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.
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.”