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Blizzard to stop sharing World of Warcraft subscriber numbers

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Yesterday, Geoff told you about the World of Warcraft subscriber numbers. Dropping to a nine year low of 5.5 million, many are preparing for the death cry of the game. Of course, 5.5 million is still a lot of players sinking their time (and money) into a ten-year-old title. I doubt they will can the MMO anytime soon, but it does make sense for them to stop bragging about their numbers.

According to Gamespot, following the reports from Activision-Blizzard, the company went on to say:

Note that this is the last quarter that we plan to provide subscriber numbers. There are other metrics that are better indicators of the overall Blizzard business performance.

Instead, the company will use other “engagement” metrics to talk about Wow’s health. While those haven’t been specified, I’ll bet that they include the number of hours played, raids completed and other numbers that show off the range of activities that players get up to, regardless of how many players are actually completing those activities. Most of those still playing the MMO aren’t the lone wolves of the game, but probably guild members of note, so perhaps they will share those kinds of metrics about guild memberships and activity.

It makes sense for the company to stop reporting subscriber numbers as they are always pointed to as a sign that the game is dying, even though it has more subscribers than MGSV was able to ship units. That’s still a whole lot of players; while the game isn’t as big as it once was, it’s still a bit early to write it off entirely. Let’s wait to do that after the next expansion.

Last Updated: November 4, 2015

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