WoW drops 14% of subscribers – Blogger Reactions

by on May 13, 2013

It’s the big – nay, huge – news of the month in the MMO blogosphere: according to publishers Activision, World of Warcraft has dropped 14% of its subscribers, 1,300,000 people, since the fourth quarter of 2012.

That’s massive.

Does it mean WoW is dying?

Is there likely to be another WoW expansion in light of this news?

As always, the blogosphere rallies round with some really fascinating insights:

  • Saxsy posts some really brilliant analysis of not just the announcement but the accounting figures behind it, saying amongst other things that she doesn’t believe there will be another WoW expansion – and part 2 here“Whatever one thinks of Mists of Pandaria artistically, the financials show the grim truth that it failed to spark significant revenue increases.”
  • Azuriel believes that the fascinating point in all this is just how cautious and conservative Activison are“Activision-Blizzard might join the ranks of EA as a big-budget publisher who only produces one title that I am remotely interested in, with all the “risky” indie ventures soaking up the money I leave on the table.”
  • Mhogrim contrasts WoW’s remarkable longevity with the lifecycle of other games” 90 days to 6 months; Players have gotten pretty comfortable but the new shinies aren’t as shiny anymore. Progression raids have been fullfilled, pvp brackets have been maxed and…what is there to do again?”
  • The Grumpy Elf writes an epic post outlining his vision of how Blizzard could stem the tide“Lets face it, the game is not casual friendly for the 80%. The people that do not seek out information on their own. Would they know that the AC quartermaster is under the main city? Or even where to do the AC dailies if they never stumbled across the person offering the lead in quest? “
  • Goetia muses on what keeps her playing WoW these days and whether it will continue to be enough” I just hope that someone smarter than me (and smarter than the current dev team) figures out how to put a new shine on the endgame.”
  • Typhoon Andrew injects a note of “is this really big news?”“What can we as current WoW players do? Not much. Keep having fun and playing. Just because something is less exciting for most people has never been a reason I’ll like it.”
  • And Zellviren offers a well-thought-out and balanced theory as to what might have gone wrong: lack of progression options for casual players, hardcore-only Normal raids and the death of alt-focused playstyles“Here’s a tip: casual players want to develop their characters, too. At this point in 5.2, you have a single way of doing that. LFR.”

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

João Carlos May 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm

A little math: 1.3 million subscripters per quarter is the same that 5.2 million subscripters per year. Blizzard really hope that quarter bleed don’t repeat along this year, because an expansion will happen only at 2014 or 2015…


NetherLands May 14, 2013 at 4:22 am

Besides some miscellaneous changes that esp. don’t fit the Asian/Chinese playing style, they essentially continued with Cata’s ‘Raid or Die’ approach, they just expanded it to ‘Raid Finder or Die’ with all the double gating, Crafting limitations (only those who don’t need the gear can make the gear etc.) and of course the ‘Death by Dailies’ and ‘Dead server’ issues.
Add to that that esp. due to the removal of Spell Ranks the levelling experience is one unbalanced mess of pointless PvE and ludicrous PvP since Cata and this pile being made worse by CRZ, and you really start to wonder why they don’t bring out a ‘spin-off’ called ‘Raids of Warcraft’ that just does away with all that ‘pesky’ virtual world and levelling business alltogether.


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