Is World of Warcraft’s decline tied to the rise of mobile gaming?

    
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And no, the reason really has nothing to do with pandas.

So what knocked World of Warcraft‘s subscribers down so quickly between the launch of Warlords of Draenor and now? Most people playing the game will be quick to point out design decisions, update pacing, and other such culprits. A recent article on Marketplace.org posits a different theory, however – that the game’s decline coincides with the rise of mobile gaming as a more addictive option.

The article notes that the game hits its apex in 2010, around the same time that mobile gaming started to take off. Subsequent falls have been a result of mobile gaming successfully getting more and more addictive compared to Blizzard’s title. Whether you agree with the conclusion or not, it’s food for thought as you go about your day.

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cww1974
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cww1974

I don’t think mobile gaming has much to do with the decline of Wow.  Wow is nothing like it used to be 2-3 expansions ago. It use to be a social gaming experience that took a lot of social interaction to get things done.   In the latest expansion they have virtually removed all elements that make people socialize in game.  I used to login and interact with my guildies and buddies on your friends list.  We would hop on voice chat and do activities together, finishing up group quests, helping alts do quests, doing 5 man, pvp etc. In a quest to make this WOW more accessible for all players, instance and raid matchmaking  have completely killed off social interaction.  You basically stand in one place and push a button and you are ported to an instance and placed with random strangers who generally don’t talk beyond the ‘hey’. Blizzard has focused almost all new content on the single player experience…you absolutely don’t need to interact with anyone in the game anymore.  Once you no longer have social interaction in an MMO it becomes a single player experience which grows old fast.   All of my long time Wow friends left WOD shortly after hitting 100 because there is social interaction beyond raiding.

Barachiel
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Barachiel

World of Warcraft’s decline is due to increasingly out of touch devs who make nonsensical decisions with poor communication, then take forever to implement said changes, all the while assuring the playerbase that “we’ve hired more people so future content will come faster!”  

Now this may be driving the more casual players to mobile game, but honestly, I doubt it.  MMO players are a different breed.  While we all may indulge in Candy Crush and Angry Birds from time to time, there is no mobile game that comes close to replacing

Philgive
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Philgive

This may be a fairly accurate assessment for the drop in WoW Subscriptions. However, my view of mobile gaming…?  It SUCKS !!  Maybe good for a long plane ride, that’s it. Totally second rate…

Nate Woodard
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Nate Woodard

No WoW’s decline is due to infrequent updates to the game.  People will pay for quality games when they know the developers are making updates frequently.  The WoW team is not doing that.  Also, people have played the game for 10 years.  They are leaving and finding new things to occupy their time.  New games to play.  A large part of the WoW player base from 5 years ago are probably out of college and perhaps working in their chosen career full time now.  They are starting families.  People don’t have time to dedicate to a game like WoW which is why f2p and b2p are becoming so popular.  

Also, WoW needs to bring something new to the table.  Bring in some sea battles with ships.  Bring in some air ship battles.  Bring in some DAoC/GW2 style PVP where you capture keeps and castles.  Make the prizes better for PVP and people will play.  Also, housing.  But don’t make housing a have to.  I kinda got tired of garrisons at the end before I unsubbed because it was something I felt I had to do.  As taboo as it may be, we kinda need something along the lines of Wildstar housing.  Just my two cents.

wjowski
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wjowski

syberghost 
No, as opposed to the previous low brought on by the crap-pile that was Cataclysm.

CazCore
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CazCore

WoW-mould MMOs are an unsustainable lifestyle for the vast majority of people.  its just a matter of time before they break the habit throught boredom or willpower……. or get on a 12 step program, …… or are given an ultimatum from somebody significant in their lives.

these games were designed to kill themselves eventually.

all their competition being similar to F2P is of course a factor too.

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

While I’m critical of WoW, this quarter’s “decline” is just WoW returning to where it should be without the combined influence of the expansion launching simultaneously in the West and in Asia with the 10th anniversary event. It was sitting at roughly 7M players two quarters ago.

As for why WoW is seeing its player base slowly dwindle, I don’t think it’s the competition with mobile. PC gaming, last I looked, was quite healthy nowadays. Instead, I believe it’s increased competition with other business models — WoW is one of the last bastions of subscription MMOs, and atop subscriptions Blizzard charges players for the expansion — and how the game is aging. When one of the biggest draws for purchasing the expansion is the chance to bump a character to almost max level and skip all the previous content the game had, there is something very wrong afloat.

Zariarn
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Zariarn

How about the Rise of MMOs?  Duh!

SwobyJ
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SwobyJ

Revakara The mobile VR headset WoW will be sooooo funnnnn.,…

JudgeDavid101
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JudgeDavid101

Time and now a variety of games on mobile and computer have been the main culprits. There wasn’t many rivals to begin with but the variety out there is tapping into the WoW player base. Plus if the official WoW forums are anything to go by, players are leaving simply because they are angry in ragequit. Sad times.