So World of Warcraft lost three million subs in the wake of Warlords of Draenor, bringing it back down to right about where it was before it began the Draenor ramp up — not quite to its published low point after Mists of Pandaria, but damn close. I suppose it’s not a surprise; Blizzard’s languorous content pace since the expansion hasn’t restored much faith that the studio learned anything from the drought that drove MoP so low just a year ago. But it’s not a pretty graph after the big spike up for Draenor. It’s the steepest, fastest decline for the game ever.
One of my amusing guildies summed it up like this:
Gather round, my disciples, for I have seen THE FUTURE! 2040: Hearthstone, Blizzard’s flagship MMO, has finally integrated the “World of Warcraft” as an amusing retro mini-game you can play between matches. And lo, the rivers shall run purple with the discarded gear of the unbelievers, and the wails of the hardcore raiders shall be swallowed by the sound of a billion decks being shuffled.
Hyperbole, I know, but who isn’t at least thinking this? WoW’s still the biggest subscription MMORPG in town, yes. It’s not hurting for money. But it bothers me that Blizzard doesn’t seem to care much about such a massive game or the genre anymore and that it’s driving off not just expansion tourists now but hardcore loyalists who don’t want to pay a sub to play Garrisons Online: With Selfies But Not Flight after all. The implications for the genre always worry me. How about you — does WoW’s dramatic sub dip worry you?