World of Warcraft Subscriber Base Increases Despite Downward Trend

World of Warcraft Subscriber Base Increases Despite Downward Trend

world of warcraft subscriber base chart

Subscribers have steadily dropped for World of Warcraft over the years, but now there's been a sudden surge in subscribers.

Activision-Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft has 7.4 million subscribers as of the end of September, a 9% increase in its subscription base for the MMO from the end of June (from 6.8 million subscribers). The company believes the rise in subscriptions is related to next month's release of the expansion pack, Warlords of Draenor.

Warlords of Draenor is the fifth expansion pack for World of Warcraft. The company notes there was a similar jump in subscribers in October 2012 near the launch of the last expansion pack, Mists of Pandaria.

World of Warcraft subscriptions have steadily dropped over the years. The game, which launched in 2004, saw a great increase in subscribers from early 2005 to early 2008 with a smaller increase later in the year. Since the highest point of worldwide subscriptions in late 2010, the subscription base has decreased overtime. Activistion-Blizzard stated the historical subscriber trend, while declining, "is still fairly strong for a 10-year-old video game franchise."

Warlords of Draenor launches November 13. The expansion takes place in Draenor, a world in an alternate universe and the home of the Orc and Draenei races. The level cap will be increased from 90 to 100.

Yesterday Blizzard launched Patch 6.0.2: Iron Tide patch, one of the larger updates to World of Warcraft. It includes new character models, inventory improvements, character and class changes, and more. The patch notes are available to read here.

Even with World of Warcraft's continued loss of subscribers, the game is still one of the most popular MMOs in the world.

Source: Activision-Blizzard

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Was anything else expected really? It is WoW after all. Azeroth.

I was kind of under the impression that this was something to be expected. It is something that has happened across each expansion, and it is to be expected for each new expansion. A new expansion sparks new interest in the game, and of course it is going to raise sub counts, even if it is only a temporary rise. Blizzard have been pretty poor with major content releases as of late (The last major patch for MoP was over a year ago) and people just get bored of playing the same content over and over, so if they really want to keep the subs, they need to make more of these updates.

Meh, look what "Mists" did for the game, made an almost perfect V and then decreased in numbers ... it will be people who have re-subbed to see the new shit, try it out a little and then get bored again.

The game is dieing a long slow lingering death, with Blizz administering shots of adrenaline to boost the heart rate a little for a short time.

Nothing wrong with that, it is still laying golden eggs! Just it's not the best carat any more, it's more 22, than 24.

Time for the new WoW content Mad Libs!

I've been playing since ________.
The Game was better before ____________.
It's too ______ now and was better before they added_________.

As predictable as the tides (of war.)

All joking aside, I really rather enjoyed the storyline they went with in MoP, and WoD seems to be gearing up for some pretty fun stuff as well. I'm hoping it keeps in line with the episodic content patches of MoP, I really enjoyed playing through that story as it unfurled.
(Even if, as a Forsaken, I felt little character motivation for most of it.)

Edit: I'm hoping that the prelaunch event isn't just the Blasted Lands quests and the new UBRS dungeon, kinda hoping for more escalation prior to the actual launch of WoD kinda like we got with WotLK and Cata.

I am happy with this news. I always stop playing WoW for long periods of times, but I end up returning after every 10-12 months, play for a few months, and I always enjoy the experience, no matter what changes they make. Only real problem has been the lack of players running around as compared to the olden days, but the recent surge of players has actually been creating a bit of post-expansion lag, which is sort of nice in a way.

Roofstone:
Was anything else expected really? It is WoW after all. Azeroth.

Might also have something to do with emails that quite a few dormant account holders like myself received. Basically they gave away free MoP to anyone who'd had a dormant account...all you had to do was reactivate your subscription.

Geee...think that may have something to do with that uptick? Question is.. how long will it last...

BigTuk:

Roofstone:
Was anything else expected really? It is WoW after all. Azeroth.

Might also have something to do with emails that quite a few dormant account holders like myself received. Basically they gave away free MoP to anyone who'd had a dormant account...all you had to do was reactivate your subscription.

Geee...think that may have something to do with that uptick? Question is.. how long will it last...

I give it until people start getting bored of the new endgame. Then it'll start dropping like a brick once again.

omega 616:
Meh, look what "Mists" did for the game, made an almost perfect V and then decreased in numbers ... it will be people who have re-subbed to see the new shit, try it out a little and then get bored again.

The game is dieing a long slow lingering death, with Blizz administering shots of adrenaline to boost the heart rate a little for a short time.

Nothing wrong with that, it is still laying golden eggs! Just it's not the best carat any more, it's more 22, than 24.

Ok I need to ask because its been said a lot but...in what way is this game dying?

Halyah:

BigTuk:

Roofstone:
Was anything else expected really? It is WoW after all. Azeroth.

Might also have something to do with emails that quite a few dormant account holders like myself received. Basically they gave away free MoP to anyone who'd had a dormant account...all you had to do was reactivate your subscription.

Geee...think that may have something to do with that uptick? Question is.. how long will it last...

I give it until people start getting bored of the new endgame. Then it'll start dropping like a brick once again.

So about a month?

Really that endgame boredom sets in faster and faster these days...mostly because they change very little the story is in a constant holding pattern. It's aklways grind new gear because your old gear is now worthless
.

I can say what got me out of WoW...was Steam... after I discovered steam sales I was like.. why pay 10 a month to play a game that I am getting debateable enjoyment out of when I could buy an actual new game that will if nothing else provide me with new experiences..

El Luck:

omega 616:
Meh, look what "Mists" did for the game, made an almost perfect V and then decreased in numbers ... it will be people who have re-subbed to see the new shit, try it out a little and then get bored again.

The game is dieing a long slow lingering death, with Blizz administering shots of adrenaline to boost the heart rate a little for a short time.

Nothing wrong with that, it is still laying golden eggs! Just it's not the best carat any more, it's more 22, than 24.

Ok I need to ask because its been said a lot but...in what way is this game dying?

Everything is subject to entropy and decay. At some point the balance of profitability will slide to make the game unsupportable (through legit means), so the game will officially close.

People get bored of games and WoW has been riding high for years, the arc of this game has already crested and it's on the back hand of life. Unless they make WoW 2 out of WoW and it's like a phoenix rising from it's own ashes ... it will die at some point.

omega 616:

El Luck:

omega 616:
Meh, look what "Mists" did for the game, made an almost perfect V and then decreased in numbers ... it will be people who have re-subbed to see the new shit, try it out a little and then get bored again.

The game is dieing a long slow lingering death, with Blizz administering shots of adrenaline to boost the heart rate a little for a short time.

Nothing wrong with that, it is still laying golden eggs! Just it's not the best carat any more, it's more 22, than 24.

Ok I need to ask because its been said a lot but...in what way is this game dying?

Everything is subject to entropy and decay. At some point the balance of profitability will slide to make the game unsupportable (through legit means), so the game will officially close.

People get bored of games and WoW has been riding high for years, the arc of this game has already crested and it's on the back hand of life. Unless they make WoW 2 out of WoW and it's like a phoenix rising from it's own ashes ... it will die at some point.

If WoW dying means we get a new Warcraft RTS, with a BNet as innovative as WC3(FT)'s, then I will drop WoW like a brick right this second and gleefully watch it die. :3

BigTuk:

Halyah:

BigTuk:

Might also have something to do with emails that quite a few dormant account holders like myself received. Basically they gave away free MoP to anyone who'd had a dormant account...all you had to do was reactivate your subscription.

Geee...think that may have something to do with that uptick? Question is.. how long will it last...

I give it until people start getting bored of the new endgame. Then it'll start dropping like a brick once again.

So about a month?

Really that endgame boredom sets in faster and faster these days...mostly because they change very little the story is in a constant holding pattern. It's aklways grind new gear because your old gear is now worthless
.

I can say what got me out of WoW...was Steam... after I discovered steam sales I was like.. why pay 10 a month to play a game that I am getting debateable enjoyment out of when I could buy an actual new game that will if nothing else provide me with new experiences..

It would not surprise me if it that's about when it starts dropping as the raiders these days have nearly a decades worth of experience with this stuff and will thus power through it even faster than ever. Maybe they'll manage to make them stay a bit longer than that, maybe not. We'll see. WoW will have less subs at the end of WoD than it had at the end of MoP regardless.

Halyah:
It would not surprise me if it that's about when it starts dropping as the raiders these days have nearly a decades worth of experience with this stuff and will thus power through it even faster than ever. Maybe they'll manage to make them stay a bit longer than that, maybe not. We'll see. WoW will have less subs at the end of WoD than it had at the end of MoP regardless.

I will freely admit that I never did raiding in WoW... quite frankly the game bored me too much and i'm the guy who has played through every Dragon Warrior/quest game .. one of the most grindtastic series in JRPGs. WoW however bored me in the most insidious way... not outright but when I realized I was basically going into a hypnotic automatic trance during instance runs... that was the turning point.

The story and world are nice but sadly I just think it's no point in having a game world that the individual plkayer or group can have no real impact on...Just beat a raid boss .. great.. you'll raid him again tomorro and the day after that, and the day after that...

WoW might be declining, but it's far from dying. I heard an interview with one of the developers from SWTOR and he said that the game is in the "making a profit" territory at 700k subscribers (back when it was just subscription). WoW is a mature game, they don't have to worry about buying/leasing new servers because they already have them and the engine is old but stable, patching in new features/content is way less expensive than starting from zero. WoW is still printing money for Blizzard and they're not likely to stop publishing new content for it till they're under 1-2 million subs.

omega 616:
Meh, look what "Mists" did for the game, made an almost perfect V and then decreased in numbers ... it will be people who have re-subbed to see the new shit, try it out a little and then get bored again.

The game is dieing a long slow lingering death, with Blizz administering shots of adrenaline to boost the heart rate a little for a short time.

Nothing wrong with that, it is still laying golden eggs! Just it's not the best carat any more, it's more 22, than 24.

Guarantee you that was the year of Dragon soul raid and cataclysms extremely lackluster end game content. Cata tops a lot of vet players worst expansion list. Mists was the bandage on a severe fallout.

I'm not too confident that those subs will stick around and I'm sure by the end of this expansion WoW will have even less subscribers. I still enjoy the game but even I get bored and unsub from time to time. For some people, it's for good. The game is still great as evident by the millions of subscribers but its getting pretty dated and some want to move on. Really nothing more to it.

I gave the beta for Warlords a try and just couldn't get back into the game. I think they made a lot of poor choices with Cataclysm and the game took a severe dive because of it. My guild fell apart and most of the people that stuck out since launch just left the game which caused more people to leave the game because the people weren't there anymore. I know by the end I was basically paying $15 a month for a chat interface with some interactive content as a bonus.

I'm just expecting a WoW2, really. Different timeline entirely. Shinier... everything.

My boyfriend just resubscribed for nostalgia the other day and then I see this article..

Stop stalking him internet! Rawrwawrawrwarwar. XD

Seriously though, glad to see blizzard having things go their way for a bit longer, maybe they'll continue to polish WoW some more with more subs coming in.

That is unsurprising, but it really doesn't mean anything. Blizzard did a lot of work to boost subscription numbers over the past month, but it's mostly stick and not carrot. If somebody only logs in because you are threatening to make certain content Lost Forever when the next patch comes out and they want to do it before it's gone, they're unlikely to stick around once you carry out the threat.

I think our big problem is we're looking at it as the 900 lb. Gorilla. And as such expecting it to fail. After how long and despite the downward trend it's not going to. WoW well continue as long as it's profitable. Sure it's entertaining just not sure with all the competition out there right now it's worth the increase. This is one of the few ages where gamer's have more then there fair pick in mmo's to play all one needs to do is pick what they feel like and go. While a free to play may steal attention for a bit. Quality gaming is still where it's at.

BigTuk:

Halyah:
It would not surprise me if it that's about when it starts dropping as the raiders these days have nearly a decades worth of experience with this stuff and will thus power through it even faster than ever. Maybe they'll manage to make them stay a bit longer than that, maybe not. We'll see. WoW will have less subs at the end of WoD than it had at the end of MoP regardless.

I will freely admit that I never did raiding in WoW... quite frankly the game bored me too much and i'm the guy who has played through every Dragon Warrior/quest game .. one of the most grindtastic series in JRPGs. WoW however bored me in the most insidious way... not outright but when I realized I was basically going into a hypnotic automatic trance during instance runs... that was the turning point.

The story and world are nice but sadly I just think it's no point in having a game world that the individual plkayer or group can have no real impact on...Just beat a raid boss .. great.. you'll raid him again tomorro and the day after that, and the day after that...

I did raiding in vanilla WoW and my crowning achievement was... falling asleep during it(it was only a second or two tops granted). I never found the atmosphere enjoyable either. So I stayed away and stuck to RP with my friends and guildies. Though I wish the writing wasn't so atrocious constantly and that Activision would piss off.

Laggyteabag:
I was kind of under the impression that this was something to be expected. It is something that has happened across each expansion, and it is to be expected for each new expansion. A new expansion sparks new interest in the game, and of course it is going to raise sub counts, even if it is only a temporary rise.

I'd heard that as well, but the graph here shows it's very obviously not true. Burning Crusade had no noticeable effect, and if anything growth actually slowed down after it. Wrath may have resulted in a small increase, but it's not really distinguishable from the general trend at the time. Cataclysm was the point where things actually started dropping. And of course, this most recent rise appears to have started around August or September, and so clearly has nothing to do with an expansion that still hasn't actually been released. So of four previous expansions, precisely one actually resulted in an increase in subscribers, and the current trend can't be related to an expansion. It seems that what people expect to happen with WoW expansions bears very little relation to what actually happens.

Diddy_Mao:
Time for the new WoW content Mad Libs!

I wanna play!

I've been playing since Vanilla.
The Game was better before Cataclysm.
It's too player hostile (elitist) now and was better before they added Cross Realm Grouping.

But yeah, it happens ever expansion. Players come back for the pre-launch events then slowly leave as they hit raid content. Mists of Pandaria didn't feel like Warcraft, and more of a Korean MMO with the Asian themes. I skipped most of the game from mid 5.0 to late 5.4 Hopefully they took a step back and asked themselves what kind of game is this now.

With the pre-launch event being weak in content, stat squish breaking things, and content being cut from the expansion prior to launch... I am skeptical they can pull it off.

 

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