Blizzard's once budding MMORPG World of Warcraft is facing a bit of a downturn. Activision Blizzard announced on Wednesday that World of Warcraft lost 1.3 million subscribers from February to May, putting the game at 8 million total subscribers.
The game development company points to the Eastern part of the globe for the main drop-off during Q1, but says it also saw declines in the West as well. Even though World of Warcraft lost users, it still remains the number one MMORPG, but 1.3 million gamers leaving in one quarter could be seen a bit concerning.
Activision Blizzard expects to keep losing subscribers, too, but says the long-term value of the World of Warcraft franchise will continue. "And while we do believe further declines are likely, and we expect to have fewer subscribers a year than we do today, World of Warcraft remains one of the most successful franchises in the history of entertainment," said Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard.
World of Warcraft's subscriber count peaked in 2010 when it saw a whopping 12 million members agreeing to pay $15 (£9.70) a month for access. In 2012 it saw subscriber count fall to 9.1 million, but rose towards the end of the year to 10 million when the Mists of Pandaria expansion was released. We don't think it'd be too far-fetched to say the recent down-turn came from gamers getting bored of the expansion.
Still, with 8 million subscribers, World of Warcraft is still puttering along just fine after eight years of being on the market. Kotick hopes to retain users by releasing World of Warcraft content more frequently, inevitably keeping users engaged.