World of Warcraft Suffers Biggest Subscriber Drop in History

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How long has this game been out? All things run their course. Blizzard is aware of this I am sure.

Could it possibly be that since they introduced the "Pay gold for game time" mechanic, that people are simply dropping their subscriptions and going month to month with the coins? I mean, that was kind of the point of introducing the EVE Online-esque system, so that people could pay by playing. And considering the amount of gold some people have on some of the more bloated servers, why wouldn't they drop their subscription. I've got a friend who is a pretty dedicated player, and he's nowhere near as hardcore as I know some people are, and he's got enough gold sitting in his bank account to pay for an entire year of gameplay.

So yeah, loss of subscribers, around the exact time they introduce a pay mechanic that would let players drop their subscription seems pretty much a "well duh" kind of situation. xD

Alex Baas:
How long has this game been out?

Hit the ten-year anniversary not long ago.

Happyninja42:
Could it possibly be that since they introduced the "Pay gold for game time" mechanic, that people are simply dropping their subscriptions and going month to month with the coins?

Even if that were so;

1) those accounts would still be considered 'subscribed'

2) The chart, and by extension the information this topic is based upon, does not include that data as it's too recent.

Loop Stricken:

Happyninja42:
Could it possibly be that since they introduced the "Pay gold for game time" mechanic, that people are simply dropping their subscriptions and going month to month with the coins?

Even if that were so;

1) those accounts would still be considered 'subscribed'

2) The chart, and by extension the information this topic is based upon, does not include that data as it's too recent.

How do you know it doesn't include that data? The chart just shows listing based on expansion, there are no dates given. For all we know, it's up to date, and including the month or 2 since the introduction of the coins.

As per mmo-champion.com where the graph is from:
Tokens are not included in this timeframe, as they launched in Q2.

I think WoD is a great expansion. It's just... I've played this game for almost a decade. Shit gets old.

Vanished:
As per mmo-champion.com where the graph is from:
Tokens are not included in this timeframe, as they launched in Q2.

Ah, ok then, nevermind what I said.

Well, I don't pay for WoW anymore. And as far as free to play games go, WoW is by far the best. I do love having 11 garrisons with several Treasure Hunters on them. Send them off twice a day and I bring in up to 15k a day on missions alone. Already paid my sub for the next 2 years ahead of time.

VanQ:
Well, I don't pay for WoW anymore. And as far as free to play games go, WoW is by far the best. I do love having 11 garrisons with several Treasure Hunters on them. Send them off twice a day and I bring in up to 15k a day on missions alone. Already paid my sub for the next 2 years ahead of time.

I saw someone had paid their account up to 2035, but I digress:

I have eight garrisons and get maybe 4k a day if I'm lucky. Tell me your secrets!

I wonder if they can take the hint that maybe they should work on a sequel or something?

Loop Stricken:

VanQ:
Well, I don't pay for WoW anymore. And as far as free to play games go, WoW is by far the best. I do love having 11 garrisons with several Treasure Hunters on them. Send them off twice a day and I bring in up to 15k a day on missions alone. Already paid my sub for the next 2 years ahead of time.

I saw someone had paid their account up to 2035, but I digress:

I have eight garrisons and get maybe 4k a day if I'm lucky. Tell me your secrets!

Like I said, I get up to 15k per day. It's entirely up to luck which gold quests you get to begin with. But for max gold income, recrut Treasure Hunter followers from the Frostwall Inn every week and level them all to cap and then to epic. Make sure you have at least 2 Treasure Hunters with each Ability so you can stack them for the same mission. Having 3 Treasure Hunters on a single mission means 600% more gold, for example.

But how can you have that many treasure hunters when they haven't been out long enough to recruit that many from the inn? you may ask, well followers recruited from the overworld have a chance to roll any trait including Treasure Hunter, and you can now buy trait reroll for 1000 Garrison Resources so having a bunch of Scavengers helps too.

So yeah, if you want to see that gold roll in for next to no effort make good use of your followers. I expect a nerf incoming but I'm not really sure how many nerds are exploiting the system as much as I am. Hell, not many people bother with more than 1 garrison at all.

VanQ:
*snip*

I know and already do all of this, I was hoping you had some sort of super-secret insider information. Alas!

CrazyCapnMorgan:

Xerosch:
Despite having registered every WoW expansion up until now, I've never max leveled any of my characters. The farthest I've gotten so far is a level 65 or something Blood Elf that's never seen more content than the maps of the base game and Burning Crusade.

There's just something that bores me quickly whenever I subscribe for a month (which is very rarely at best). On the other hand I'm a very active player of Final Fantasy XIV in which in two years I had only one unpleasant encounter. I was dropped from a group because I was a level 50 archer and not a bard. A class of which I wasn't aware that I could gain it through my archer's job quests.

That may be one of the biggest problems with MMOs. Some people who are really into it forget that there are players who 'only' want to enjoy the game and not read through hundreds of strategy guides.

Ditto here on the FF14 thing. Been enjoying the hell out of that game and can't wait for the expansion to hit later on in the summer time. Quit WoW during the end of Rats of the Bitch Queen and haven't looked back; just never wanted to play Holy Paladin anymore. My lalafell White Mage on FF14, OTOH, is all I need for my MMO experience.

Lalabros represent.

My Lalatonk/Summoner feeds my addictions just fine.

Shame the FFXIV group on here is dead. I'll always have my Tentacle bros though :D

so the biggest rise in subscriptions with the nostalgic expansion is followed by the biggest drop in subscription , roughly after the timeframe it takes to play thought the expansion.

It has probably achieved what it was suposed to do by keeping the those who have been paying before subscriped.

I've been saying for years that the main thing holding WoW together at this point is people playing to hang out with good friends they've made there.

Sort of like going to a restaurant you don't enjoy all that much any more, but go because you get to hang out with friends you don't see much elsewhere. The thing about MMOs is they are an overlapping spot for gamers. People who mostly play FPS, RPG, Strategy, and so on will also play an MMO. Meaning without an MMO to play together, you don't always share the same interest in games.

If what little is left of my guild quit the game (like the other 80% already has) I'd unsub on the spot.

Iiii honestly expected this. People who resubbed for the 'lets all get back into the BC feel' were inevitably going to get alienated and let down by all the new systems and established groups already in progress after levelling up was complete. Frankly so far, I thought Mists of Pandaria was better...not by much but by a small amount.

Alas the expansion is not yet finished and I never judge midway, so I'll curve off that for now.

And really WoW could drop to 3 million people next week and still be a functional, healthy online MMORPG. Albeit minus a few bells and whistles like blizzcon, patches that amount to mini expansions in any other MMORPG, and excellent customer support.

News sites covering this as something scandalous obviously and people loosing their minds that 'the death of WoW' is afoot, haven't been paying much attention to the game in recent year, this was inevitable to anyone playing. The hype has worn off for the fleeting, now those 5-6 million still clinging to their guild friends will carry on, business as usual.

Plllluuuus the people playing off WoW tokens don't actually count as 'active subscriptions' in the regard this is read any-more. And that's like half my guild, so...I dunno if that put a couple of hundred thousand dents into that figure, but it might have. Maybe the stats here do account for that or if it's running off the old report/reader.

Loop Stricken:

VanQ:
Well, I don't pay for WoW anymore. And as far as free to play games go, WoW is by far the best. I do love having 11 garrisons with several Treasure Hunters on them. Send them off twice a day and I bring in up to 15k a day on missions alone. Already paid my sub for the next 2 years ahead of time.

I saw someone had paid their account up to 2035, but I digress:

I have eight garrisons and get maybe 4k a day if I'm lucky. Tell me your secrets!

Get a goddamn blacksmith and hut. Funnel ALL your ore and resources into it, Get all the barns, farm all the savage blood. Sell 660 weapons or more. Never pay for WoW again.

...Basically that's my 'grand secret'. You might need to wait a bit to sell these items but some of them go for 90-150k a pop on a good realm.

You remember that twit from EA who talked about Steam's sales "devaluing" games? And everyone jumped down his throat, because he was a shill for EA who was badmouthing cheap games, which everyone likes?

...I'm beginning to wonder if the jerk didn't have a point, buried somewhere under the self-serving corporate smarm.

Maybe WoW isn't the best indicator; it is, at this point, a fairly old game, despite the various renovations and expansions and revisions. But I sometimes have to wonder, in our avalanche of "free-to-play" experiences vying for our attention, if our collective attention just doesn't have room for games that one plays for hours a day over the course of years.

Or maybe, just not on a scale that supports something like WoW in the long-term forseeable future.

A lot of MMORPGs that sprang up struck me as frankly cynical enterprises: "We'll just provide a space for players, and most of the actual content will come from their interactions with one another." But I'm a bit disturbed to contemplate a cynical model being replaced by one that's even more cynical, and hocking a product that's downright disposable to boot. It's sort of like how I once observed that so-called "reality" television might make us nostalgic for the days of soap operas, when at least the sleaze and the backstabbing was entirely scripted.

Charli:

Plllluuuus the people playing off WoW tokens don't actually count as 'active subscriptions' in the regard this is read any-more. And that's like half my guild, so...I dunno if that put a couple of hundred thousand dents into that figure, but it might have. Maybe the stats here do account for that or if it's running off the old report/reader.

It wouldn't have even if your entire server did it. The graph doesn't count the data for the period the tokens went into effect according to posters above and mmo-champ where its from. Even so I'd imagine they still count as active subs since... well... they -are- active after all.

The beginning of the End.

Can't say I'm sad. A friend of mine is a total addict, and I have to say, I have never seen a game so boring to watch someone else play. Never interested me.

Leon Royce:
The beginning of the End.

Can't say I'm sad. A friend of mine is a total addict, and I have to say, I have never seen a game so boring to watch someone else play. Never interested me.

Unsure if it is really the beginning of the end really. WoW tends to go through cycles like this a lot, and this is a special case as well. This expansion in general was basically the Peter Molyneux of WoW expansions; promised much, but had a failed delivery.

There was 1 zone cut from the game(that we have seen thus far) with another pushed back to release with the new patch coming. No news about the "cut" zone however. Flying mounts were disabled for the expansion zones, angering and confusing many. Pvp was unbalanced as usual, with the pvp zone Ashran being a disappointment. The faction cities for this expansion were cut, being replaced by shoddy looking bases on Ashran; the actual "cities" are there too in the alliance and horde starting zones, they just cut it's "main base" functionality for seemingly no reason. The Garrison was a cool idea in practice, but plays more like a facebook/mobile game; go to your base, send your followers out on missions, check and update Garrison profession huts, repeat ad nausium.

One raid was pushed back several months when it was supposed to be released on launch. Then there was the complete lack of daily quests, and of course the reputation system for most of the factions was horribly done; I mean you literally had to kill hundreds to thousands of mobs to get to exalted(granted, many of the factions have quests that give rep as well, but once you have done those, you have to grind).

Combine all of that with the continued homogenization of classes, and the odd change to the pace of healing/dpsing and you have a lot of criticisms of the current expansion. Granted, not everything is bad, but they really did drop the ball with this expansion. I am glad I am able to play for free using the WoW coin system(similar to PLEX from EvE or CREDD from Wildstar). They seem to be ironing out some of these gripes with the next patch, but I am not sure it will be enough to bring everyone back. Granted, there is always a resurgence of players with each patch, but I suppose they should analyze why they lost those players in the first place.

Oooh Nooooes!!

Blizzard will have to settle for a gazillion dollars instead of a buttrillion.

Bugga!

Scarim Coral:
I wonder if they can take the hint that maybe they should work on a sequel or something?

Remember that Blizzard cancelled thier next big MMO because they thought they couldnt get it to surpass WoW?

How is a new WoW with less content going to entice players?

Can't say I'm surprised. The premise of this expansion pulled people in and I honestly think what content their is is just great and some of the best there's ever been but it doesn't have lasting power and for non raiders that's a huge issue.

Ashran was cool at the beginning but of course players will always find the most efficient mean of farming and with the factions avoiding each other it just become a PvE zone instead of the giant zerg fest it was supposed to be. Not so much Blizzard's fault but I still feel that sometimes you have to not give people a choice and force them to fight be it by making rewards only available after getting so many HKs or whatever, players are generally lame about PvP and will find the easiest possible route.

I'm still subscribed as I'm an avid RPer and RP is really the only reason I play. I will admit that this EP was hugely disappointing to me, both gameplay-wise and RP-wise. On Moon Guard, after just a couple months or so the RP community seemed to move completely out of Draenor, it was actually pretty damn crazy how fast we abandoned the new content. Nowadays a lot of guilds I find are pretending their Garrisons are ICly in Azeroth.

Gameplay-wise? Well... To me it was same old, same old. Same old boring quests, same old dungeon formulas, same old raid formulas... It wasn't new content, it was old content given a new paint and resold. The only thing new is the Garrisons, but good lord, just like everyone else here has stated, they're just like a crappy Facebook or Appstore "game". And then it's also worth mentioning what they've done to the RP community; on one hand, guilds now have private places they could refer to as their base of operations... On the other hand, they're created a shitload of isolation in the community; RPers and guilds have been holing themselves up in their Garrisons for all their RP an to me that really bites. There's also the little issue where it seems like everyone and their dog ICly owns their very own Garrison, like they were just handed out as Oprah studio audiences prizes.

I think one reason is that Blizzard now offers different experiences that are not subscription reliant.
You can get "better value for money" playing Hearth Stone/Heroes of the Stone/Diablo/Starcraft than World of Warcraft if you have no or limited income.

The expression of "Blizzard is the only thing that can kill WoW" seems quite true. Blizzard are spreading their player-bases because people only have a finite amount of time to spend playing.

*This assumes that people are Blizzard loyalists (they produce polished games after-all).

I don't think WoW will die. Too much nostalgia wrapped up in it. But I hope Blizzard can move the game into a good direction due to the exceptions of MMOs are changing. People are less satisfied with subscription models. Why pay to play a sub fee for a game when there's hundreds of F2P options. Once you've done all the fun content in an MMO, what is there to keep you subscribed?

Halyah:

Charli:

Plllluuuus the people playing off WoW tokens don't actually count as 'active subscriptions' in the regard this is read any-more. And that's like half my guild, so...I dunno if that put a couple of hundred thousand dents into that figure, but it might have. Maybe the stats here do account for that or if it's running off the old report/reader.

It wouldn't have even if your entire server did it. The graph doesn't count the data for the period the tokens went into effect according to posters above and mmo-champ where its from. Even so I'd imagine they still count as active subs since... well... they -are- active after all.

Actually no...they're not. Active SUBSCRIPTION. Means you are currently paying through card, for the sub. People paying with Timecards were revealed a long while back to not be technically active either.
And the Asian territories had a similar pay method that rendered them inert from being 'active subs'. As well. So it's not as big a shot in the dark as you'd believe.

And ah I didn't know where the cut off was for sub numbers. Still I really expected this. The money has been made for all the advertising and hype they built up, leaving the people who stuck around once again.

I did a thread predicting this on Reddit about a month ago and was largely voted out of the community by extremely vehement MMO fans.

This genre is more or less done. And the reason I say that is if Blizzard cannot seem to figure out how to make a world that keeps people coming back for more, then its likely no one else has the money to even bother trying to figure it out and that means largely all the games in this genre or are coming up in the near future all suffer from the same problem.

The worlds can't and don't evolve in any way other than through expansionary content, and expansionary content cannot be made fast enough to deal with player demand and consumption rates.

I am not a fan of EVE Online, in fact I don't even play but you have to give them a little bit of credit, that game is basically a 3D interactive spreadsheet simulator but people consistently keep coming back to it or play it for years at a stretch because the game makes itself.

The theme park MMO has had its time, the only way this genre can even come close to staying relevant at this point is for strong, dynamic game worlds that are alive and shift and change around what the players decide to do, a sandbox with some theme park in it, but a theme park where the rides and attractions change based on what the players are doing, worlds that give players a feeling like they're living a life of consequence, rather than simply filling an inconsequential role that 9 million others have already done and is likely to never need them to do it at all.

MMO's don't really make you feel heroic, because the game world never reflects any knowledge that you've even been there...the few that do attempt to do this in some what only really reference your prior actions via quest text acknowledgement...but the world keeps on going on just like it was when you passed through.

This genre is a fun genre, but its reached a rather boring and stale ceiling that I don't think anyone is ever going to innovate their way past. But thats okay, according to most MMO fans, the genre is great because all an MMO needs to be successful is about 200,000 players and it doesn't matter if content rich giants like WoW are bleeding subscribers because the games didn't need those people anyways.

So as someone in the thread said....it doesn't matter that Blizzard has had a huge sub drop because Blizzard didn't need any of those millions of people anyways.

Ukomba:
Hmm, revenue remained consistent, price going up while actual players goes down? Sounds like they're heading the wrong way on the Price vs Demand curve. It's an egregious way to do business when the supply is effectively infinite. I hope they continue and ride that curve straight into the ground, WoW has been a black hole in gaming for a decade, effecting even single player games.

Ah, the Games Workshop approach. Eventually you either find something else to sell, or you cannibalize your own corporate infrastructure.

Paragon Fury:
There is a reason I quit too with this expansion. WoW is riding the nostalgia train super hard right now; had any other MMO had 3 expansions in a row as badly received as Cata, MoP and WoD have been they would've been dead by now.

That the game is still as strong (in population) as it was during vanilla season, which is still crazy popular. I'm not sure whether it's nostalgia, or that this community, which I respect, seems to get into the game and it completely changes their attitudes on MMOs.

Sure, they could play something else, but it will be missing things they love about WoW. A game gets things how they want it, well, then why not just play WoW instead?

I've recently started playing wow again and so far I have enjoyed this expansion, but a part of me does wonder or they should have quit after wrath and just made wow 2, the game Is getting very VERY old and people are simply getting sick of it and theme park mmo's in general.

I'm not surprised at all. Yes, I'll add that to the chorus.

My satisfaction with WoW at the moment is just as low as it was during Cata. This is why:

- Blizzard had the right idea with ability pruning but instead of using a scalpel like they should've done in the first place, they used a wrecking ball mounted on a crane. Their execution was shit. See the druid travel form changes as an example. There was no reason whatsoever to merge the ground travel, swimming and flight forms into one button. And the devs are being incredibly arrogant about it as well, given the way they're insisting that the one it is now is the right way and is how they would've done it in the past. "That's not fun." Fuck off.
- Going onto glyphs, Blizzard seems to think that arbitrary exclusivity allows for "fun, compelling gameplay choices". How? We have three minor glyph slots and three major glyph slots. That's enough of a limitation. Thanks to some glyphs being exclusive with one another, I no longer get the choice of using two or all three of my minor glyph slots to alter one ability at the cost of being able to to alter any other abilities. Where's that option? Slapping limitations on things doesn't automatically make them "fun". Glyphs were meant for customization, but that's now been cut in half.
- The devs say they want players to do unexpected things, experience emergent gameplay and basically "break the game". Then the unnecessary nerfs happen. Notice how I said "nerfs", not "bug fixes".
- Expansions are supposed to add content, not delete it. Blizzard likes deleting things.
- If you have an ability and it takes longer to describe what you CAN'T do with it, it's a bad design.
- Professions feel like those "free to wait" games now. They're time-gated.
- WASTED POTENTIAL. I'm really annoyed with how much wasted potential there was here for a good story. Thrall and Orgrim could've met or even gotten a glimpse of each other, and Orgrim could've been puzzled as to why Thrall was wearing pieces of his own armor and wielding his own weapon. But he can't now, because they've already killed him off. Durotan and Draka won't find out who Thrall is. Yrel will probably be discarded or become completely irrelevant, and won't even get to meet Velen Prime, which is a situation that has some amazing potential story-wise. This is an alternate universe expansion and they're not even taking advantage of what kind of stories it has to offer!

All changes, even little ones, add up.

I don't care about the whole Twitter thing. I rather like the garrisons. I just don't like how a lot of stuff was implemented this expansion, and I'm waiting for the next one.

Charli:

Halyah:

Charli:

Plllluuuus the people playing off WoW tokens don't actually count as 'active subscriptions' in the regard this is read any-more. And that's like half my guild, so...I dunno if that put a couple of hundred thousand dents into that figure, but it might have. Maybe the stats here do account for that or if it's running off the old report/reader.

It wouldn't have even if your entire server did it. The graph doesn't count the data for the period the tokens went into effect according to posters above and mmo-champ where its from. Even so I'd imagine they still count as active subs since... well... they -are- active after all.

Actually no...they're not. Active SUBSCRIPTION. Means you are currently paying through card, for the sub. People paying with Timecards were revealed a long while back to not be technically active either.
And the Asian territories had a similar pay method that rendered them inert from being 'active subs'. As well. So it's not as big a shot in the dark as you'd believe.

And ah I didn't know where the cut off was for sub numbers. Still I really expected this. The money has been made for all the advertising and hype they built up, leaving the people who stuck around once again.

I guess we'll see whenever the graph is updated for the next quarters wether or not they do. One would think they'd use -any- excuse to bump up their numbers to make it look better so...

Yeah this wasn't surprising. I'm only surprised it dropped that much, that fast.

Steven Bogos:
It's not all doom and gloom for Blizzard, however, as their earnings report also announced that Hearthstone is up to 30 million players from 25 million last year, and 11 million people have signed up for the Heroes of the Storm beta.

image

Seriously, I think Activision's done this song and dance long enough. Just let it end gracefully already.

Can we please associate this with an MMO competitor that came out late last year or early this year?

I miss the days of every new MMO being touted a WoW-killer. Now that WOW subs have truly dropped we need to elevate a new MMO as the one true WoW-killer.

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