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World of Warcraft Lost Over 1 Million Subscribers This Year

By - Source: Develop | B 93 comments

Q3 2011 Results Reveal WoW Subscription Decline... and there's still three months to go.

Activision Blizzard on Tuesday announced better-than-expected Q3 2011 net revenues and earnings, reporting that the company delivered GAAP net revenues of $754 million, as compared with $745 million for the third quarter of 2010. This gain was achieved via digital channels, accounting for more than 57-percent of the company's total net revenues.

However in a conference call following the Q3 2011 results announcement, Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Morhaime admitted that World of Warcraft's subscription count continues to fall, dropping from 11.1 million subscribers in June to 10.3 million in September -- a 7 percent drop. The long-standing fantasy MMORPG saw a 300,000 drop in subscriptions in the six months prior, meaning that Blizzard has lost over a million customers in the first 9 months of 2011.

According to Morhaime, the biggest drop in subscriptions is taking place over in the East. However he also said the game is still one of the most popular titles in China, and currently remains as the most popular subscription-based MMOG in the world. "That said, we know there are improvements that we can make in game content," he continued.

Blizzard plans to retrieve its lost customers with new updates and expansions like the just-announced Mists of Pandaria. There's even a content update pack launching in the coming weeks although it's not meant to reel in previous subscribers. "It's really not intended to go out and drive new user acquisition, that's a whole other strategy," he said. "But it does drive engagement with the game, and so that will impact churn if we do it successfully, and will eventually drive win-back, as players tell each other about the content they're enjoying."

Blizzard previously reported that a sudden loss of subscribers -- nearly one million at that -- was due to seasoned gamers re-activating their accounts for the release of the third expansion, Cataclysm. These customers quickly chewed through the new content and then canceled their subscription when the cataclysmic meal was fully consumed.

Last month during BlizzCon 2011, the company revealed the game's fourth expansion pack, Mists of Pandaria. The new expansion reintroduces the elusive pandaren, originally seen in Blizzard’s real-time strategy game Warcraft III, as a playable race and adds a brand-new player class: the martial-arts-focused Monk. The expansion will also provide a range of new content and game features including new quests and dungeons, group scenarios and "challenge" modes, pet battles, and more.

Hey dude, I'm playing a panda dressed like a Monk! Yep, that will win back customers alright. Then again, Kung Fu Panda seems mighty popular still...

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  • 29 Hide
    Goldengoose , November 10, 2011 8:44 AM
    makaveli316I have never played WOW, cause these games are addictive and consume your social life.Same reason i quit playing multiplayer. It turns you into zombie, especially if you're a kid or a teen.


    Self control perhaps?
  • 25 Hide
    sporx , November 10, 2011 9:11 AM
    "Ok guys we need to get some gear to be geared enough to get more gear. Once we have that gear we will be geared enough to get the next tier of gear which will give us enough gear to beat the last boss and get his gear. "

    Why would anyone stop playing a game like that ?
  • 20 Hide
    digiex , November 10, 2011 9:36 AM
    Former older players already got a life, and World of Warcraft no longer appeal to younger generations.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    acasel , November 10, 2011 8:08 AM
    Lol because ppl get ready for D3.. no surprise :p 
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , November 10, 2011 8:26 AM
    LOL since D3 is yet far from ready, the revenue finally falls in the fourth quarter.
  • 13 Hide
    makaveli316 , November 10, 2011 8:35 AM
    I have never played WOW, cause these games are addictive and consume your social life.
    Same reason i quit playing multiplayer. It turns you into zombie, especially if you're a kid or a teen.
  • 29 Hide
    Goldengoose , November 10, 2011 8:44 AM
    makaveli316I have never played WOW, cause these games are addictive and consume your social life.Same reason i quit playing multiplayer. It turns you into zombie, especially if you're a kid or a teen.


    Self control perhaps?
  • 15 Hide
    clivene09 , November 10, 2011 8:46 AM
    I doubt they will go free to play till the subscribers drop to at least half of what they are now. $15 a month for 10 mill subs is a large chunk of money to just drop outright, and I doubt they will make it back in microtransactions. The thing I don't think Bliz really understands is that WoW is just old. I have fond memories of the game, but the time has come to just move on.
  • 7 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , November 10, 2011 8:48 AM
    Everytime I think of WoW or Facebook, I think of the South Park episode "You have 0 Friends"
  • 11 Hide
    legacy-za , November 10, 2011 9:05 AM
    makaveli316I have never played WOW, cause these games are addictive and consume your social life.Same reason i quit playing multiplayer. It turns you into zombie, especially if you're a kid or a teen.


    Personality, I think, that it differs from person to person, it does not necessarily mean that it will happen to every gamer out there. :) 
  • 25 Hide
    sporx , November 10, 2011 9:11 AM
    "Ok guys we need to get some gear to be geared enough to get more gear. Once we have that gear we will be geared enough to get the next tier of gear which will give us enough gear to beat the last boss and get his gear. "

    Why would anyone stop playing a game like that ?
  • 8 Hide
    cmcghee358 , November 10, 2011 9:13 AM
    AuroramA picture of Kung Fu Panda and making fun of the whole concept... really, Kevin?You wrote an informative, neutral article. Why did you chose to end it with such an out of place comparison? If people would want to see cheesy anecdotes of which trolling teens can think of, they'd read MMO Champion or Joystiq...Anyways, you might want to mention that the loss of subs is seen primarily in China at this time. The country is always terribly far behind regarding updates in content, as was seen in the previous expansion's release, Wrath of the Lich King. They didn't get that until 28 months had passed since the rest of the world started playing it. Cata was less delayed at "only" 7 months. Let's hope that MoP won't take as long, or Blizzard will slack on updates again until the China release.Ah well, why do I care. Stopped playing ages ago!


    He mentioned the loss of subs came from the East. Also they ARE MARTIAL ART PANDAS. Stafoo.
  • -4 Hide
    Auroram , November 10, 2011 9:29 AM
    cmcghee358He mentioned the loss of subs came from the East. Also they ARE MARTIAL ART PANDAS. Stafoo.


    So the East = China now? Heh, last time I checked there were quite a few countries over there.

    As for martial arts pandas... the pure martial arts damage role of the monk only takes up a third of the class' gameplay. You might as well compare a soldier to a terrorist then, because they both shoot things with the same kind of weapons. It makes no sense.

    And then I haven't even mentioned the expansive storyline behind the race and class yet, which makes KFP look like a story written by a child. Really, the only comparison that can be made are the looks, and even that is misleading.
  • 20 Hide
    digiex , November 10, 2011 9:36 AM
    Former older players already got a life, and World of Warcraft no longer appeal to younger generations.
  • 3 Hide
    rantoc , November 10, 2011 9:38 AM
    This happens when a company gets over confident, they get lax and don't bother to serve their customers (NOTE i only speak about wow now!). The lack of content is stunning considering if they only took 1$/month per subscriber and put that to content the game would have new content atleast monthly. Today its the same raid/instance over, over, over and over - Its dull and booring! Doing the same boring thing over and over is more like a second work than entertainment!

    And on a more personal oppinion i think wow have became TOO mainstream and streamlined, anyone can play and do it alright - No real skills are needed anymore and whats the challenge then? Heck even the basic stuff like talents will be even further stupidified with the next expansion!
  • 5 Hide
    cmcghee358 , November 10, 2011 9:45 AM
    AuroramSo the East = China now? Heh, last time I checked there were quite a few countries over there.As for martial arts pandas... the pure martial arts damage role of the monk only takes up a third of the class' gameplay. You might as well compare a soldier to a terrorist then, because they both shoot things with the same kind of weapons. It makes no sense.And then I haven't even mentioned the expansive storyline behind the race and class yet, which makes KFP look like a story written by a child. Really, the only comparison that can be made are the looks, and even that is misleading.


    I know sometimes it doesn't come right out and SAY IT, but how about:

    Quote:
    According to Morhaime, the biggest drop in subscriptions is taking place over in the East. However he also said the game is still one of the most popular titles in China

  • 0 Hide
    Goldengoose , November 10, 2011 9:51 AM
    AuroramSo the East = China now? Heh, last time I checked there were quite a few countries over there.As for martial arts pandas... the pure martial arts damage role of the monk only takes up a third of the class' gameplay. You might as well compare a soldier to a terrorist then, because they both shoot things with the same kind of weapons. It makes no sense.And then I haven't even mentioned the expansive storyline behind the race and class yet, which makes KFP look like a story written by a child. Really, the only comparison that can be made are the looks, and even that is misleading.


    Th story is basically it was abit misty so we couldn't see them. Then it cleared up and now we can so they come out to play. I see what you mean now... stephen king must have come up with that story line it's that good!
  • 3 Hide
    claydavis , November 10, 2011 10:03 AM
    Warcraft games have lost its uniqueness in the recent games which is why they got less subscribers in latter years.
  • -1 Hide
    memadmax , November 10, 2011 10:07 AM
    If ur anti-social like me, WoW is a god send. The only downside is the requirement to interact with other people mostly during raids and being buddies with guild mates... I hate that...

    The 4.3 patch will supposedly bring in the random raid finder... Finally, now I can raid without having to talk to a soul, you just go in, destroy everything and get out with the loot... =D
  • -5 Hide
    Auroram , November 10, 2011 10:13 AM
    GoldengooseTh story is basically it was abit misty so we couldn't see them. Then it cleared up and now we can so they come out to play. I see what you mean now... stephen king must have come up with that story line it's that good!


    Oh sorry, I must've known that the community over here doesn't do it's research on a subject before modding a comment. Pathetic.

    http://www.wowpedia.org/Pandaren

    Yeah, a misty island with rip offs from Kung Fu Panda. Sure.
    In the RPG and books, they have about an equal amount of story pages and background information to them as the other races, such as the Trolls and Night Elves, which have been in the game since it's development started over a decade ago. Note that the main story of most things in WoW aren't actually in the game, but in various books and RPG's.

    Simply because few people have done research about the story, doesn't mean that it isn't there for those who actually care, as opposed to those who simply try to be popular through bashing a subject and going along with the tone the author of an article has set.

    Seriously, don't comment on something you don't know a thing about. Please. I'd have expected better from this site.
  • -1 Hide
    kd0frg , November 10, 2011 10:23 AM
    did anyone else look for diablo 3 on walmart.com and see that it says pre orders will ship on 02/07/2012?? is that the release date!?
  • 3 Hide
    Jargon , November 10, 2011 10:33 AM
    Oh sorry, I must've known that the community over here doesn't do it's research on a subject before modding a comment. Pathetic.

    http://www.wowpedia.org/Pandaren

    Yeah, a misty island with rip offs from Kung Fu Panda. Sure.
    In the RPG and books, they have about an equal amount of story pages and background information to them as the other races, such as the Trolls and Night Elves, which have been in the game since it's development started over a decade ago. Note that the main story of most things in WoW aren't actually in the game, but in various books and RPG's.

    Simply because few people have done research about the story, doesn't mean that it isn't there for those who actually care, as opposed to those who simply try to be popular through bashing a subject and going along with the tone the author of an article has set.

    Seriously, don't comment on something you don't know a thing about. Please. I'd have expected better from this site




    Calm down it is just a game and pandas are stupid
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