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World of Warcraft subscriber numbers are dwindling again

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World of Warcraft is still the largest MMO on the planet, bringing in a ridiculous amount of money for publisher Activision-Blizzard. It’s in no danger of losing that accolade any time soon – even though its user numbers are dwindling at a rapid rate.

The popular Mumorpuger saw subscriber levels increase to over ten million monthly subs after the release of Warlords of Draenor. That expansion was well received – even though it didn’t exactly roll out as smoothly as anyone had hoped. Since people have dicked about with its content though, subscriber levels have dropped sharply – sitting now at levels below those found before Warlords of Draenor’s release. It now has 7.1 million paying customers, which is still a heck of a lot of people throwing money at Activision for doing fetch quests.

In its recent earnings call, Activision has done its best to put a positive spin on it.

“World of Warcraft’s revenue performance at constant FX has been more stable, driven by continued strong uptake on value added services, and price increases in select regions, which partially offset subscriber declines, particularly in the East,” Activision says (via PCgamer) . “World of Warcraft remains the No. 1 subscription-based MMORPG in the world.”

The drop’s a little surprising to be honest, especially given the game’s new token system, that allows players to use in-game gold to fund their addictions.

Whatever the cause, the folks at Blizzard are going to have to do some thinking about the next expansion – which will have to shake things up considerably to reinvigorate interest in the game.

Do you still play World of Warcraft? What do you think of the token system, and if you’re a lapsed susbscriber – what could bring you back in to the game?

Last Updated: May 7, 2015

69 Comments

  1. Lord Chaos

    May 7, 2015 at 13:08

    Ummmm…. Starcraft Ghost?

    Reply

  2. Loftus

    May 7, 2015 at 13:08

    I think it is Blizzard not Activision people are throwing money at

    Reply

    • Pariah

      May 7, 2015 at 13:15

      It’s Acti-Blizzard. Same thing.

      Reply

      • Loftus

        May 7, 2015 at 13:16

        true true

        Reply

      • madethatway

        September 13, 2015 at 04:23

        No, actually, it’s not the same thing. Activision has a less than shiny history in the games publishing industry – the fact that it attached ‘Blizzard’ to its name in hopes of making itself suddenly appear squeaky clean, changes nothing. A leopard can’t change its spots.

        Blizz allowed Activision to buy its way in and take over publishing of their game(s). Again, Activision is NOT Blizzard and Blizzard is NOT Activision – all Craptivision did was throw some money around and then have a legal document created so they could wear the Blizzard name.

        Reply

  3. Admiral Chief

    May 7, 2015 at 13:11

    Nothing

    Reply

    • Pariah

      May 7, 2015 at 13:13

      This.

      Reply

    • Loftus

      May 7, 2015 at 13:17

      so you would go back for free ? hahaha

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief

        May 7, 2015 at 13:20

        Nothing could possibly lure me to play/replay that

        Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        May 7, 2015 at 13:21

        I played it for free till level 20, then I went back to Auraxis

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          May 7, 2015 at 13:22

          LIES! Have not seen you there!

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            May 7, 2015 at 13:23

            No one sees me they just hear the gunshot.

          • Admiral Chief

            May 7, 2015 at 13:24

            You lie, you are not online…either that or you are not hitting anything!

          • Hammersteyn

            May 7, 2015 at 13:26

          • Pariah

            May 7, 2015 at 13:26

            say*

          • Admiral Chief

            May 7, 2015 at 13:30

            Gee, thanks for the invite you twit. I see you were slaughtering your old affiliation members, good

          • Hammersteyn

            May 7, 2015 at 13:39

            They die easy. Jackhammer is way to OP

          • Admiral Chief

            May 7, 2015 at 13:40

            I like skill, Railjack FTW

          • Hammersteyn

            May 7, 2015 at 13:53

            Got that as well

          • Admiral Chief

            May 7, 2015 at 13:40

            *too

        • Pariah

          May 7, 2015 at 13:22

          Scrub. I was a Heroic raid leader up until the end of Cataclysm. Then decided to get a life. No regrets.

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            May 7, 2015 at 13:24

            This scrub got out before you 😛

          • Pariah

            May 7, 2015 at 13:25

            Small victories. 😛

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            May 7, 2015 at 13:25

            Don’t lie. You started playing DOTA.

          • Pariah

            May 7, 2015 at 13:25

            That was 3 years later. I had 3 years of freedom.

          • Hammersteyn

            May 7, 2015 at 13:26

            So you gave up on life?

          • Pariah

            May 7, 2015 at 13:27

            I met my gf through dota, so no. 🙂

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            May 7, 2015 at 13:28

            Is this one of those situations where someone is saying no but means yes? 😉

          • Pariah

            May 7, 2015 at 13:33

            Thankfully not XD I have a feeling I’d probably end up on the wrong side of that particular arrangement. XD

          • RinceThis

            May 7, 2015 at 13:37

            lol

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            May 7, 2015 at 13:28

            Is this one of those situations where someone is saying no but means yes? 😉

          • Das Ende

            May 7, 2015 at 21:20

            Pfffft, when you get a R1 come talk to me kid.

        • ReaperOfSquirrels

          May 7, 2015 at 14:34

          I lvl’d 1 character to 100, 2 characters to 90, 3 others to 85, then the others are between 80 and 20. Then I played other games.

          Note: This excludes time spent in Beta access, and time spend on my wife’s account.

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            May 7, 2015 at 14:38

            Dayum!

          • Das Ende

            May 7, 2015 at 21:23

            leveling is so gravy since wrath it’s ridiculous. I have 5 max level toons, all ilvl 640 or better, and maybe play 5 hours a week.

          • Johann Coetzee

            May 10, 2015 at 17:55

            bullshit

    • Hammersteyn

      May 7, 2015 at 13:18

  4. ReaperOfSquirrels

    May 7, 2015 at 13:19

    #CalledIt!!!!

    The token system is just there for the people that can’t afford to buy game time, but the grind to get that kind of ingame gold (if you don’t understand the market and flow of gold) will be impossible in a 1 month period.

    The STARTING price on the US servers is 30000g, EU servers is 35000g.

    Reply

    • Loftus

      May 7, 2015 at 13:44

      Hey with those numbers i can actually log in and i’ll have 4 odd months of game time, the only hassle is to download the game. I’ll rather wait for my winnings of W3!

      Reply

      • ReaperOfSquirrels

        May 7, 2015 at 13:49

        Just remember that those are the “Starting Prices” set by Blizzard themselves. It can easily climb to 100k gold if people are being typical Auction House w***es.

        Reply

        • MaryFHuffman

          May 7, 2015 at 19:15

          ???????Set Profit From your Home with Google Marketing@nj22:::

          ..

          ????https://ViewSpotJobs33Group.com/qwe/plusj

          Reply

        • Michael Matusowsky

          May 7, 2015 at 19:54

          The higher the demand (as in it is being bought A LOT) -> The higher the cost. The higher the supply, the less the cost. in America, supply > demand hence it’s the cheapest of the bunch so far. In EU it got released relatively recently. It’ll come down from it’s current 38000g.

          Reply

          • ReaperOfSquirrels

            May 8, 2015 at 08:35

            Yeah, people are expecting it to go as low as 15k… but I don’t see that happening.

    • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

      May 7, 2015 at 13:56

      Wait what? … Hell I can stay subbed for almost a year at that price.

      Reply

      • ReaperOfSquirrels

        May 7, 2015 at 14:10

        Yeah, me too XD

        Reply

  5. Hammersteyn

    May 7, 2015 at 13:24

    Maybe they’re leaving the game for TESO?

    Reply

    • Ottokie

      May 7, 2015 at 14:10

      I actually did leave for TESO. To put some weight behind my decision. I actually bought the digital collectors edition for WOD because I’ve been playing since 2008 and only played 2 months then quite because of lack of content mostly because of Activision’s involvement.

      Reply

  6. Nahuel Graziani

    May 7, 2015 at 13:31

    The subscriber drop was taken from Q1, prior to the token being introduced. We will know how the Token affected numbers in Q2 reports.

    Regardless, subscriber drops comes down to lack of content once again. Last content patch was literally called “Garrison Patch” and was nothing but some crappy Garrison content. Garrisons also removed the need to actually *play* the game besides raiding. You don’t need to leave your garrison these days if you don’t want to. Just log in, send your followers on orders and then log off.

    The game is fun leveling from 90 to 100, then after that there’s not much else to do. I came in late to this expansion after a long hiatus and burned through the fun *new* content in a week. Now I log in for 10mins a day to send my followers on missions, twice a week to raid and that’s it. No incentive to actually play the game past 100 at all.

    It’s really sad. There’s no social aspect to this game any more, though it was a drawing point for a lot of people. If it wasn’t for my biweekly raid group, I’d literally not have to ever speak to anybody.

    Reply

  7. Kromas,powered by windows 10.

    May 7, 2015 at 13:54

    I am subbed but have not logged in for a while now. Too busy with FFXIV and Eve at this point in time. Well I just log into eve every few days to set my skills as I am in a transitional period since my corp is dead.

    Reply

  8. pe3nguin

    May 7, 2015 at 14:53

    Everyone jumping ship to Final Fantasy XIV with the upcoming expansion?…Maybe not 🙁

    But they should!

    Reply

    • ReverendFunk

      May 7, 2015 at 16:51

      I experience pretty bad lag with FFXIV. Just feels like a big delay between pressing a button and the skill activating…is it just me?

      Reply

      • pe3nguin

        May 7, 2015 at 19:01

        It’s not just you. The servers are located in Canada so we are dealing with a ping around 500ms – it can be infuriating but it is not nearly as bad as the server side lag we experienced in 1.0 when opening a menu for example would take as long as 3 seconds after initiating the action xD

        Fortunately – there are plans to move a datacentre to Europe following the release of Heavensward which will hopefully alleviate some of the ping issues we face.

        Reply

  9. Aiko Kishiko

    May 7, 2015 at 18:51

    I tried to go back but honest WoW is just tired and played out. It was good at first but it’s just incredibly boring to me now.

    Reply

  10. Michael Matusowsky

    May 7, 2015 at 19:52

    I’m a lapsed subscriber. What will bring me back? Well for starters, release the game as it SHOULD HAVE (all the stuff that came in patch 6.1 felt like it should have come WITH the expansion at the start). Now I’m just waiting to see if 6.2 is worth my time.

    Reply

  11. Das Ende

    May 7, 2015 at 21:18

    Ghostcrawler ruined the franchise….

    Reply

  12. Santiago Draco

    May 7, 2015 at 21:57

    If I have to run another “daily” (regardless of how you try to hide the fact of what it was) I’ll kill myself. Draenor has failed, ultimately, because at the end of the day it was the same treadmill even though they did a good job of disquising it. For example the limit of 3 pieces of Warlords crafted gear. So time to run dailies. Need those points. Etc etc. How about going back to the days where dailes were NOT required. Gear as drops. Various levels. Maybe factions. And for gods sakes actually improve the graphics! It’s so damn dated.

    Reply

    • Das Ende

      May 8, 2015 at 16:55

      Won’t happen until the fail frost mage is put out to pasture. Ghostcrawler gots to go…

      Reply

  13. xcovick

    May 8, 2015 at 05:38

    Yeah yeah I believe that all have its ups and downs and wow has this down for now but it sooner or later it will get back up again and prove that it can survive for maybe ten more years and maybe more.

    Reply

  14. Gareth Smith

    May 8, 2015 at 07:42

    “people throwing money at Activision for doing fetch quests” – tip of the hat to you my good man. =)

    Reply

  15. Sageville

    May 8, 2015 at 10:21

    I’d go back if held at gunpoint or if my playing prevented the apocalypse….

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      May 8, 2015 at 10:35

      apocalypse would be good, because it would wipe this game from existence

      Reply

      • Sageville

        May 8, 2015 at 10:38

        I’d still have the memory of pancaking a cyclist with a pair of trucks, so I can die happy….

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          May 8, 2015 at 10:41

          Bwahahahaha!

          Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          May 8, 2015 at 10:41

          I swear that was the highlight of online gaming for me

          Reply

          • Sageville

            May 8, 2015 at 11:25

            …and to think we did it twice, that’s like finding a 2 headed unicorn wearing a coat of 4 leaf clovers…

          • Hammersteyn

            May 8, 2015 at 11:40

            hahahaha

  16. madethatway

    September 13, 2015 at 04:18

    Activision is just a games ‘publisher’ with a shady history of financially bleeding great games dry and destroying/shutting down the studious that launch them.

    Although its greed is insatiable, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Activision can attach ‘Blizzard’ to its name ’til the cows come home, but it will never – ever – be ‘Blizzard’.

    Why on earth Blizz felt the need to allow Activision to buy it’s way in and take over their publishing, we may never know, but we do know one thing for certain – the quality of WoW – from game content to Blizz’ communications with their player base – has been in steady decline since that decision was made – and I defy anyone to say differently.

    Oh sure, they had an ‘aww’ moment when they created the Crusher pet because some 7 year old kid’s mother wrote to them….but the reality is, anyone who dares call it like it is and draw attention to stark reality, will be silenced, as evidenced by this EU forum post in February, which HAD been placed in the US forums, but was oh-so-quickly wiped from existence (no prizes for guessing by whom and why):
    http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/13686790283

    Activision like to fire talented staff and replace them with the clueless (cheap wages); that’s on record. They like to cut corners so they can have something produced as cheaply as possible for as much profit as possible – and Blizz must now appease Activision’s CEO who likes his unearned fat $7m + bonuses every year.

    I hope (probably in vain) that Blizz wakes up and extricates itself from Activision’s slimy clutches.

    Reply

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