Blizzard Predicts Renewed WoW Growth in 2010

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Blizzard Predicts Renewed WoW Growth in 2010

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Blizzard Entertainment says that despite its subscriber base being flat since the end of 2008, there's still plenty of opportunity for World of Warcraft to grow, particularly after Cataclysm launches later this year.

After years of non-stop growth, World of Warcraft subscriber numbers hit 11.5 million in December 2008 and stayed there, having seemingly (and finally) hit the wall. It's not the worst problem to have; at 15 bucks a month it means that Blizzard is bringing in just north of $2 billion every year. I can't imagine how that figure could possibly be right but that's what my calculator says and that's good enough for me.

But it's not good enough for Blizzard, apparently. Frank Pearce, the executive vice president of product development, said the company expects the growth to resume this year, thanks in large part to improved access to the Chinese market.

"In China, for example, we haven't even launched Wrath of the Lich King yet, and that expansion is already 18-plus months old," he told VG247. "They're still playing The Burning Crusade there, because we're waiting for approval for Wrath from the appropriate agencies. And once we get that approval and launch Wrath in China then I think we will see growth."

Blizzard anticipates a surge in interest among Western gamers as well once the new expansion is released, presumably later this year. "Whenever we launch an expansion we usually see some win-back from players who have set WoW aside temporarily," he continued. "Hopefully we will get some people back from Cataclysm as well. I don't think 11.5 million is a peak, necessarily, but there are certain things that we need to do and need to do well in order to see it go further."

The Chinese market will no doubt provide a big jump when Lich King becomes available but will Cataclysm be enough to recapture the attention of gamers closer to home? What say you, WoWers?

Permalink

Not gonna lie, I'll probably jump back in once Cataclysm is released.

TheSkaAssassin:
Not gonna lie, I'll probably jump back in once Cataclysm is released.

Me too. I wasn't at a decent level for raiding in Wrath of the Lich King and I was too far behind the pack to really start, so I quit and now I'll wait. Maybe I'll start again a bit before release, to familairise myself and get some pimp mounts.

TheSkaAssassin:
Not gonna lie, I'll probably jump back in once Cataclysm is released.

Aye, redoing the vanilla world was pretty much the only thing they could have possibly done to get me back, the bastards.

Well, I should think a new expansion would at least drag back old players. Also, with the massive increase of low level content and re-tooling of Azeroth, they could easily drag in new players who now don't have to worry about being a level eleven i na world of 80's.

I can't WAIT to roll Goblin.

I'm sill on burning crusade. What worries me is finding the money to keep up so I'm not 2 expansion packs behind, but I'm not investing until I hit 70 (so not for another 16 levels).

I know I'm going back. Expansions do that for me (hell, I only switched out of WoW because City of Heroes: Going Rogue is out soon).

I shall roll a new char!

my brother will still continue to play, but if FF14 is good he will switch that possibly. He is also looking at Guild Wars 2, same as me since I play GW. :)

Maybe...

Can I buy Cataclysm without buying all the other expansions?

I don't think there is a thing that could drag me back to that game, well unless they drop the $15 a month and the community grows up a bit.

thinkntgrt might be dead on the money there.

I know a few people who are looking at coming back

I say that I want to stay off it as much as possible. That is precisely why I bought a timecard on the way home from school.

It makes sense.

Calumon: I think China needs to stop playing catch up. They're still doing communism and all.

TheSkaAssassin:
Not gonna lie, I'll probably jump back in once Cataclysm is released.

Indeed, me as well.

And well, duh blizzard. I don't think it would take a rocket scientist to figure this one out :)

Yeah I quit WoW about a month ago...... playing GA now and im happy. I can't go back..... *cry* for the love of all don't make me go back. *runs to support group*

*Shhhhh Shhhh you know wow will only hurt you again.*

OT/ I admit this new skin on vanilla wow look good. I just can't bring myself to reactivate. And drop cash + subs on a game I will only play for a month or two.

Blizz makes a retarded blanket statement about wows Growth before an x-pac release. Good going blizz.

Nimbus:
Maybe...

Can I buy Cataclysm without buying all the other expansions?

I don't see how they're going to keep you from using it, since they completely rewrote all of the orignial stuff. Well, you might still be capped at 60, but other than that I don't see why not...

I'll admit that, despite my astronomical anticipation for SW:TOR, I'm thinking of reactivating my account over the summer. Anyone know if Warlocks are doing well at the moment?

Catalyst6:

Nimbus:
Maybe...

Can I buy Cataclysm without buying all the other expansions?

I don't see how they're going to keep you from using it, since they completely rewrote all of the orignial stuff. Well, you might still be capped at 60, but other than that I don't see why not...

Yeah, but would you get the extra races? I hear the expansion starting zones tend to be better quality.

I still play WoW currently, I'll keep playing with Cata.

Tauren Paladin mayne!

No shit Sherlock....

Andy Chalk:

"In China, for example, we haven't even launched Wrath of the Lich King yet, and that expansion is already 18-plus months old," he told VG247. "They're still playing The Burning Crusade there, because we're waiting for approval for Wrath from the appropriate agencies. And once we get that approval and launch Wrath in China then I think we will see growth."

The Chinese market will no doubt provide a big jump when Lich King becomes available but will Cataclysm be enough to recapture the attention of gamers closer to home? What say you, WoWers?

Permalink

What, what, what and triple WTF?!
I can't believe that Lich King wasn't released in China. I mean how do they explain all the "farmers", and Chinese companies offering goods and characters for real money?(maybe I'm mistaking the Chinese with other Asians that are doing this kind of illegal stuff).
OT: OH crap! More Wow popularity= no need to launch Starcraft II this year. Shit and this means no Diablo III for an other 2 years.

Nimbus:
Maybe...

Can I buy Cataclysm without buying all the other expansions?

You crazy, man?! If you don't buy all the other expansions poor, old on the verge of bankruptcy Blizzard will have to start begging for your money, just so they can keep the servers on. I mean how do you think Blizz is making a honest living?

Of course they do.

I've came back over and over again but to my suprise these comebacks have been really short for me. I think I've grown out of WoW. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful game, but all you do is the same thing over and over again in a different background.

The redesign would have to be bloody brilliant, sadly i've lost confidence in blizzard recently.

It'll certainly get a ton of people back onto the game for a while but the burst won't last long unless the new stuff lives up to the hype.

yoyo13rom:

Andy Chalk:

"In China, for example, we haven't even launched Wrath of the Lich King yet, and that expansion is already 18-plus months old," he told VG247. "They're still playing The Burning Crusade there, because we're waiting for approval for Wrath from the appropriate agencies. And once we get that approval and launch Wrath in China then I think we will see growth."

The Chinese market will no doubt provide a big jump when Lich King becomes available but will Cataclysm be enough to recapture the attention of gamers closer to home? What say you, WoWers?

Permalink

What, what, what and triple WTF?!
I can't believe that Lich King wasn't released in China. I mean how do they explain all the "farmers", and Chinese companies offering goods and characters for real money?(maybe I'm mistaking the Chinese with other Asians that are doing this kind of illegal stuff).
OT: OH crap! More Wow popularity= no need to launch Starcraft II this year. Shit and this means no Diablo III for an other 2 years.

No Chinese servers =/= Chinese people being able to play on US servers. Hell, the hardest of the hardcore Chinese gamers are playing WotLK on the TAIWAN servers.

Nimbus:

Catalyst6:

Nimbus:
Maybe...

Can I buy Cataclysm without buying all the other expansions?

I don't see how they're going to keep you from using it, since they completely rewrote all of the orignial stuff. Well, you might still be capped at 60, but other than that I don't see why not...

Yeah, but would you get the extra races? I hear the expansion starting zones tend to be better quality.

If you just get normal WoW after Cataclysm comes out, you won't be able to roll Draenei/Blood Elves/Worgen/Goblins, but you WILL get all the changes to the new world, and hopefully the standard starting zones will be more in line with the quality of the expansion zones.

So you'll be able to play through 1-60 in the revamped world; you just won't be able to level past 60, or go to Outland/Northrend/Deepholme.

All my friends and myself are all thinking about jumping back in on Cata's release, along with lots of other people I know who are anticipating it, so I am left to assume this will be a huge success for Bliz.

TheSkaAssassin:
Not gonna lie, I'll probably jump back in once Cataclysm is released.

I'll try it again for a month or two when cataclysm hits

Worgen Moonkin Druid baybee. Wolf form, human form, bear form, cat form, space chicken form! And re-doing the old world is a really brilliant move to make it effectively a "new" game. That is enough to get me to come back much to my wife's chagrin.

Catalyst6:

Nimbus:
Maybe...

Can I buy Cataclysm without buying all the other expansions?

I don't see how they're going to keep you from using it, since they completely rewrote all of the orignial stuff. Well, you might still be capped at 60, but other than that I don't see why not...

No Worgens for you, No goblins for you, no underwater cities for you, no Mt. Hyjal for you, no new raids/dungeons for you, no new PvP...

all you get to do is look around a newly-changed Azeroth.

Just buy the other expansions already :P

Good luck to you, Blizzard! Hopefully if you get even more people, then you'll uh... um... make more WarCraft games?

Malifact:

Catalyst6:

Nimbus:
Maybe...

Can I buy Cataclysm without buying all the other expansions?

I don't see how they're going to keep you from using it, since they completely rewrote all of the orignial stuff. Well, you might still be capped at 60, but other than that I don't see why not...

No Worgens for you, No goblins for you, no underwater cities for you, no Mt. Hyjal for you, no new raids/dungeons for you, no new PvP...

all you get to do is look around a newly-changed Azeroth.

Just buy the other expansions already :P

That's four purchases for one game. Sadface.
I'm missing WotLK.
Blizz should do what Everquest 2 does. But it wont.

3nimac:

Malifact:

Catalyst6:

Nimbus:
Maybe...

Can I buy Cataclysm without buying all the other expansions?

I don't see how they're going to keep you from using it, since they completely rewrote all of the orignial stuff. Well, you might still be capped at 60, but other than that I don't see why not...

No Worgens for you, No goblins for you, no underwater cities for you, no Mt. Hyjal for you, no new raids/dungeons for you, no new PvP...

all you get to do is look around a newly-changed Azeroth.

Just buy the other expansions already :P

That's four purchases for one game. Sadface.
I'm missing WotLK.
Blizz should do what Everquest 2 does. But it wont.

Perhaps I wasn't clear. Everyone gets to roam around the newly-changed Azeroth, and do all the new quests. But you can't make a goblin/worgen character, and you can't explore the new level 80-85 zones which will be added.

The Chinese are still only on BC?!? How slow is the process of gettin a game cert'd over in China // As for growth and money as said above yea once Cat hits those 11.5million people are goin to go nuts but weather or not new people will come on board is a different story // I can see ex-wow players coming back to see how much classic WoW has been changed, but not much after that

-M

Malifact:

3nimac:

Malifact:

Catalyst6:

Nimbus:
Maybe...

Can I buy Cataclysm without buying all the other expansions?

I don't see how they're going to keep you from using it, since they completely rewrote all of the orignial stuff. Well, you might still be capped at 60, but other than that I don't see why not...

No Worgens for you, No goblins for you, no underwater cities for you, no Mt. Hyjal for you, no new raids/dungeons for you, no new PvP...

all you get to do is look around a newly-changed Azeroth.

Just buy the other expansions already :P

That's four purchases for one game. Sadface.
I'm missing WotLK.
Blizz should do what Everquest 2 does. But it wont.

Perhaps I wasn't clear. Everyone gets to roam around the newly-changed Azeroth, and do all the new quests. But you can't make a goblin/worgen character, and you can't explore the new level 80-85 zones which will be added.

That was clear but not important for Nimbus' question or my point. A purchase of Cataclysm is still needed for the level 80+ content and if one doesn't own previous expansions, he faces a content gap between levels 60/70 and 80 that he won't be able to easily cross. So, four purchases are still required to enjoy the full extent of the game, which might be a pretty large barrier for new players or players that skipped an expansion or both. Unless Blizzard takes the EQ2 approach with Cataclysm, where you only need the last EQ2 expansion and have access to everything previously released.

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