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WoW Subscriptions Dipped Again, But Content Coming Soon

By - Source: CVG | B 67 comments

Blizzard lost another 300,000 subscribers during Q2 2011, but there will be a major content release coming later this year.

Wednesday evening during Activision Blizzard's Q2 2011 earnings call, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime admitted that the number of active subscriptions fell again for Q2 2011, the second decline in a row. As of June 30, the popular MMORPG was still riding high with 11.1 million active subscribers worldwide, but the number actually dropped from 11.4 million as recorded at the end of March. Blizzard saw around 12 million active subscriptions during October 2010, notably due to the impending December 2010 release of the Cataclysm expansion pack.

Last quarter, Morhaime blamed the subscription drop on Cataclysm. Specifically, the decline was due to players canceling their subscriptions after quickly consuming the expansion's content. To combat this, the company decided it would be best to have more frequent content releases rather than one huge content explosion every few years. But as for this latest drop in subscriptions, he included the word "seasonal" along with a similar content consumption explanation.

"In terms of subscriber growth around the world, what I would say is what we have seen is that subscribership [sic] tends to be seasonal and driven by content updates," he explained. "As we are heading further away from an expansion launch, it's normal to seasoned declines."

He then added that the team is currently working on its largest content update since Cataclysm, and is scheduled to go live later this year. "The next content update... will include major new raid and dungeon content," he said. "We believe that this new end-game content will keep the game fresh for current players and provide compelling reasons for lapsed players to come back."

Eurogamer points out that Blizzard just registered a trademark protecting the name "Mists of Pandaria." Given that Blizzard named patch v4.2 as "Rage of the Firelands," the title could merely be another update... but it could also be the title of the next "major" release as revealed in Wednesday's call.

But despite the loss in numbers, Morhaime added that the launch of Cataclysm over in China and the upcoming launch of a Portuguese World of Warcraft client in Brazil later this year should help beef up the player base. Blizzard already saw "great success" in launching the MMORPG over in Russia. "There are other countries we're looking at beyond that as well but I don't have anything that I can talk about," he said.

Morhaime also pointed out that the 20-level "trial" has reeled in a significant number of new accounts, but didn't elaborate on whether they actually led to paid subscriptions, instead saying that it as too early to tell "on conversions to subscriptionship."

"Aside from promoting World of Warcraft in other regions, we're taking other steps to bring more players into the community," he added. "With the new World of Warcraft Starter Edition, players are now able to play the game for free until level 20 with no time restrictions. Since the launch of this program, we've seen a significant increase in new account creations, which we hope will allow us to continue attracting new players."

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  • 16 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 5, 2011 10:30 AM
    mandusthe game is boring, i cancelled my account a week ago.

    After playing for how many years? :D 

    Though, seriously, agreed.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , August 5, 2011 10:16 AM
    the game is boring, i cancelled my account a week ago.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , August 5, 2011 10:16 AM
    the game is boring, i cancelled my account a week ago.
  • 16 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 5, 2011 10:30 AM
    mandusthe game is boring, i cancelled my account a week ago.

    After playing for how many years? :D 

    Though, seriously, agreed.
  • 6 Hide
    Kamen_BG , August 5, 2011 10:49 AM
    In cataclysm every class is kind of the same...It`s so damn boring i tried it for 2 months and quit.TBC>Vanilla>Wotlk>Cata
  • 1 Hide
    rantoc , August 5, 2011 11:06 AM
    To me WoW have started to lost quality big times, it used to have rock solid pathing, no-client update issues and no floor aggro ect.

    Today thats common place, if Blizzard wants to keep their quality name its time to put that solid code back. Today its more of "overoptimized-we-want-more-players-for-the-same-cpu-time-and-bandwidth" code thats running on the servers.

    Heck its so poorly done my toons for instance have already passed by that mining/flower node when it shows up and i have a "world ping" of around 30ms with no packetloss - Thats not quality Blizzard! So instead of just add more content that will have thoose NPC's stuck in the ground ect it might be time to undo the damage the over-optimizations have done first or the new content will NOT be as enjoyable!

    Fix whats broken first! No one with a sane mind would add more rooms to a hotel with a foundation infested with termites! (bugs/overoptimized code)
  • 3 Hide
    rantoc , August 5, 2011 11:08 AM
    kamen_bgIn cataclysm every class is kind of the same...It`s so damn boring i tried it for 2 months and quit.TBC>Vanilla>Wotlk>Cata


    Agree, way to much copy-paste rather than really new spells/abilitys/talents.
  • 0 Hide
    plasmastorm , August 5, 2011 11:33 AM
    bye wow.... 7 years and im bored to tears.

    Anyone want to buy an end game account with 7 lvl 85's and around 80k gold in it?

    :) 
  • 0 Hide
    schmich , August 5, 2011 11:43 AM
    Maybe if they started to give a shit about PvP things could up. I mean all they do when it comes to balance in PvP is to keep things "playable". They could easily make it really balance and it bring it back as esport if they wanted to.

    They used to have the excuse that it's hard to balance without affecting PvE but now they can make abilities work totally differently in PvP and PvE. They have absolutely no excuse. Every single patch they say "oh next patch, you'll see, it will be balanced" but it's the same bullshit every time.
  • 0 Hide
    techseven , August 5, 2011 12:06 PM
    Quote:
    Fix whats broken first! No one with a sane mind would add more rooms to a hotel with a foundation infested with termites! (bugs/overoptimized code)


    How does overoptimized code work?
  • 4 Hide
    officeguy , August 5, 2011 12:10 PM
    I am glad I never got sucked into this game. I wanted buy WOW in the very begining (very badly) but I didn't want to pay $15 to play a game that I already paid for. If you payed over the years to play and bought all of the expansions packs you would have payed over $1400 to play a single game. That is totally ridiculous. I haven't heard anything but I hope Diablo 3 isn't that way, then I would really have to restrain myself :( 
  • 2 Hide
    kingnoobe , August 5, 2011 12:10 PM
    Shouldn't most of you be in the wow forums.. Sounds like a bunch of whining.. Which is what made wow lame. They took out all the good stuff..
  • 1 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , August 5, 2011 12:17 PM
    I haven't played in years, but I thought the game was fun. But it took too much time to do anything. I would spend half my time either going somewhere or waiting for an update to install. It moved too slow and I didn't have the time to dedicate to level up and play with everyone else I knew who had already leveled up.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , August 5, 2011 12:20 PM
    Quote:
    I am glad I never got sucked into this game. I wanted buy WOW in the very begining (very badly) but I didn't want to pay $15 to play a game that I already paid for. If you payed over the years to play and bought all of the expansions packs you would have payed over $1400 to play a single game. That is totally ridiculous. I haven't heard anything but I hope Diablo 3 isn't that way, then I would really have to restrain myself :( 


    I think everyone is waiting for Diablo 3.
  • 7 Hide
    Zeh , August 5, 2011 12:23 PM
    Problem with WoW is every class is just like the others. No more "unique flavor". I can understand giving a "mini Mortal Strike" to another class, but giving it to half the classes? Same about Battle Rez, Replenishment, Paladins Aura buffs, and many others.
    I actually thought it was fun in BC, where I could raid as feral - and be the best offtank in the entire guild, or with my undergeared Warlock that could make geared casters look silly.

    It just became boring, although they did fix major issues (10 days trial, poor performance in a few situations, flight in Azeroth, outdated quests...)

    And btw, I dont think WoW's expensive. I know it can be expensive for a kid, but anyone who works can pay day easily, and I dont know about you guys, but I find it very easy to spend more than $15 on a single night out (food, few drinks, parking fee, and so on).
  • 3 Hide
    CTT , August 5, 2011 12:30 PM
    Plasmastormbye wow.... 7 years and im bored to tears.Anyone want to buy an end game account with 7 lvl 85's and around 80k gold in it?


    Thats allot of life to put into a game...
  • 2 Hide
    techguy911 , August 5, 2011 1:08 PM
    I quit when they gave everyone healing abilities a rogue with healing abilities well that's just wrong.
  • 1 Hide
    nadavp3 , August 5, 2011 1:10 PM
    The problem with wow is a hydra: it has sevral heads:
    First off: if many people leav, then many others lost there friends which leads to them leaving which leads to other people without friends.. that leav and so on, so they must stop that.

    second:
    as for the reason leaving in first place:
    Its all "more of the same, again" - times 100: we all got legendery once, we all made it to gladiator, we all got over 100k honor kills and over 200k gold we got flying mounts with rank 4 licens we raided we foguht we did it.
    its all more of the same, nothing new, so how do you keep it new?
    well first off, thats there job if i could tell you that I would be working for them...

    but a good start would be more BGS.. like seriusly its the 7th year and we still play WSG regulary? check starcraft 2 out: over 50 semetrical maps.. for the same game type, all fun, and every season theres a map rottation, could I like,
    or check leagues of legend: two types of map, once map for each, but they have colors varaity: some times it snows some times its dark ("scary") some times its plain

    The other issue is: it feels like work, not play: you want some epic honor item? back in the day it used to be .. X amount of bgs, then they moved it to x*10 times bg.. and now it feels like x^30e bgs >_< seruisly?


    TLDR:
    1) more varaity (snow in wsg for example and.. more new maps for pvp)
    2) reduce grind amount: if your plan was to make sure we spend time in the game, you over did it now we see how much time it takes and we dont want to spend that much time..
    3) age: any one that played this game 7 years a go now days might be.. with a degree in a job and a kid so.. what do the next generation kids like? not to work for an mmo thats what..
  • 4 Hide
    NuclearShadow , August 5, 2011 1:14 PM
    I played WoW before any of the expansions came out grew tired of it then left it and never looked back. The problem is no matter how much new content they throw into it even entire expansion packs the core game-play stays the same and that is what gets boring.

    The real reason why people do not quit MMORPG's so easily is because of the investment they already put into it. It's hard to stand up and walk away from something you put so much time, effort, and even money into.

    WoW certainly is still the #1 dog in MMORPG's (based on subscriber amount) but its prime is now over and we will see more and more players eventually make the sacrifice and walk away. Within about 3-4 years I suspect that WoW will lose the #1 spot.
  • 5 Hide
    CaedenV , August 5, 2011 1:17 PM
    man, it is bad news when you add china and still loose a net 300K subscribers.
  • 0 Hide
    halls , August 5, 2011 1:18 PM
    Enjoyed the game on and off for years after it was released with a set group of friends, but Cataclysm definitely killed it for me.

    It's been a good run, but you can only renew the same game but so many times before it gets stale.
  • -1 Hide
    rantoc , August 5, 2011 1:32 PM
    techsevenHow does overoptimized code work?


    Over optimization can be several things, for instance you want a pathing routine to consume less cpu cycles. Well done optimization won't reduce the functionality while overdone so will resultimng in for instance mobs getting stuck with no way to reach its desitnation (it happens over and over in wow today). Another example could be optimization of the bandwith each player uses, a logic target is to reduce the range of visable objects in the gameworld that the server sends the player. Today that circle is VERY visable in WoW and mobs can litterary appear on the character without anything that should cause that like network, slow computer, server lag and the like. Thats over-optimization!
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