World of Warcraft dev attributes subscriber drop to ‘cyclical’ play patterns

    
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Losing three million subscribers? That might be a big thing to some people, but for World of Warcraft Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas, it was to be expected.

In an interview with VentureBeat, Hazzikostas attributed the drop to the cyclical pattern of MMOs and gamers. “Especially nowadays, players aren’t necessarily viewing World of Warcraft as a year-round lifestyle so much as a game that they love,” he said. “And to some extent, that’s OK. We don’t want to prevent people from enjoying the game that way. Part of the cyclical nature is that, yes, when we have a large upsurge, it’s not surprising that there’s a bit of a dip after that.”

Hazzikostas spoke at length at the successes and issues with the Warlords of Draenor expansion and testified that the new WoW Tokens haven’t caused “a drastic change” in subscriber numbers either way.

He also denied the accusations that the game has changed too radically due to the inclusion of garrisons: “Those login sessions, they’re simply a different type of experiencing the game. I don’t know that those are coming at the direct expense of, I’m going to log on and go do my guild raid, or I’m going to log on and do battlegrounds, or do PvP or whatever else I might have been doing — core multiplayer social functions.”

Source: VentureBeat
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Crazzinees
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Crazzinees

Blizzard is out of touch almost as bad as Nintendo. swtor has a better talent system and it still sucks but at least it feels like real choices. the combat got too simplistic to bring in more young fans while ignoring the fact the young kids go for the more adult-oriented hardcore games, specially those in the demographic with PC’s. they would be soo much better off and making more content if they would stop trying to fix things that did not and do not need fixing. I believe they lost their sense of what made the game great

BigMikeyOcho
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BigMikeyOcho

Armsman Ehhh maybe. I can agree with that claim of theirs, as I do the same with other games. The people coming back for a few months with every new expansion are probably the same players. I do it with Star Trek Online, I come back for expansions and new story content, but leave when I hit that grind wall. Same for Secret World. I love the story, but then leave when I hit too much grind. Doesn’t mean I don’t love those games if I’m not playing them 24/7.

BigMikeyOcho
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BigMikeyOcho

Fresh Meat Serrenity That’s the genius of the subscription model. Unless you actually remember to cancel your sub, it’ll just silently put the charges on your credit card, or silently pull them from your bank account. Most people even *like* that they’re not bothered with a notice every time it charges (like a FTP game that reminds you that it’s FTP). The downside is, of course, that many people forget and so are charged for time they simple don’t use. Depressing for the consumer, sure; designed to be sneaky by the developers, absolutely.

BigMikeyOcho
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BigMikeyOcho

DigitalQ Maybe, but consider that if not for the garrisons, those people might not be playing *at all*. Garrisons are, at least, creating that psychological draw that is still bringing in income for WoW, where those players might’ve quit playing anyway. Net positive for Blizzard, and no real effect to the player as you wouldn’t be seeing them anyway.

BigMikeyOcho
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BigMikeyOcho

That is some spin right there. I’m sure ATVI stock holders aren’t seeing a 30% drop in subscribers as just “a bit of a dip”. But Blizz’s stock is still the highest it’s ever been (mostly due to non-WoW properties), so shareholders probably aren’t calling for any heads just yet.

melbrankin
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melbrankin

BriarGrey melbrankin quixadhal Fresh Meat Serrenity I use the buy time in WoW if I want to play – They have the add 30 days play time without subbing option which makes me feel less trapped for some reason lol

rottenrotny
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rottenrotny

Though I still have active game time due to 6 month sub, I mostly stopped playing due to everyone being in their garrisons and not out in the world.
I wish they’d give us neutral faction capital cities and flying again…

BriarGrey
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BriarGrey

melbrankin quixadhal Fresh Meat Serrenity I do this so I have the option – we pretty much keep ourselves to 2 paid subs each so if we get bored we can switch around.  Mine are SWTOR and WoW right now, and I’ve not logged into WoW for awhile but I like having the option :)

vanquenton
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vanquenton

gogglezombie All communication writing is considered rhetoric, good or bad.

IcaruSS
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IcaruSS

Arthwyndar
We didn’t see this kind of drop in MoP.
It took two years to get to this level of subscriber loss in that expansion.
Same with Cataclysm.
This one, this is entirely new territory — a 33% loss within three months of release.