World of Warcraft is still the most popular subscription-based MMO on the planet – but it’s going to have to do something big to keep the status quo. According to Activision-Blizzard’s latest financial reports, subscriptions for the fantasy online RPG are in steady decline.
Subscriber numbers have dropped year-on-year by nearly a million – from 7.7 million last year to 6.8 in 2014. Blizzard is hoping that the upcoming expansion, Warlords of Draenor, will help turn that around.
“As expected, we did see a decline in subscribers, which mostly came out of the East. This pattern is right in line, percentage wise, with the drop that we saw at the end of Cataclysm’s cycle in Q2 2012,” said Morhaime. “That drop in 2012 was followed by an uptake in subscribers just ahead of Myst of Pandaria’s launch.
“We’re hoping to see players return once we draw closer to the release of Warlords of Draenor later this year,” he added.
Warlords of Draenor increases the game’s level cap to 100. While it will indeed see an uptick in subscribers, I think it’s time the core of World of Warcraft was given a substantial overhaul or upgrade. I think the game has become fundamentally boring – and no amount of extra content is really going to change that. Mayhaps it’s time for World of Warcraft 2 – or that mysterious MMO Titan that’s been in development for just about ever.
When it comes to MMO’s, I think more and more people will move over to free-to-play, particularly in Asia where grinding for hours on end is not only the norm, but something people there seem to actually enjoy.
Last Updated: August 6, 2014