Activision Blizzard released its World of Warcraft subscription numbers last night, revealing that its long running MMORPG is bleeding subscribers, losing more than 800,000 since March 31st.
The total number of subscribers now stands at a not-inconsiderable 6.8 million, down from 7.6 million three months ago. This isn’t just a recent occurrence though, with subscriber numbers steadily falling since its 2010 peak of 12 million. Blizzard has downplayed these figures, claiming these numbers will take a massive hike when the Warlords of Draenor expansion arrives later this year.
While World of Warcraft has dropped to nearly half its peak number of players, Blizzard head honcho Mike Morhaime thinks things will pick up when the decade-old RPG’s fifth expansion arrives later this year.
"As expected, we did see a decline in subscribers, which mostly came out of the east,” said Morhaime. “This pattern is right in line, percentage-wise, with the drops that we saw at Cataclysm's cycle in Q2 2012. That drop in 2012 was followed by an uptick in subscribers just ahead of Mists of Pandaria's launch. So we're hoping to see players return once we draw closer to the release of Warlords of Draenor later this year."
While the crushing early days of WoW may be a thing of the past, Blizzard’s 2004 hit is still bringing in the bucks, raking in around $100 million in subscriptions every month and, although the subscriber count is down, revenue is actually up. Exact figures weren't released, but much of the increase presumably came from World of Warcraft’s in-game store, where exclusive mounts and other cosmetics can be bought.
Of course WoW hasn’t been Activision Blizzard’s only success, with the publishing announcing Diablo 3 has now sold more than 20 million copies, putting it into the top 25 bestselling video games of all time, with a PS4 and Xbox One release just around the corner. Are you one of the many fleeing World of Warcraft? Will the Warlords of Draenor expansion revitalise it once more? Raid the comments section and let us know what you think!