Blizzard has denied part of a translation of a Polish-language magazine article that appears to show World of Warcraft Leader Designer Tom Chilton quoting 10.1 million active subscribers for the MMORPG. That number, presumably including the Chinese players who now pay monthly subs, would have been unusual indeed since Blizzard stopped reporting monthly subs almost a year ago when its subscriber base plummeted 45% in nine months, down to 5.5 million.
“This was a misquote, or some kind of misunderstanding on the part of the journalist,” Blizzard told Gamesbeat. “Our policy for almost a year now is that we do not talk about subscriber numbers, and Tom did not do that with this publication.”
To be clear, Blizzard has not strictly denied the numbers themselves, only that Chilton did not reveal them to PIXEL.
The last time we know for sure that WoW’s subs were just over 10 million was the launch of Warlords of Draenor at the end of 2014. The only number Blizzard has given since the launch of Legion was 3.3 million copies sold, coupled with a vague claim that concurrency during launch week was at its highest since Cataclysm.
Here’s the original print piece and translation in case you’re curious, courtesy of Redditor htaler.
Pixel Magazine: You’ve reached peak of 12 million users but at the end of 2015 it was only 5.5 mln users. Then Blizzard stopped publishing that data. Can you say how many users are paying the subscription right now?
Chilton: As we speak, it’s about 10,1 million. It’s hard to say what future will bring. We have an internal competition in form of Overwatch, but it’s possible we will reach 12 million once again. The potential is there as there are over 100 million registered accounts.