Posted on May 10, 2011, Ron Whitaker World of Warcraft Subscriptions Drop By 600,000
Some things you can just take for granted. The sky is blue, water is wet, and World of Warcraft subscriber numbers only go up. Well, until now.
During last night’s Activision Blizzard earnings call, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime mentioned that WoW has fallen to pre-Cataclysm subscriber levels. That means they’re back to 11.4 million, down from the 12 million subscriber peak. Honestly, is this really a surprise?
Let’s face it, we’ve all gotten to the point where WoW’s growing subscriber numbers were accepted as something that would always be so. But WoW is becoming more and more dated with each passing day, so people are naturally going to be looking for something new. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t think that this signals anything like the end of WoW, and here’s why.
First off, it’s been over four months since Cataclysm launched. The players who returned for the expansion have likely finished up the new content and gone back to whatever they were doing before. Second, the newest ‘big’ MMO, Rift, launched in late February. I’d wager that many of those players let their WoW subscriptions lapse while they played the beta and Head Start for Rift.
That’s not to say that WoW won’t lose subscribers at some point. Another game, possibly even Blizzard’s mysterious Titan, will eventually grab the attention of a large number of WoW’s playerbase. Even then, WoW will likely soldier on. After all, Everquest launched in March of 1999, and it still has players, and is still getting content added.
The long and short of it is this: WoW may lose some subscribers, but don’t expect it to go anywhere anytime soon.