World of Warcraft Slowing Down

by Alex Co, posted on 04 August 2011 / 2,834 Views

It seems that the king of MMOs - World of Warcraft, is slowing down. Speaking at the recent earnings call for Activision-Blizzard, Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime acknowledged the game's subscription has experienced a decrease in subscribers.

On the World of Warcraft  side, we experienced a slight decrease in subscribership during Q2, closing the quarter at 11.1 million subscribers worldwide. In terms of subscriber growth around the world, what I would say is what we have seen is that subscribership tends to be seasonal and driven by content updates and so as we are heading further away from an expansion launch, it’s normal to seasoned declines where the team is currently working on our largest content update since Cataclysm and that will hit later this year

Blizzard will also be officially launching the game in Brazil later this year, they are also considering opening other markets in the future.

We’re also looking at new markets. We had great success in Russia. We think that Brazil is really an emerging market that has a lot of potential in terms of the number of broadband users, they are a top-10 country, their economy has performed very well compared to the rest of the world during the recession and we already have some Brazilians playing in English but we think the market can be a lot bigger in Portuguese. I think that there are other countries we’re looking at beyond that as well but I don’t have anything that I can talk about

Is this a sign that World of Warcraft is nearing its twilight years? With EA launching Star Wars: The Old Republic later this year, it looks like Blizzard has its work cut out for it - a statement that's surprising to use. 

Can this same scenario happen to Call of Duty? Another one of Activision-Blizzard's "kings?"


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13 Comments

Hephaestos (on 04 August 2011)

I like to believe there is something as "this is too much content for me to just jump in"... I'm guessing the 3 expansion packs are kind of staring the potential new comers in the eyes and that's scaring them away. Just a thought though.


Wagram (on 05 August 2011)

Slowing down? Every MMO designer on the market wishes they had like 1/4th of that userbase.


vlad321 (on 04 August 2011)

It has been barely half a year since Cata hit, and if I remember this did not happen so much with BC and WOTLK. It probably has to do with all the crap they introduced in Cata and the subsequent "balance" patch.


lololol (on 05 August 2011)

"Can this same scenario happen to Call of Duty? Another one of Activision-Blizzard's "kings?"" I think that the next game in the CoD series (as in the one after MW3) will be the first that fails to outsell its predecessor and will mark the beginning of then end for CoD, but CoD will still have a few years left. MW3 will sell a fuck load though.


fastyxx (on 05 August 2011)

And 11 million x $15 a month is still $165 million a month in subscriptions alone.


fastyxx (on 05 August 2011)

I'd bet they start to make it easier for people to jump in. For example, packaging all the content in a more affordable price versus buying WoW and Burning Crusade and Lich King and Cataclysm all separately. They are long overdue for the mega-WoW Battlechest.


Sulvi (on 05 August 2011)

They do already. It costs roughly £70-80 to buy all 4 off battle.net as a digital copy. That's like $100.


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TheConduit (on 07 August 2011)

Star Wars the old republic will be the biggest threat ever to WOW,


Sulvi (on 05 August 2011)

Oh and Blizzard have their work cut out for them with 11 million subscribers? Many loyal fans that basically play nothing but Warcraft, Starcaft and Diablo games. Think you closed this article of with a ridiculous statement. More like EA has their work cut out for them. They need to be going "Hey! WoW players, come try out our new MMO its better than WoW!". Seeing as it is made by Bioware which in my opinion lately are an average developer (Dragon Age = Average, Mass Effect = Good story but that is it) and there has been no MMO that is better than WoW since it was released 6 years ago. Also Blizzard are making a new MMO, so I really don't think they are in any trouble at all. Just like they weren't in any trouble releasing Stacraft 2 oh so long after Starcraft. Starcraft was (and still is?) the best RTS till its successor came out, it is likely WoW will be the same until Blizzard's next MMO is released.


Sulvi (on 05 August 2011)

I just quit playing WoW the other week. The only fun thing to do now for someone that has played it for nearly 5 years is raids, and I just couldn't be arsed with them either anymore. And then the new daily quest hub Molten Front is terrible, its sooooo boring. Oh and I am sick of them promising something 'epic' and it ends up being anything but. Like Thrall's so called 'epic quest' that was added with Firelands which was incredibly boring.


usrevenge (on 05 August 2011)

wow has long time been slowly dieing, its just too much of the same thing, lots of people join for 2 months the quit for a year or 2 now because other then "doing the new raids" its not much more then the last expansion. WoW will die when blizzards next MMO is released, and since they said its not gonna be another wow clone i am very excited.


MsClasher (on 04 August 2011)

If Nintendo did an Pokemon MMO, WoW would be dead a long time ago.


usrevenge (on 05 August 2011)

there was a pokemon MMO, but u can thank nintendo for it ending.


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radishhead (on 05 August 2011)

Pokemon net? I loved that game.


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Simulacrum (on 05 August 2011)

YES PLEASE.


Naraku_Diabolos (on 04 August 2011)

Final Fantasy XI has 4 expansions and 6 add-on scenario expansions. I still know a lot of people who still play it, but most of us have upgraded to FFXIV (even though this game is in a niche market; the game has gotten a bit better right now with the latest patch).