Blizzard Activison recently posted their financial earnings report for Q1 2015 and it revealed a huge drop in subscribers for World of Warcraft. Last year saw the massively successful launch of Warlords of Draenor, an expansion to the game that pushed the subscriber total to around 10 million players. Since then the active subscriber base has slid to 7.1 million and a lot of sources are claiming this is the end for World of Warcraft. Still, 7.1 million active users paying a monthly subscription is a hallmark of a hugely successful title and with the game celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary last year the number is only made more impressive. I’ve been playing the game for 8 of those years and this news comes as no surprise to me, in fact it’s expected. The fall off is relatively consistent with all of the post expansion periods.
The gaming environment is changing and the subscription model is slowly becoming obsolete as free to play and other options seem more attractive to the modern gamer’s wallet. So should Blizzard Activision be worried? I don’t think so. Let’s not forget it was also announced that World of Warcraft themed card battler, Hearthstone, is now up to 30 million players and new MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, has a solid 11 million players taking part in the beta test alone. I’d bet that the 3 million subscribers lost are somewhere in one of those two games, but that’s just my speculation. Also throwing money into to the pot for the Blizzard are Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2, so I don’t think too many “brows are furrowed” over the report. I won’t even mention the success of the Destiny and Call of Duty franchises.
So in a nutshell, World of Warcraft has, not unexpectedly, downsized a little but is still the biggest subscription based MMORPG around and will likely stay that way for a while. Do you play World of Warcraft? Are you worried by the subscriber fall off? Do you feel like my report was a bit too opinionated rather than analytical? Let me know in the comments below!