WoW lost nearly three million subs in three months

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Blizzard behemoth World of Warcraft loses a bunch of subscribers, the internet loses its mind, and we lose a lot of sleep policing the comments of the corresponding news article.

Activision-Blizzard’s latest earnings report says that WoW is down to 7.1 million subscribers, which is 2.9 million less than the 10 million reported at the end of 2014. Activision-Blizzard also reports downturns in net revenue and net income for the quarter ending March 31st, 2015 when compared to the same quarter in 2014.

On the plus side, net revenue from digital channels clocked in at a record $538 million, which accounts for 76 percent of total revenue.

[Source: Gamespot]
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241 Comments on "WoW lost nearly three million subs in three months"

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Cyroselle
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Cyroselle

That’s what I love about the mentoring in Rift. Even if I out level the content of an area, or have hit level cap prior to finishing a story arc, I can just select the lower level bracket I’d prefer playing at, and continue from there.
My avatar’s ass might even get handed to her a few times along the way!

Cyroselle
Guest
Cyroselle

Even when flight is allowed but the devs, it remains a personal choice for the player. If you hate flight, don’t fly.

Cyroselle
Guest
Cyroselle

Hell, and Anarchy Online is getting its graphics engine revamped.

Cyroselle
Guest
Cyroselle

‘Pre-approved spots’ hits the nail on the head for me. One of the principal reasons I quit before cata hit was that all class builds became pre-approved, and player agency became extinct. One of my more entertaining solo grind builds was dual-weilding petless mostly-melee Hunter.
That died, and so did my fun.

Cyroselle
Guest
Cyroselle

Same story here. Wrath was the last expansion that I paid for, played, and loved.
I’m older now, my college days are behind me and I have more entertainment funds available than ever in my life, and Acti-blizz isn’t getting any of it.

Cyroselle
Guest
Cyroselle

That was my thought. Acti-Blizz doesn’t seem to have any interest in keeping the old guard around, so the various disheartening changeds to the game, the degradation effect some of these changes have had on the server communities and outright lore retcons have been steadily driving the original customer base away.
Some of them even permenantly.

TronSheridan
Guest
TronSheridan

I left WOW (again) because the game is boring.  WoD is a VERY weak expansion.  Garrisons isolated players even more.  I miss the days when players partied up, and had to actually travel to the instance portal.  Now people just stand around their garrisons alone.  Just dumb.

borghive
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borghive

I wonder how many of these subs were long time players? People assume that the 3 million that quit were just people the came back for WoD. A lot of my long time friends have all quit the game.

seemsthatway98
Guest
seemsthatway98

RicharddeLeonIII I get why they took our variety and class building. And that blame lies partially on the shoulders of players. If people weren’t so obsessed with DPS/HPS meters, and in the past badger people about not doing the ‘optimal Elitist Jerks’ build, we might not be in this situation. It doesn’t matter how much time a company puts into balancing classes, someone is always going to be ahead. But players become too obsessed with turning WoW into ‘Spreadsheet: The Game’, and it hurt other parts of the playerbase, bad. I would have done the same thing. Give everyone the same abilities, just change the animations and text. Boom, no one can complain anymore about class balance. Everyone is the same.

seemsthatway98
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seemsthatway98

JudgeDavid101 I prefer the no flying in Draenor, actually.

seemsthatway98
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seemsthatway98

playerxx *failure

seemsthatway98
Guest
seemsthatway98

reubendw I’ve come to dislike flight. Too many reasons to list here at this hour. I’ve actually considered quitting FFXIV because the expansion next month is adding flight.

devin007
Guest
devin007

I cant get into to tab target anymore. the only exception is FFXIV but that game has a charm to it that I like. Still the only game that seems to hold my interest is GW2. When they add the progression based class mastery unlocks ill be back there full time. I actually do need a bit of carrot beyond just achievements and costumes.

Pesko
Guest
Pesko

Someday AOL dial-up subscribers will outnumber WoW subscribers.
http://www.cnet.com/news/more-than-2-million-people-still-pay-for-aol-dialup/

Cosmic Cleric
Guest
Cosmic Cleric

Skyewauker Dope_Danny Estranged Even sitting in a town, waiting for a queue to pop, you would have social interactions with others doing the same.  Just watching someone show off a rare mount/armor/weapon, or the occasional other faction player(s) sneaking in and killing people, and hunting them down, or the persons dancing or talking in front of the bank.  And when you got bored, you could get on your flying mount, and go explore, find an out of the way place to fish, or some new remote area you had not seen before.

With garrisons, you stared at your npc’s, and watched tv, waiting for the queue to pop.  You maybe read the trade channel, and if it wasn’t heaving in anal jokes, you could tune in to a conversation on some out-game subject.  And if you wanted to go outside while waiting for the queue, it was a pain, because you couldn’t fly around, and you’d have to dodge all the mobs, backtrack when you went down the wrong canyon path, and the zone was allot smaller with less out of the way remote areas to explore, so not really worth going out in the first place.
There’s a big difference between towns and garrisons.

Cosmic Cleric
Guest
Cosmic Cleric

GaryScott1 agemyth stkmks Ironwu Companies move their “A Team” employees to new important projects all the time, and leave their “B Team” employees to do maintenance on older projects. /shrug

Cosmic Cleric
Guest
Cosmic Cleric

luxundae Its not just that.  Look at WoW when it first came out, and WoW now, the class changes, etc., and you have a much different game now than then.
There is some generalized truth to someone looking through rose tinted glasses, based on nostalgia, but WoW is really not the same game it was back in the day.  One can argue if that’s for the better or the worse, but it isn’t just nostalgia that is turning people off to WoD.

Evade2015
Guest
Evade2015

Its a tired outdated game with outdated combat mechanics (tab targetting???) Should put it on good to sleep mode and work on WoW 2

shaw sbst
Guest
shaw sbst

Skyewauker blaaznar eLdritchMD neserbohy I LOLed! I’m on Zalera realm, which is one of the realms with less players, and you still get to see it pretty busy with a lot of players at all times.

Kayweg
Guest
Kayweg

In other news, on the same day, Hearthstone hits 30 million players……i think’ they’ll live. ;)

Tridus
Guest
Tridus

atoli chriskovo Tridus 30% of the playerbase no longer giving Blizzard money in a span of three months is the kind of thing executive management notices. That is an awful lot of revenue that suddenly doesn’t exist.

It’s certainly not a crisis, but that number is too big and too fast for the folks at the top to dismiss it as a vocal minority the same way they can dismiss forum complaints. When people are speaking the language of dollars that loudly, business types hear you very clearly.

Tridus
Guest
Tridus

Skyewauker BigMikeyOcho Growth has been done since Cataclysm’s release, which is when this spike/fall cycle started. The high water mark was WotLK, which is when the growth maxed out.

Tridus
Guest
Tridus

Skyewauker Bannex19 Yeah. I don’t know why anybody thought attunements were a good idea. Ask any raid leader what they think of attunements and you’ll get a bunch of explitives.
The content itself should be the barrier to the content, not a made up wall of busywork to keep people away. All that accomplished was to make dungeons toxic for a few months and make it much harder for raid guilds to organize, which is one of the reasons so few were actually raiding before Carbine started fixing this stuff.

playerxx
Guest
playerxx

WildarX Well, 3 million loss is huge even for WoW, but they had huge numbers as it stands, so they can work around it.

If WoW had 1000 000 subs and they would have lost 300.000, then they would feel it.

It’s like the rich people that have billions. If they have 10 billions, they would still be rich as hell with 7 billion.

Greaterdivinity
Guest
Greaterdivinity

Krald I really don’t think you know what clickbait is… I mean, if it was TMZ they would have published something more akin to the following,
“WoW Sees Catastrophic Dip in Subscribers!”
“You Won’t Believe How Many Subscribers Left WoW This Quarter!”
“The Only Thing Killing WoW is Blizzard Themselves!”
etc.

Greaterdivinity
Guest
Greaterdivinity

Krald That is shocking, though. That’s a 30% drop in a single quarter, which is by far the biggest drop they’ve ever had.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

Skyewauker ManastuUtakata 
….

Dookii
Guest
Dookii

Elvoc True, Eevery new wow expansion its almost like when a new MMO releases. People sub up , get to level cap , do the content there and then have nothing to do anymore. Then they hop onto the next best new mmo…erh i mean wow expansion and do the same. 
im lucky tho, i never played wow for more then 1 week. >:)

Cosmic Cleric
Guest
Cosmic Cleric

atoli reubendw chriskovo Tridus Its worse than that though.  In MoP, they dedicated a whole area to flying, between quests to get faction with a flying faction, to a flying racing track, to a special dragon pet you could obtain.  The EMBRACED flying in MoP (and that was AFTER devs bitched about flying in previous xpacs!).
To do a 180 like they did, and after initially saying that flying would be in WoD, is a dumb thing to do to their customers who have been enjoying flying since they introduced it, and especially more so after they gave it more presence in an expansion.  As a customer, I didn’t like being treated that way, which is why it was one of the major reasons why I left.

Lets be real here.  They probably pulled out flying because the WoD zones would not be big enough, because they didn’t have enough time to do the zone right because their dev staff was off working on Titan and/or other things.  Its more of a gating mechanism, than it is an ‘enrichment of the questing experience’.

WildarX
Guest
WildarX

7.1 million subs still is uber high for a single MMO title in an over saturated market.  I venture a guess that most of today’s MMO’s are lucky to get 5% or 7.1 million.  It’s hard to feel sorry for Blizzard when they’re still king of the MMO hill, at least in the western hemisphere.

Skyewauker
Guest
Skyewauker

ManastuUtakata Skyewauker Quick to judge, quick to dodge.  Check.  Just about like everyone else that criticizes developers for not doing X when they cant think of X themselves.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

Skyewauker ManastuUtakata 
…then you have my answer. Good day.

Skyewauker
Guest
Skyewauker

ManastuUtakata Skyewauker  Im not sherrif srs?  When did I ever question you playing or not playing WoW?  I could give 3 damns less if you play WoW or not.  You are deflecting and getting upset over nothing.  I simply asked what you do .  You are the one that said that they have lost its will to do anything truly innovative.  Don’t dodge the question.  What can they do that hasnt been done?

Cosmic Cleric
Guest
Cosmic Cleric

reubendw I’m in the same boat.  To have a feature so prominent in MoP be removed, that’s just not cool in my book.  And playing a game is supporting the company making the game, and if the company is doing uncool stuff, its ok to not want to support the game (via subscribing) until the company stops doing uncool things.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

Skyewauker ManastuUtakata 
Why the hell do you even care? I am but one subscriber who plans to go on a WoW vacation, who’ll probably be back next expansion. I really don’t need to justify my conclusions of why with the likes of someone who is unlikely to be persuaded no matter what I say, beyond the apologist drivel. You are planning to stay is all that should matter to you at this point. /shrug

RyanMahaffey
Guest
RyanMahaffey

wjowski Bannex19 Wildstar is much better than WoD could ever be ATM

wjowski
Guest
wjowski

Bannex19 
People leaving WoW are not going to be running into the arms of WoW’s inbred Down Syndrome-afflicted cousin.

wjowski
Guest
wjowski

Rumm 
Yeah, don’t focus on that grease fire in the kitchen.  The rest of the house is fine!

Hackholm
Guest
Hackholm

So basically, WoW’s natural ebb and flow of customers during expansion release and lulls is far greater than the entire populations of other MMOs?

Ok. Sounds good.

atoli
Guest
atoli

reubendw atoli chriskovo Tridus I definitely get your frustrations, yeah. It feels to me that they were really trying to enhance the leveling experience (which I personally did like), and in doing so took a bit away from other areas of the game.

And I do agree that flight was fun, and I’ve also spent a lot of time flying to different areas and trying to see things. That is a bit lacking on Draenor (though if you want to have some fun, swim around the perimeter of Nagrand and enter uninstanced Highmaul from the back…be careful where you walk, though, as there are doors will port you to the raid entrance if you try to walk in.)

Being such a large MMO, I guess they’re in a position where there’s no real way to win. Every change they make there will be some sect of players complaining, and they just happened to hit a rather large sect with the latest changes.

I don’t think it’s time for anyone to lose faith in the game if they were having fun with it up until this expansion, though I do see why people would stop playing until the next one comes out.

reubendw
Guest
reubendw

atoli reubendw chriskovo Tridus Without flight they’re free to channel players, OH LOOK A CANYON IN THE MIDDLE OF NOW WHERE!  I run down a path and decide to head off to either left or right only to find I’m completely blocked in, no way to go but along the path.  They also required big zones which I loved, the latest thing in mmos seem to be tiny little zones and I didn’t want this to happen to WoW.

And, yeah, pretty much once the expansion launched they changed tone and now we have no flight.  Maybe they actually did change their mind suddenly but it feels like they just wanted sales and so lied to get them.  I don’t know, frustrated and disappointed so badly with this expansion. I can’t even really put it into words clearly enough.

Also I just loved flight, I could spend a whole evening just flying to spots and looking at their world from new angles and seeing interesting sights.  Now I have to do jumping puzzles (which is low on my fun list) and only seeing the world from their preapproved spots.

atoli
Guest
atoli

chriskovo atoli Tridus Well, that depends what you consider to be a “large portion” of the playerbase. There is definitely an extremely loud section of players who are unhappy, and that’s understandable. I don’t think (and I wouldn’t assume Blizzard does either) that the expansion went as well as it could have, and the first big patch kind of made it worse.

As far as the posts they’re responding to, I think there’s a bit of a disconnect here. They have responded to a LOT of the criticisms, but people always seem extremely dissatisfied with the answers given. This is probably partially due to the fact that the people who respond to forum posts and such are not normally the developers, but the customer management employees. So they don’t really have all the answers, they can only pass along the complaints to those who are actually developing new content or working on patches to fix issues.

I feel that their position, for better or worse, is that they’re taking the game in the direction they want to. They seem to be generally happy with how things are going, and I think it’s cool that they are sticking to their chosen path instead of just backing off right away and trying to revert everything back.

The changes definitely haven’t been good to everyone, and I’m speaking as a player who only logs on every few days now. I think people are giving these guys way too much grief, though. And it tends to bother me how angry people get over a game…my philosophy has always been that if a game isn’t fun, you shouldn’t play it. No need to get in these crazy arguments with other players though…

/end rambling

reubendw
Guest
reubendw

They fumbled this expansion so bad!  First the removal of flight, which I first thought was fine. It was going to come later so I read and I never used flight during the level process anyway, but I forgot what no flight meant!  Zones that have little ridges a five year old could climb over but we cant, huge openings in vines and trees that we can’t get through, Every single zone having some channel method that is sooooo obvious and unbelievable!  And follow it up by backing out of the whole bring flight back once everyone bought the expansion.  And this’ll bring immersion? Great except there is no reason at all to be out in the world except to level.

And there is the next problem!  Garrisons, love them but every guild I /who had most of their members sitting in their garrisons.  Also grind for all reps, thanks for bringing the worst part of vanilla back! We needed mob grinding so bad!  Removal of almost all dailies, they went way overboard in Mists and were once more stupid to lock needed gear behind the dailies, but it gave people reasons to play and actually took them out into the world.  The story was fairly good and I was surprised I loved Yrel, who i thought would annoy me but…orcs, god I’m so sick and tired of orcs orcs orcs orcs ORCS!!!  You have something like 13 races, how about the next expansion not have ANYTHING to do with orcs!??

I fully admit to just being angry with Blizz right now, and angry doesn’t allow for rational but they messed up.  I’m willing to give their next expansion a try, but if they at any point say something like “FLight will be back in 7.1” I will know them for a pack of liars and never touch a blizzard product again.

Bah, done venting!

atoli
Guest
atoli

reubendw atoli chriskovo Tridus I stand corrected, I had never seen that post. However, I have seen others (which I will look up after the work day is over) stating that they build Draenor around ground movement — take the treasures, for example. Many are retrieved via small jumping puzzles. With a flying mount, that would take the fun of that away.

They put a LOT into the areas for people to find when exploring. This may have been a misstep, as it only takes one person posting it on a forum for everyone else to go “find” it, but they’ve stated (and I think it’s obvious when you play) that exploration and finding everything was supposed to be part of the fun of the expansion.

I am slightly more intrigued now that I see that they said flying would be in 6.1, as I had only read blue posts that said quite the opposite. As it is, however, I still feel that people who complain so much about lack of flying didn’t enjoy the game to begin with.

BrotherMaynard
Guest
BrotherMaynard

Greaterdivinity Estranged The selfie cam is a gift that keeps on giving! (*)

(now how do I decrease the font size to 2 and change to colour to light grey on white background?)

(*) With the activation of the selfie cam for your account you agree that you will be providing future WoW content. We have promised to speed up the development so you will be required to meet weekly cam quotas. You may be requested to process your contributions in Photoshop (a.k.a. graphics improvements) – this in no way allows you more relaxed weekly quotas. By proceeding you agree that Blizzard would suffer an irreparable harm to its business interests and agree to compensate Blizzard monetarily and within a reasonably(**) proportional way.

(**) We decide what reasonably will mean.

–Click Agree to continue–

reubendw
Guest
reubendw

atoli chriskovo Tridus  Get your facts right please. Dreanor is fully built around flight, their original intent (or so one blue claimed) was for flight to be added in patch 6.1.  http://www.wowhead.com/news=223780/no-flying-in-draenor-until-6-1

BrotherMaynard
Guest
BrotherMaynard

ManastuUtakata Silentcrypt Perhaps, but if it so, I must say in my long history with their games (starting with War1), this would honestly be the first time I see people use biting off more than they can chew and Blizzard in the same sentence. I hope Blizzard takes notice. But then Activision probably doesn’t. It’s like the Strange case of Dr. Morhaime and Mr. Kotick…

BrotherMaynard
Guest
BrotherMaynard

Tridus Except that 1) in this case (and having read the advertised features and the patch notes) it should probably be called a reduction, not an expansion…

BrotherMaynard
Guest
BrotherMaynard

Elvoc In principle, yes, but I remember the TBC or WotlK sub numbers quite steady until the very last months. Whereas this thing here is like the War3 Reign of Chaos: Exodus of the Horde (which happened at the very beginning of the game, in case you didn’t play W3).

chriskovo
Guest
chriskovo

atoli chriskovo Tridus  No they respond to meaningless fluff posts and not the ones that brought up the many problems with this expansion.  They ignored it all and now their player base is 30 percent lower. You don’t think that a glaring condemnation by a large portion of the player base?   Doubt there has been this steep a decline in this short of a time for any of the previous expansions.  It wasn’t just flying that pissed me off but it was the straw the broke the camels back.  The entire after lvl 100 experience is utter cr4ap and not well thought out at all from the apexis crystals, the rep grinds and the minimal dungeons.

wpDiscuz