World of Warcraft Suffers Biggest Subscriber Drop in History

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
9,354
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World of Warcraft Suffers Biggest Subscriber Drop in History

World of Warcraft is down to 7.1 million subscribers, from 10 million at the end of last year.

World of Warcraft, despite riding a massive Q1 2015 earnings call [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/138695-World-of-Warcraft-Subscriber-Base-Over-10-Million-Following-WoD], meaning it has lost 2.9 million players in just three months.

To put things into perspective, check out this cool graph MMO Champion [http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/4878-WoW-Down-to-7-1-Million-Subscribers] put together showing World of Warcraft's subscriber numbers over the years:



As you can see, the game peaked right around the end of Wrath of the Lich King and has been steadily declining since, with the occasional short-term burst in numbers. Despite the decline in subscribers, Blizzard does say that actual revenue from the game has remained fairly consistent, thanks to a strong uptake on value added services (such as paid level 90 boosts), and price increases in select regions.

It's not all doom and gloom for Blizzard, however, as their earnings report also announced that Heroes of the Storm [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/tag/view/hearthstone] beta.

Source: MMO Champion [http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/4878-WoW-Down-to-7-1-Million-Subscribers]

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Eri

The Light of Dawn
Feb 21, 2009
3,626
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Not surprising at all.

Draenor had an amazing leveling experience. After that though? Complete drop-off.

I'm not sure I'd call the Garrison a facebook game, but it's pretty damn close. Log on for a few minutes, complete daily Garrison chores, log back out.

Despite no flying, there really wasn't a reason to be out in the world, and still really isn't a compelling reason to do so even now.

As I just mentioned, no flying has also turned a lot of people off.

Blizzard has made many mistakes to say the least.
 

seditary

New member
Aug 17, 2008
625
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So all the people who came back for WoD left as they realized that yeah, there really was a good reason they stopped playing WoW.

Hell WoD nearly enticed me back to the game and I first quit back during Wrath.
 

Zontar

Mad Max 2019
Feb 18, 2013
4,931
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So basically the only reason revenue isn't down for the game is that people are using their pay-to-skip-grinding service and screwing over select parts of the market that are likely not the US.

And I can understand why. Showed this article to a friend of mine who is a WoW fan, and he has this to say:

still playin, but without watching i know why. They dragged it on soooo much (basicly only opened 2 raids SINCE IT CAME OUT!), if it wasnt for the breaks im taking every few weeks id unsub too, since its boring as shiet right now.
Really I've never been a fan of the game, but looking at videos from some YouTuber whose name escapes me who made some videos on things like "best cut content" or "worst grinding/questing areas", it's clear that they could just have a few more developers work on fleshing out content to have some major updates to turn currently useless areas into decent points and opening a few more raids.
 

Remus

Reprogrammed Spambot
Nov 24, 2012
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From what I've heard from friends, the content was "new and exciting" and I should seriously resub, but the player toxicity is still ever-present. One had even taken pride in wrecking groups that complained about him playing a hunter or not knowing a rotation at lv 30. I'll not ever play a game with a base so self-absorbed and wrapped up in their superiority complex, ever.
 

Lodum

New member
Jul 30, 2012
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I can see I wasn't the only one, then, heh.

Basically, I came back. Had fun leveling up, even doing a bit of dungeon content, but, soon after that first resub fee hit, I grew bored and just stopped playing. I wouldn't doubt if many people's opinions were the same.

I realized that most of what kept me logging back in was the Garrison, and that was just a glorified free-to-play cell phone game. I had geared up as far as interesting content could take me, and raiding was out of the question because everyone I would care to raid with no longer played. LFR was (always) a joke.

It definitely didn't help that they changed Spriest to be just so... boring.
 

Paragon Fury

The Loud Shadow
Jan 23, 2009
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Called it. Warlords was great right at the beginning, with the beautiful visuals and even though the story was convoluted as hell it was still entertaining and leveling was fun.

Then Thrall steals your glory at the end of Nagarand, Blizzard hands out Raid Loot like candy, releases only two raid tiers, ties everything to a Facebook App Game, then to top it ALL off releases old content as "NEW" and makes the Legendary Item for WoD quite possibly the lamest and worst one in the history of the game.

There is a reason I quit too with this expansion. WoW is riding the nostalgia train super hard right now; had any other MMO had 3 expansions in a row as badly received as Cata, MoP and WoD have been they would've been dead by now.
 

The Madman

New member
Dec 7, 2007
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Consider me another person whose not surprised in the least about this. Warlords of Draenor had a great start with a fantastic leveling experience and some solid content out the gate, problem is Blizz really haven't delivered anything of worth since to keep people's attention hooked.

The first major content patch is only coming out now and it's been almost seven months since the expansion was released. Blizzard are really dragging their feet with this and it's completely spoiled the momentum an awesome expansion launch managed to earn them.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
9,909
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To me the game sort of died after "Wrath Of The Lich King" once Arthas was dead it just seemed to be all filler lore wise as they thought of increasingly weird ways to keep the game going, sure it could be lore justified, but I just wasn't feeling it. The grinds started to tax me, and when my guild pretty much quit I did as well, I tried to go back but I couldn't. I think part of Blizzard's problem is that in a game so socially based it's not easy for people to come back and get into guilds again especially as elitism continues and people look at herculean tasks to get caught back up even with paid auto-leveling and things like that. If you show up after not having played since say Lich King few people even want to talk to you so to speak, though that probably varies from server to server and community to community.
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Lodum said:
It definitely didn't help that they changed Spriest to be just so... boring.
Actually happened with a lot of classes. I really hated how they "pruned" all the situational abilities away. For DPS classes, especially, their "rotations" are now a joke, consisting of maybe three or four buttons no matter what spec. Yes, it make the game less convoluted and easier for newer players to understand, but it also made it horribly boring for anyone who regularly raids as DPS.
 

Ukomba

New member
Oct 14, 2010
1,528
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Hmm, revenue remained consistent, price going up while actual players goes down? Sounds like they're heading the wrong way on the Price vs Demand curve. It's an egregious way to do business when the supply is effectively infinite. I hope they continue and ride that curve straight into the ground, WoW has been a black hole in gaming for a decade, effecting even single player games.
 

SamTheNewb

New member
Apr 16, 2013
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Can you really call it a drop? It is more like a correction, putting the data point back on to the prevailing trend of subscriptions. The expansion numbers just seems to be a very big outlier.
 

Karadalis

New member
Apr 26, 2011
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There is not enough to do and no insentive to even play in Warlords of draenor

People log on, do their garrison stuff, and log off again. And i can imagine that people do not want to pay a subscription fee of 12 euros just for a glorified Iphone app with shitty interface.

Add to that that LFR gear looks sometimes worse then world drop greens and you dont even have a reason to go LFRing if youre not into organized raiding.

Then they took a complete crap on PvPers, almost completly ignoring them and putting a piss poor excuse of a battlefield into the game where most people cant even enter because its allways at its limit.

And the fact that they massively cut back on features and content and that the expansion is allready allmost over even thought its only 5 months old and we most likely have more then a year left before a new expansion hits.

WoW is a dinosaur... and people thought that it would reinvent itselfe with WoD... and while the story telling was better then ever before, there is not enough game in the new expansion, there simply is no reason anymore to go out into the world and do quests and shit because your garrison can give you even better rewards simply for logging in and doing some facebook quests.

That is not what people wanted when they wanted housing, they wanted a place they could customize to their liking and show off their achievements. Instead what they got was an expansive iphone app with a subcription and no reason to play the actual game.
 

Aetrion

New member
May 19, 2012
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At 7 million players it's still by far the biggest true MMORPG out there. I think what's really catching up with Blizzard is simply the fact that the game is at that point where its legacy is all dead weight, not a strength it can leverage. They have more content than most MMOs could ever dream of having just lying around completely unused because people just rush past to get to the "endgame". In fact they completely removed all of the leveling content the game launched with with Cataclysm.

From my perspective the problem with WoW is that they have a gargantuan world that has become nothing more than the worlds most interacrive installation and loading screen. You spend a bit of time in it while you install endgame, and then while you load raids and battlegrounds. Match based games are more popular at this point, but to me that means MMOs shouldn't try to become match based, they should leverage their actual strengths. We're literally at a point where developing a game with a seamless world that rivals WoW in scale and detail is becoming too expensive for companies to even try. More and more MMOs are based on instances and smaller maps and overworlds. The whole idea of the free roaming online RPG is in danger of going extinct, and the one game that can boast the biggest accomplishment in this area just lets it all rot while they make you queue up for dungeons.
 

PH3NOmenon

New member
Oct 23, 2009
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And with each new expansion, the upswing will be smaller and the drop afterwards will be bigger.

Everyone is aware of this, right?
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

New member
Sep 6, 2009
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PH3NOmenon said:
And with each new expansion, the upswing will be smaller and the drop afterwards will be bigger.

Everyone is aware of this, right?
Not Blizzard.

It's a sad thing to admit, but World of Warcraft was somehow able to kill my interest in Fantasy themed gaming. I can play Sci-Fi games no problem, just not Fantasy. Good thing Skyrim has mod support.
 

Evonisia

Your sinner, in secret
Jun 24, 2013
3,258
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I'm just really happy to see that their lazy, desperate nostalgia bait marketing strategy has failed.

Sure they've still made more money this quarter than I'll ever see in my life, but the blood loss was well deserved on their part.
 

Jandau

Smug Platypus
Dec 19, 2008
5,034
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Of course the game peaked around Wrath, it was the last really good expansion they did. Cataclysm was disjointed and unfocused, Pandaria was a joke. WoD drew a ton of people back with the premise, but failed to follow up on it. It's as if Blizz isn't sure what they did right in the first place so they can't do it again...
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
9,354
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I'm not surprised that this happened... just that it was this many in such a short amount of time. Would've thought it'd be longer, but then they've been pretty bad with the patches in this expansion according to what I've seen and have been told by a friend.
 

Fdzzaigl

New member
Mar 31, 2010
822
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A lot of old subscribers probably came back to see Draenor again, then left when the game couldn't hold them over like it did in the old days. Overall they seem to be back at the point they were at before the expansion.