's twilight years. This was inevitable. Hopefully someone comes along and revolutionizes the genre again. We're long overdue.
SWTOR's latest expansion surely helps!
A better example of a more fresh MMO doing well is Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which according to reports passed 5 million (total, not active) subscribers in June-July. They've been tight-lipped about active subscribers, but it was assumed to be a couple of hundred thousand, although to me that seems sparse given that they recently brought out a new expansion.
Guild Wars 2 is also doing very well - on Oct 23rd, ArenaNet released an infographic that stated they have over 7 million GW2 accounts created - and has done the best job, imo, of trying to revolutionize the genre. It's very common to tell new players NOT to treat the game as they do other MMOs because the general experience of the game is so different than what they are used to, especially now that the base game is free to play and all of the new players that brings.

From different quest hub setup (heart and dynamic event chains), different combat mechanics (collision detection, combo fields/finishers, dodge rolling, and downed state/rallying), different crafting (salvaging and recipe discovery), jumping puzzles and vistas, multiple pvp game modes, branching personal story, to the economy (in-game gold to cash shop gems exchange, trading post), it's just very different from any other MMO. The expansion brought horizontal progression (instead of increasing the level cap) in the form of elite specializations and the mastery system.
 

RJ 17

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Nov 27, 2011
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Well of course they're going to start releasing expansions faster...the expansions are the only thing giving the game a shot in the arm these days. Each expansion draws back some of the subscribers they've lost, but the number drops again soon after.

They really do need to do one of two things:
A: Create a final expansion where players get to duke it out with Sargeras in a final showdown, allowing people to fight the Dark Titan as their final accomplishment in the game.
B: Switch to a Free-To-Play model if they truly want to keep WoW's shambling husk limping along into the future. Hell, if they went with this route, then I'd actually probably get back into it. :p
 

Clankenbeard

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Mar 29, 2009
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This seems terrible. At $15/month subscription fee (and I know there are reduced versions for longer terms), that means the game only takes in $83 million/month. That's just $1 billion per year. It does seem like something you'd want to hide from investors/media/subscribers.

What the REALLY need to do now to boost WoW subscriptions is to add a few candy-based mini games into the boss fights. That's put them on the road to getting their $5.9 billion.

I don't play WoW and never have. But, if I had to pick any game in the history of gaming as the biggest revenue dump truck, I'd guess Wow. Don't be ashamed of your 5.5 million subscribers guys. Holy crap! To still have these numbers after these years is incredible.
 

The White Hunter

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Oct 19, 2011
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CrazyCapnMorgan said:
Nimcha said:
Fappy said:
The theme park MMO is in it's twilight years. This was inevitable. Hopefully someone comes along and revolutionizes the genre again. We're long overdue.
SWTOR's latest expansion surely helps!
As is Final Fantasy 14's next patch. Can't wait until 3.5 patch when we get to do the new relic weapon quests. ^_^

And then, sometime down the road, 4.0 will hit and Samurai will be available. Now it's a game of hope to see if they will ever make a Red Mage for the game, too.
I wonder if the new relic quest will be the same sort of abhorrent grind that the last one was, personally I just gave up and farmed out dreadwyrm weapons. The light farming was just too tedious.

Need a shake up of difficulty balance in the game and some attention paid to the instance design, HW was more extension than expansion. Red Mage will likely not be a thing, they can't execute it without pissing people off.

Edit: Oh yeah and Wildstar went F2P relatively successfully and has seen a bit of a surge in numbers.

Anyway, OT:

There's a bunch of other stuff happening in the MMOsphere and the endgame of Draenor isn't that impressive so it's natural, they'll spike when the next xpac hits and then plateu for a bit. A new MMO from Blizzard is deeply unlikely, an overhaul of WoW itself or a relaunch is more likely.

Also isn't FF11 a higher gross profit over lifetime still?
 

SmugFrog

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Sep 4, 2008
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Steven Bogos said:
and Blizzard has stated it plans to release expansions for the games a a much more frequent rate than prior.
This just seems like an Activision directed "hurry up and try to get something to keep people" tactic. Filler for your pie.

Clankenbeard said:
Don't be ashamed of your 5.5 million subscribers guys. Holy crap! To still have these numbers after these years is incredible.
That is a pretty good number; but it doesn't really represent the active players. I think I kept 2 accounts for a few months without playing them simply because I didn't want to lose my characters and progress. As people start to realize "Why am I still paying for this?" those will inevitably decline. WoW seems like one of those games that will never really fade away, but Blizzard is also in the prime position to be prepping a successor such as "World of StarCraft" - which could be an exciting sci-fi entry into the medieval/fantasy dominated MMO market. Combine aspects of other popular MMOs like EVE and it could be a pretty amazing game. I think, however, that the problem is with Activision that wants to continue to milk this cow dry without having to pay for innovation, startup, etc of a new IP.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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Ticklefist said:
Don't take my word for it. Have a look at the rankings in the primary bracket. Horde players sparsely scattered among a sea of Alliance.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/pvp/leaderboards/3v3
http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/pvp/leaderboards/3v3
TL;DR: The top 14 3v3 Arena ratings belong to Alliance players and 46 of the top 50 are Alliance.

That's just a little bit ridiculous.
 

MonsterCrit

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disgruntledgamer said:
I'm amazed 5.5 million people still play WoW
IT's amazing no but that's what they get for focusing on linear as opposed to lateral game play. Face it. YOu can chart WOW;s declines with the release of Open World games like Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout, etc. These games come closer to delivering the experience people were hoping to get from WoW. A vast storied world to explore and get sucked into the lore of, To learn and discover new things, in the world and in the mechanics.

Wow's kinda lost that vibe. I mean there was a hidden joy to toying around with talent builds in the old system. Just to see what if, and to spice things up. But they'vve essentially streamlined it down to the point where really, it's practically linear. Not taht it's a bad thing, it made the game accessible to new players by reducing the learning curve but it also reduced the intellectual investment.

A good system hhas the player thinking about the build trees even when they're away from the game. They can turn it around easily but that would take balls.
 

sonicneedslovetoo

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SlumlordThanatos said:
jurnag12 said:
I can actually kinda see the reasoning behind this. It's incredibly easy for potential investors and such to see the continuously dropping subscription numbers and balk at the company while ignoring the somewhat underestimated new revenue generators that are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.
Hearthstone has probably allowed Activision Blizzard execs to purchase their fifth gold-plated yacht, but I really doubt they're making very much money off of HotS.

If anything, they're probably losing money on that game, since they're trying so hard to push the eSports community for that game and failing miserably. It's not a bad game, it just doesn't lend itself very well to a solo experience...which will push a lot of people away. Without players, no one will want to watch the pros go at it.
Nobody does want to watch the pros play it, the multiplayer gameplay is so much busywork(larva injections, mules, creep, chrono boost that sort of thing) that it just wears on your mind with its tedium. It never even shows up on the frontpage of Twitch anymore outside of a tournament. They were so focused on "ITS AN ESPORTS GAME" that they forgot to make it something that people want to play.
 

Kenjitsuka

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"Just FYI, the latest figure of 5.5 million represents a loss of around 100,000 subscribers from last quarter, putting the game's player base at a nine-year low. "

Yeah, well that sums that up rather nicely!
Glad I am no longer pouring in a hundred-ish hours a week anymore that I'll never get back ;)

Now I play Rift since a few months after years of no MMO-ing, but only an hour or 1-2 a day.
 

bossfight1

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I ended my WoW subscription for the first time a few weeks back; I'm planning on jumping back in shortly before Legion comes out.

The reason I ended it, though, was because of the way Warlords ended; it was just abrupt, we didn't spend a whole lot of time on Draenor, and we're supposed to assume that we're suddenly buddy-buddies with Grommash after the Legion is defeated - conveniently forgetting the fact that even without the Legion, Grommash was still heading an invasion into Azeroth for shits and giggles. You know it's bad when Cataclysm had a better ending.

Beyond all that, knowing that 6.2 was the last Warlords patch and we'll probably be another year before Legion has made this the worst case of expansion fatigue I've ever felt. I simply didn't have enough motivation to keep hopping on after a while, and it was heartbreaking. And this is coming from a WoW apologist, one who was happy with Cataclysm and Pandaria, one who didn't so much think that Blizzard could do no wrong, but rather would wait patiently for them to learn from mistakes and do better in the future.

And I'm sure they're taking notes, and I'm willing to believe that Legion will give a much-needed boost in subscriber numbers. Until then, though, Hellfire Citadel just left a bad taste in my mouth.
 

Phasmal

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Jun 10, 2011
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They don't really need to report any more. Everyone knows it's slowly going downhill.
Nothing against WoW, I played it for about 6 years and it will always have a special place in my heart (especially because I met my boyfriend on it)- but it's just getting kinda old and done.

They can hide the subscriber numbers, but anyone can see the effect of fewer players. Just before me and boyfriend quit for good Orgrimmar was a complete ghost town, whereas when I started it was always full of people pretty much any time of day.

They're gonna have to call it a day at some point. I don't think it's far off.