World of Warcraft Sheds Subscribers Once More
When it comes to massively multiplayer online video games they don’t come any bigger than the World of Warcraft. This game, just about to hit its 9th birthday, has gone from strength to strength over the years. In fact, in its heyday it boasted over 11 million paying subscribers at the same time. This is a huge number considering its next closest competitor, Final Fantasy XIV boasts just over 2 million players. Blizzard, the creators of WOW (as it is known in the video game community) are a publicly owned company, and as a result need to release their subscriber numbers from time to time. World of Warcraft players around the globe await eagerly for these numbers to be released. The latest update came on the 6th November 2013.
It is no secret that the World of Warcraft has been shedding subscribers for some time now. Some people say that it is down to mistakes that Blizzard are making with their game design. I am inclined to disagree though. There are very few video games out there that can hold people’s attention for more than a year, let alone the nine years that World of Warcraft has been going on for. Sure, new content is being released all of the time, but the game engine is ageing and people are understandably becoming quite bored. This is completely natural. Couple this with the fact that some of the original subscribers have moved on with their lives (a lot can happen in nine years e.g. getting a new family and the like) and people are not as keen to play any longer. I think that the video game has done a good job of retaining subscribers for so long.
Over the past couple of years the game has been losing a million or so subscribers every quarter. This is quite a large fall in the grand scheme of things. Yesterday many people were expecting a massive drop in subscriptions. Turns out, the company only lost 100,000 subscribers in a four month period. Honestly, with a game this old and with an economy this poor that is not a lot at all. In fact, it is pretty good going! This could perhaps mean that the player base is going to stabilize a bit for a while. Whatever happens though, the game still has many years of life left in it.
With over 7 million paying subscribers on the books I don’t think Blizzard are going to be quite worried about the downfall of their fantastic video game any time soon. In fact, on the 8th November 2013 they will be announcing their latest expansion pack. Early indications point towards the game going back to its roots…back to when the game had its highest amount of subscribers. If this is true then it will be interesting to see whether it is able to draw some of the older subscribers back into the game. Perhaps for the first time in years we may actually see a boost in subscription numbers? We will find out in four months!
About This Post